It was nine whole months that you carried me and a decade since I flew from your nest.
But you know, we were slowly disintegrating for years before that. At fourteen, I’d had enough. I thought you’d never understand me. At seventeen, I clumsily tried to return your gift. It was, I see now, the ultimate insult. And we have never been the same since.
All those years. Did you only mean well? Was it for the best? Was it what I needed?
From the time I started school to the time I left home, we had moved five times – five bloody, tear-soaked times – and coped.
All those years. What did you think we were escaping? You always brought your stuff with us. The selfishness, the unfulfillable expectations, the walked-on eggshells, the judgement, the blame, the impatience, the complaining, the drama, the crying, the screaming, the sweeping insensitivity of that still life.
Then, one by one, we got on those planes. Flights to new lives.
I tried then, it seems, to get as far away from you as possible. An ocean. Ohhh, you won’t catch me around here.
Was that right? Is it all better now?
Why am I even asking you? You don’t know the answer. Neither of us ever did.
It was then, it is now, all about you. How dare those ransom notes keep falling out of your mouth? How dare you lay your guilt on me? How dare you pine for my return, only to ignore me when I do?
I wrestled back my heart, a long time ago. Your hostage escaped.
I’ve counted to 10. Is that enough time, for us to hide and seek?
No. No amount of time will ever do it.
It was nine whole months that you carried me. You gave me life, and nurtured me, rightly or wrongly, for 18 years. I was, I’m sure, once the answer to your dreams. But since, I’ve disappointed you. I’ve put you to shame. I’m sorry that I hurt you. I’ve made many mistakes. We both have. I have only, ever, wanted you to be proud of me. To love me, flaws and all.
All these years. I notice, more and more, I look more like you, I feel more like you, I am more like you, than I ever thought possible. Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before.
It was nine whole months that you carried me but you will always be inside of me.