A letter to my mother

I do not tell you I miss you

I do not tell you I miss you as I lay on my mattress. Its surface contours to the edges of my body like your arms once did. Its length runs short- leaving my feet dangling precariously over the far end. But that’s okay; I outgrew your arms too.

I do not tell you I miss you as I lay here, tired from the detours I’ve taken all day to avoid coming home. The walks, the dragged out, lifeless conversations, the lectures and hours spent poring mindlessly over content that goes over my head. In this moment though, I am home. Carried across miles that mean nothing to memories that mean everything.

I do not tell you I miss you as I revisit those memories –my selective amnesia temporarily forgotten. Like diluted HCl in chemistry class, the memories can be experimented with, played with. It’s the concentrated HCl I’ve learnt to never go near and my confessions are the acid in its purest form, and your words of sympathy that echo in my mind…. linger till long after, the scars that it leaves behind.

I do not tell you I miss you because I imagine my words to be the football hurled carelessly at the pristine, fragile windows of your peace. The shattered glass lets in gusts of doubts, worry, questions.

I do not tell you I miss you because I am the dandelion seed that needs to find its own direction, its own path and clinging to my roots will only weigh me down. I’m a child that needs to learn to walk again. My trembling hands are tentatively learning to let go of the warmth of yours as I lift one soft, unsteady step after the other. Can you hear the soft pitter patter of my feet?

So, I do not tell you I miss you. Instead, I wrap the blanket I’ve had since I was 12, tighter around myself. It envelops the edges of my body like once your arms did.

-Wardah Rafaqat, Trainee Member