Stranger Memories


It occasionally strikes me – the memory of you coming back home after you’ve knocked off work, when I would be sitting in the living room, hearing the twinkling of your keys while you were taking off your shoes, and then me scurrying to open the door before you even manage to stick those keys in. There would be this little victory dance inside my head that you never knew of, because it was like a mini thrill for me to act like I could telepathically tell when my dad was home.

I also miss that inner struggle whenever I have to lay out 5 sets of cutlery on our dinner table – are we all gonna be having dinner together, which means I have to clear out the extra seat cluttered with mummy’s handbags or newspapers, or would you be home late from work as usual, which means we would be having dinner first without you, and so there was no need for me to make clear 5 seats at the table?

I almost miss not having to cut the fruits up myself, even though learning how to skin apples, mangoes, and watermelons myself make me feel a little closer to you, because I remember observing you in wonder whenever we had our short by-the-sink conversations, when I would think about funny things in my life I could update you with, or things to make you assume that your daughter was making some useful things out of her life. It was your way of caring for us & making time for us in spite of your mad work responsibilities, because giving your kids their bowl of Vitamin C each night no matter how tired you were was what you did in between coming home at 9pm, and then getting back to your reports and email replies from 10.30pm through the night.

I just wanna say that I miss you so much, I haven’t thought of you much lately, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m an asshole or if I’ve just been too preoccupied with other aspects of my life that I’ve forgotten what it felt like to still feel this pain. Dreaming of you used to be painful, because whenever I had those dreams, we would still be a happy family. Even while I was asleep, my subconscious knew you were leaving eventually, and I didn’t know how to tell that particular you, in my dreams, whenever we were still together like nothing had happened or was gonna happen. I was scared of those dreams, but I’d do anything to have them now once again, just to remind me how it felt like to converse with you or when I’d launch into those laughing fits when I couldn’t get over what you were doing.

All of these memories feel so foreign and familiar at the same time, and last night in bed while I was figuring out my place in this life, I was reminded of how it felt like to still have you around. I’m not lost without you, because I’ve never been one to rely on others for guidance or direction. And for that I know you’d both be glad and disappointed, because that meant your little involvement in my life back then. We were never close in a way where I would tell you my fears, worries, or concerns, because I was more preoccupied with not being considered a screw up or flop in both you and mum’s eyes. Then again, you were always so loving, trusting of me, and ready to give me the room to explore as a person, and even fighting to give us that freedom when mum would say no. And I loved you with all my heart, respected you with my soul, and the way you make me laugh – completely irreplaceable by another. Thinking of you makes me cry, even while I’m writing this, but it also gives me strength, and I know I could never be thankful enough for everything you’ve given me.

Stranger Memories

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