Ode to a Lost Familty

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is the non-adventurous story of how a supposedly joyous event managed to shatter my family, for no apparent reason.

Submitted: August 01, 2017

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Submitted: August 01, 2017



I have no tears to relieve me of this utter sadness. I  cannot go running, as I usually do, to avoid over-thinking and intruding thoughts. The blister of the size of a penny is too painful to walk properly even without shoes. I have, for the past day, shrouded myself in cigarette smoke and historical Netflix series. I only managed to dull my taste senses, nothing more. Seemingly, this time, I cannot shield myself from anguish.

Two days ago, I have fled the parents’ home, after a family gathering had turned overly sour. My family, at times buried in irksome discussions, managed to turn a joyous event, my brother’s wedding, in an amazingly distressing experience. Having not been able to accept the reality of all these, I packed my suitcase and left. An arduous journey of 250 miles laid ahead of me, being rather shattered and still not able to understand the development I was a part of. I could very well play the lovely and understanding daughter, but this time, I lacked the fortitude to do so. Cowardly, I daresay, I ran away. I ran away from the trouble, far way, to the other corner of the country, to the place I called home. I am still not sure how I managed to carry myself, to take two busses and then a train, to endure the heat, the mental and physical exhaustion. Somehow, I even managed to smile to the old lady that asked me where I was headed, in the train station. At times, pangs of lament darted my essence, but I could find no tears to express them. If there is such a thing as a soul, which I very much doubt, I’m sure it was puzzled. Once again, I could not rationalize the situation I found myself in. My legs carried me home, somehow. My eyes managed to stay open. My body cried “Dehydration!”, but I did not heed it. I was on a sort of autopilot. I had to get somewhere safe, before I lost all strength.

But I never lost all my strength, I never do. I keep, somehow, putting myself in peculiar situations, and this was no exclusion. As Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”. There have been times when I bailed, unable to find a suitable solution. But in this instance, I have abandoned a large piece of my life. Right there, on that road away from my parents’ home to the bus station, with my hat on my head and my suitcase rolling at my feet. I knew there was no going back, and, even though saddened by my choice, which I felt to be, and still do, singular, I kept going, without looking back. Did I have any other choice? Yes, most certainly; we always do. Even though we’d like to think we don’t, and we’d prefer to favor the idea that we chose the best course possible. The truth is, as I have generally found it, that we are so often presented with unfavourable choices that it doesn’t always matter which one we pick. This decision was one I knew for sure would hurt my family the most. Its decisiveness scared me, and it still does. It is one of the very few irrevocable things I have ever done in my life, which I can count on the fingers of my two hands. There are no words to express the feelings that got scattered throughout my being when I saw my mother and brother crying and embracing me, when I told them I was leaving for good. My mother’s bawling face still haunts me, when I wished them “Have a good life and never contact me again.”. And yet, I turned my back on all that, and retreated.

When I finally arrived home, I unpacked. I have left to their house my toothbrush, and a few clothes. I knew I would never retrieve them, and I was alright with that. They are just things, after all. But for my parents, to see them again -- they’re bound to arise disdain or heartache. I went to a supermarket and bought myself a new toothbrush. “The show must go on!”, I tried to tell myself. But who was I kidding? In what circumstances would a new toothbrush symbolize a new life?

When I managed to lock the door for the day and get out of the sweaty clothes, I saw the blister on my foot. It was bright red -- it was broken, revealing the flesh beneath, and hurt with every movement of my foot. I felt my whole being as melted and moved around like a specter. I still wonder how I was able to get home, all by myself. And then, my brother called. He and his new bride have been kicked from the parents’ house, not eight hours after I left. They have been unhappy with the bride and voiced their opinions for more than half an year, which I tried to placate, over and over again. But to do this to your own son, it is something else, entirely. And yet, I wasn’t surprised to hear it. After all, father did the same to me, in a way or another. And I still don’t know why, nor do I wish to know, now. When I asked, I received no answer, except for a maddening glare. At this time, it doesn’t matter anymore. It is an event that I wish to bury in these lines and never remember it. I will always endure the aftermath, but I hope that time will soothe its misery. It usually does, by presenting myself with another torment.

I sincerely hope that my parents are alright. Deep down, they have proved, all these years, to be caring and affectionate, although strikingly superficial and self-centered. But, as the saying goes, “For better or worse, they raised us.”. I wish them, now that they are childless, a calm and long life. I might be dramatizing the topic, but I consider myself an orphan, now.

My brother is alright, as much as you’d imagine it can be possible. He has his bride and all his friends to support him. He is, of course, disturbed by all these events. And neither of us, even in our wildest worst-case scenarios, ever thought of such an ending. But it happened. And now -- now, we have to live with it.

I have no friends to talk this over with. I have kicked, all these years, all my lovers out of my life. I have not been able to keep a close friend for more than a couple months. I have a  history of frivolous relationships, and people I sometimes discuss the weather with, and nothing more. I am alone, as I have always been and always felt. I wouldn’t have the courage to confide all these in somebody, anyway; I think. People say that true love and best friends are supposed to help you through these times, but I met neither of these sorts of creatures. For me, they are mythical. Even if I were to encounter somebody suitable for this role, I wouldn’t dare make myself appear so weak in front of them. No. I am supposed to be the strong and independent lady that everybody thinks I am. At times, even I think I am. But in these trying times, I know it’s all a farce. A story I tell myself to help me through. Funnily enough, it usually works. Now, it will just have to be a different story. The one I pour over these pages, for somebody or nobody to read. Why would anybody care for my trivial life, after all?

I called my workplace, to ask for another day off, as the blister still hasn’t healed. Of course, they said yes, with no questions asked. I didn’t expect an “Are you alright?”, and I didn’t get one. And it’s fine. It’s fine, my dear reader. Because I’m always alright. Somehow, just like a cat, I manage to land on my feet. Even though, at times, it takes a few tumbles.

I plan on burrowing myself in work. To add so many layers of information in my brain, so quickly, that I won’t remember the smiles of all those I met at the gathering, and their stories, and my mother crying, and my father yelling, and my brother embracing me. As I write these lines, I find myself, once again, in search of tears. But they refuse to present themselves. Even my body is protesting the situation I’ve put myself into.

But, this too, will pass.

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