She says that the one thing she regrets the most in her life is the relationship with her mother. When I asked her what, specifically, I thought I saw a speckle of myself in the shimmer of her eyes. Sometimes I realise that this whirlwind of chaos has stopped me from noticing these subtle things; the places I came from; the ones that I love. I have come to see, very recently, the truth which is myself, the very person I am. I have torn my soul into shreds, picking apart every piece of self-sympathy and delusion away and out. I am not the person I have excused myself to be. I am not the good one, and you are not the bad one.

I knew my mother was going to cry when I urged her. I was going to cry myself. My grandmother is a very blurry memory I have, but luckily I have been able to keep many blurry images of her. Her skin feels like velvet, the kind which is worn away after years and years of use. Her eyes are very much like my own- a dusty brown, misty and unclear. She was a woman I very much loved, she was my angel.

My mother looks at me, and I can see she is hurting.

I loved my mother a lot. Every daughter does. I did everything she wanted me to do, and I did it to show her I was good. When I got married and things didn't go the way I thought they did, I ran back to her crying, telling her how very much I missed the life I had. My mother never hugged me though, she would just look at me, very endearingly. Sometimes I wondered, why she couldn't just tell me it was okay. Why she couldn't react the way I wanted her to, in all these circumstances that would occur in the next ten years. She never said a word. Once, when you were born, she came to visit me. She sat down, her long black braid thinning by the ends, her forehead covered in sweat. She had gained weight and hence her legs had begun to swell. At that moment I walked up to her. When I showed her you, I could see a look of astonishment and awe. I hugged her, and than I had realised what it was that was missing all this time. She melted when I did, and she began to cry. She never wanted to tell me that sometimes it was her that wanted a hug. She was afraid of it, the concept of telling a sacred secret, that loneliness wanes when your eldest daughter goes away. And now I know what she meant all those years when she looked at me, waiting for something. She wanted the reassurance that she was loved. And than she left, the day she died -she died in my arms- and she left me with the feeling of regret and emptiness.


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