I never knew you in university, and I never knew you as anyone older than 18. You always said that your twenties were especially resigned for learning. I have come to a new realisation Mum.
I have come to realise that it is your seven digits I am missing in the tear stricken moments where my hand stretches for my phone, unlocks it and brings it to my face. In the dark screen I see the vulnerable daughter you left, as tears course down her face and she panics.
In my mind I am being pressed to the edge of a precipice. My shoes scuff against the floor as I try to push back, and my shoulders slam into metal. I am gasping, unable to even speak as I try to fight against the tide.
I have come to realise it is your seven digits that I am missing when I write a text, delete it, and instead put my phone down again.
Only to pick it up, unlock it, bring it to my face and click on instagram. Do I care about the people on there, or do I simply find it comforting? The stroking of my phone as I scroll, and the big red heart that comes up when I press like? I put it down, gasping for air.
I have come to realise that when Instagram doesn’t dull my senses, and no one miraculously calls me because in that moment they suddenly cared about how I feel, it is you that I would call.
Those seven numbers that you could recite so precisely would be my lifeline right now. Instead, there is this void in my lungs that sweeps all air and emotion into it. I drop my phone like the useless brick it has become.
I put my headphones in and hope it is you who chooses for my favourite song to come on.
I close my eyes, I try to steady my breathing and I feel the emotions I try to squash deep inside. I rock gently, I rub my arm as I imagine you might, and I try to treat myself as the daughter you left behind.
I have come to realise that you would be my person. I have come to realise that for most people the world isn’t such a scary place. I have come to realise the power of maternal love to soothe and comfort.
I have completely romanticised the love you had for me. I imagine you would call me throughout the day, and I romanticise that I might even get annoyed by your constant calls. Maybe, your love would be so consistent and so reliable that I might even be able to ignore one or two.
At the end of the day, I would have been able to believe that there wouldn’t be a final call between us. The wall pushing me to the edge nonchalantly pushes me over the edge, and I begin to tip forward. I thought I would fall, but instead I sink into the darkness with no fight left in me.
A song for you: Life Is Not The Same, James Blake. If you loved me so much, why’d you go?