It has been three years since I left that house. I avoided every place that reminded me of her. Surprisingly, seeing that necklace so many years later brought a smile on my face. Like every other possession, this piece of jewelry was dumped at the corner of my room, tucked in a wooden box.
I borrowed this necklace from my mum to wear at a friend’s wedding. Of course, like every other I had “borrowed” from her, this too eventually made its way to the list of my belongings.
Today is her 3rd death anniversary. I still forget sometimes that she no longer is with me. Halfway through a text telling her I will be late for dinner the bitter truth dawns on me. I was in complete denial the first six months. Even though I saw her corpse after the accident bathed in blood, somewhere in my heart I couldn’t convince myself that I will never see her beautiful smile again.
Living in that house became unbearable for me. I saw her standing by my bedroom door bidding me goodnight. I saw her making tea in the kitchen. Some days, I saw her sitting on the couch reading the newspaper. I would continuously sob for hours sitting on her bed turning the pages of the photo albums. My eyes would get so puffy each morning as if I had my eyes half closed. I wanted to run away; to a place unknown and unexplored. Some where I can eat without having to stare at her empty chair. A place, where every single thing didn’t remind of her.
After a week, I finally decided to move to a new place. My late grandfather owned this place. My father passed away when I was very young. My mum was all I had and now her memory haunts me.
I rented a small place for myself and only brought with me the necessary items. No matter how busy I was the feeling of emptiness never left. Why did it have to be her under that bus? I would ask myself. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe it was for the best. I should stop being selfish. She is in a better place now. All I can do now is pray for her.
I was desperate to leave the memories of my mother behind and turn over a new leaf. It’s strange that three years later, here I am smiling at her necklace. After a lot of thought I decide to visit that house. On my way I was gripped with mixed emotions. I felt nervous and fearful. Blurry images of the sofa set and my bedroom flashed before my eyes. After three years when finally I have accepted the fact the she will not return, will I be able to stop my heart from shattering into a million pieces when I see her cupboard full of vibrant coloured sarees? Will I still see her waving goodbye from the balcony when I leave? Or will I find peace sitting on her bed reminiscing about our last moment together? I didn’t know.
I shivered as I took the first step in. As I entered my bedroom, my eyes flooded with tears. The scarlet curtains draping the window behind my bed had turned a light shade of brown due to the deposits of dust.
“Mum, do you really think I will let you hang these bizarre curtains in my bedroom?”
“Oh please Ameera, look how lovely these are,” mum said with a wide grin on her face.
“Yes, these really are lovely” I whispered to myself as I wiped my cheeks. I turned around and as I was about to leave the room, a photo frame on my bedside table caught my attention. I had almost forgotten about it. It was a picture taken 5 years ago. I had turned 25 and that was our first trip together outside Dhaka.
Every single thing in this house is attached to a memory of my mother. Why was I running away from this place when this is all I have left of her? The same objects that gave me immense pain 3 years ago are now giving me comfort. If I let these memories die then I will be alone in the truest sense. I decided to move back here at the start of next month. I will not let this place haunt me but instead remember it as a place where I had spent some of the best times of my life.