She sits there, unapologetic, explaining that it was okay for her to be rude to Mister at first because mothers have the right to be concerned about their children’s decisions.
My mind immediately darts back to moments from a lifetime ago.
A neighbor asks how I fared in class 10 board exams – and before I can open my mouth, she says 82%, beaming with pride. I am astounded, because it is a gross exaggeration – a full 5% more than I actually scored. The man in the kurta pajama congratulates me, tells me how proud he is of me, and leaves. Mom instructs me to tell everyone the same figure, because 77 is not good enough.
S., my cousin, is upset with me, and I am crying because the phone is locked and I can’t make a phone call. When she gets home, she asks me to stop bawling, because it isn’t as though his world will collapse if he doesn’t talk to you for an hour.
I have just broken up with my boyfriend, whom my mother likes and wants me to marry. Who will marry you now, you skinny little scarecrow aren’t exactly her words, but she finds a way to convey it regardless.
When I finally tell her what her nephews did to me when I was a kid, she refuses to believe me. You must be imagining it.
I have always known that my existence was meaningless and feeble, even inconsequential to hers – and I was basically just a burden she couldn’t seem to get rid of.
And she is looking me in the eye and telling me: I was concerned about you.
This, coming from a woman who never said a kind word to me in her life; had nothing to convey except her disappointment at how I turned out. Blind, hot, white rage flashes through me like a lightning bolt.
I scream until my head explodes, and then walk out.
I step back into the room only to overhear what my sister has to say – she needs to understand that the past was equally difficult for all of us.
Equally difficult? Rich, coming from our mother’s favorite child who has never been abandoned like I was.