“The Journal”

Meera had a long day at work yet she could not skip the weekly ritual of reading Ma’s journals. Naina was running late but Meera was in no mood to wait any longer. Though the sisters had promised never to read the journals alone, but today Meera did not care. She was exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. She just could not stop herself even though she knew that Naina was going to be very upset and disappointed by her actions. It had been that kind of a day when she just needed her Ma all to herself.

She longed for her warm hugs singing random songs. Thinking back, she remembered her favorite one, “Where does the Good go?” And just for a second, she shut her eyes trying to remember her Ma dancing with them every evening after dinner. Only tonight she remembered her crying while dancing with them. She could not remember why she cried during such a happy moment. The journal had so far been very basic containing routinely chores and fights with their Dad. And occasional updates on distant family members. And today too she just wanted to read some mundane entry to feel her presence around her. She just wanted to imagine her Ma walking in the house holding a book in one hand and basket of dirty laundry in the other, heading to the laundry room. She wanted to see her Ma standing by the window watching them play on the deck. She wanted to feel safe again, in her arms. So, she sat down by her Ma’s favorite window with her feet up, holding a cup of coffee ready to read the black notebook.

May 5, 2003

Today is the day I confess. I will tell them why I am the way I am. I will explain everything to them before it is too late. I have been hiding behind my life for too long now. I need to come out and just say it. I let everyone down by a course of actions that turned my life around completely. I wish I had never done what I did. And you know pretending to think that it never happened after a while starts to feel real. You start thinking that maybe it was just a nightmare, not real at all.

I sit here at the breakfast table ready to serve their favorite meal to destroy it all with just one truth, “I cheated”.

I have no idea how I will ever explain this to my daughters. Or for that matter, justify my doings?

When I was pregnant with Meera, I had read this book titled, ‘The Island’. It was about a girl who goes on a journey to find her real self by learning about her mother’s life as a child in her hometown. It was a great book, a little slow in the beginning but got very interesting after about 30 pages. I remember feeling, does this really work? Will my daughter understand me or for that matter herself better if she knows more about my past? And how do I decide if I am over-sharing, after all she is my baby? I want her to remember me as her loving and strong mother.

Won’t it scar them to know too much about my life? What kind of impact will it have on them?

I guess I will never know the right answer until I try it.

Meera shut the diary close right then. She definitely needed Naina for the next part of the entry. She got up and went out for a smoke. It was in that moment looking up into the smoke clouds, she felt something move inside her. It was hard to explain. It was an early fall evening with soft chilly breeze, her favorite time of the year. But missing her most favorite person after Ma, Dad & Naina, of course; Dev.

She took out the phone looking for his last text. “I am sorry, Meera. More than you will ever know. I truly am. Love you.” It had been over 2 days since she last spoke to him after his big confession. But today she texted him back, saying, “I forgive you. Love you too Dev. Like forever wala LOVE.”

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