Tag Archives: death

Yes, it was me.

[Trigger warning… for all parents]

Kat, why? Just why?

You could have told me. I loved you; I would have understood. At any point – I would have understood it and I would have accepted you, but not like this.

Yes, it was me.

You know how much we wanted her. She was ours; our love, our hope, our everything. After all these years of trying, she would have been our love – but it’s okay. This wasn’t your fault. I forgive you, I know you didn’t want to do it. I know you didn’t mean to. You just loved her too much. It could have been me too; me too.

You were the best mother in the world, and you knew it. No mother can feel as much love as you felt. That’s why it was so hard. And I know how much you wanted her; how much you wanted to protect her. She was too pale and the doctor said she was sick and that she would need constant care and that we had to call if she would cough or have trouble breathing or if she would spasm or something along that line.

Really, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have allowed you to stay alone with her for so long. No one can stay awake for that long. I knew you told me to stay away and that you were okay and that a mother should watch her child and that I would never be able to calm her down like you did, but you could at least have allowed me to try.

Why didn’t you allow me to try?

And why did you not tell me when it happened?

I was hurt, you know? I was hurt that you didn’t allow me to touch her anymore. I understood, because of what the doctor said about her immune system, but I too wanted to touch her. But you could have told me back then, when I knocked on the door on the second day, rather than to just scream at me to go away. Continue reading

Off the Grid

Leaving Grace and the kids was the best decision he had ever made. Sometimes, when he woke up to a dark sky, he still felt her voice in his ear with complaints about the butter being too hard and the stray glass that had remained on the couch table overnight.

Those nights he laughed, rolled on his side and fell asleep with a smile on his lips. She was somewhere in the city with her litter and her own mother probably passed out on the couch again. Continue reading

The Dark and the Light

My father said he chose Suraiya for me because she was blind. He said she would understand my fears and worries. Maybe that’s why I, too, understand her so well.

She was twelve years older than me and even as I was her master she always called me her little brother.

In just fifteen years my father had transformed his father’s fruit shop into a wholesale franchise that served most of south India. My grandfather chose a good bride for him. They held a festival when she got pregnant. I was meant to be the completion of their happiness. Two days they were the happiest pepole on the planet. It took them two days to notice my flaw and two years to travel the world’s hospitals to find there was no cure.

I was two when they hired Suraiya. I was six when Suraiya told me that her parents repaired and sold second hand sandals and that they could not afford a dowry big enough to find her a husband.

I was eight when she shook me awake in the dead of the night.

“We have to run,” she said. “Quick. Quick!” Continue reading

Swim Club

The first time I arrived at the club I could think of nothing but my brother.

Bare walls covered with dirty blue tiles, foldable wooden chairs, a net on top of what used to be a pool. Five men inside.

Not a place you find in the newspapers; a place to which your friend brings you along. A place where you know that whoever is running the show must have a lot of friends and certainly the right friends – because if they don’t the place would long be shut down.

When you have crossed the parking lot the first thing the two large men ask for is your name. They don’t ask for you ID, but they ask for your name and if your name is not on the list then you won’t get in. The list says whether you’ve been there before; the list says whether someone trusted you enough to bring you along the first time. The list also has the name of the friend that brought you along and if you mess up then that friend will have a problem. Continue reading

Born Dead

On my sixteenth birthday, just after I had blown out the candles on a fairy cake, my mother told me that I was born dead.

“I’m so happy that you made it,” she said.

I pulled the fork out of my mouth.

“What?”

“Oh,” she said. “I guess we never told you. If not for aunt Kirah you wouldn’t even have made it through your first day.”

Aunt Kirah. Nurse Kirah.

My mother’s contractions started in her lunch break, two months early. She was at the hospital twenty minutes later and another hour after that she pushed my head out of her body.

Like most babies, I didn’t breathe. The doctor gave me a light slap, like for all babies. Another light slap, like for some babies. Then a stronger slap. Continue reading

It’s nice to see you again

I stood up when the doctor stepped into the room. “It’s nice to see you again,” he said. His hand was cold. He glanced at the gray clipboard. “When is your child due again?” I asked. He looked up. “Two months,” he said. I smiled. “So soon? I’d like to buy her a gift,” I said. “To thank you for all that you’ve done for me.” His hands sank. He looked past me. “That’s not necessary,” he said. “And it won’t be possible.”