“This does not feel right. It is like she never left.”
“None of you will ever understand what I am feeling, and believe it or not, I don’t want you to, EVER.” My voice was coarse after crying for days.
My tired swollen eyes turned my angry thoughts to look outside. At the bright day showing off its colors. But all I could see was a broken nest on the grass near mom’s favorite tree. The droopy tree with long hanging branches with small leaves, I still don’t know what it’s called. We have spent hours under that tree, sitting on a mat reading and playing games. Today the mat was missing and so was mom, only a broken nest. No eggshells, thank goodness. It was just an old nest fallen.
My shoulders felt heavy and droopy like I was already a senior citizen and not 21.
Well almost 21, in 2 weeks. Mom was not going to bake my favorite cake this year. There was not going to be a celebration on any of my birthdays anymore. In fact, I was going to delete the awful date from the calendar and the 14th. They are nonexistent to me. Like it never happened. Mom never left me, just became invisible to the world. Maybe that is how she always felt, how else would you describe a sudden death at the age of 45. A healthy woman drops dead while meditating. And ends up donating every organ to people in need including her skin. She was that kind of a person. How am I to live in this world where she no longer exists?
I feel a warm soft hand on my tired shoulders gently pulling me towards a hug. And I know it is Veer, my best friend. But at that moment, all I could do was keep looking for any broken eggshells near that fallen nest. After a helpless search with my tired eyes I finally rest my head on his shoulders. He was my person now. Mom was gone.
I always thought I will never stop crying if I ever lose her, but today no tears showed up. I guess my insides were all dried up. Empty and deserted burning with only anger. Anger towards every other mother alive, who was not my mom. Why did she have to die so early? Could she not hang around a few more years? Why did she just give up? Why did she stop breathing?
Veer hands me a coffee mug. Mom’s coffee mug with words teasing me in bold letters imprinted on it, ‘JUST BREATHE’. At that moment my legs give up. I fall on the floor with coffee all over my black dress, a hideous black dress that I will never wear again. Staring at the mug I feel her inside me. Talking to me from there reminded me to make mountain-tall breathes as we did when I was little. It always worked surprisingly, anytime I felt anxious or sad. Just breathe in and out. The person who relieved me of my anxiety was now the reason for my sadness. Breathing in the pain and breathing out the anger, I let myself look at the tree one more time, craving for her warm hugs.
Did you know birds come back to their old nests when seasons change? Mom had shared that random weird fact with me over ice cream one evening. I cannot remember the whole conversation now, but I remember this fact.
I stand up to walk out to face the day and the broken nest. Picking it up in my hands it looks so small. I place it on the big sturdy branch of the droopy tree, hoping the bird finds it whenever she returns.