To our not so dearest,
It’s been so long since we last saw you, even longer since we last exchanged words. When was that, around 10 years ago? Maybe less, maybe more. We’re almost ashamed to admit we’ve forgotten the sound of your voice, your movements and your mannerisms, and the presence of your being but let’s not dwell on irrelevant details.
Forgive us, we’re not what we used to be – old age and all, we can’t hold a train of thought. You understand right, so bear with us and show some empathy. Hear us out.
Reports of you doing very well continue echoing in our ears. You have your career, your various academic accomplishments, your little family with your husband: it seems you bagged a good one, we had all placed our bets it wouldn’t last longer than 6 months yet here you are. You did it. So, we’re writing because…well.
Let’s patch things up, shall we? Let’s get in touch? We know you must be wondering ‘Why now?’ of all times but believe us, our intentions are not malevolent. In fact, quite the contrary. We are all very proud of you. We are collectively astounded by the life you are leading, how on earth you pushed back and rose upwards is beyond us. The last we heard, you were falling down the spiral of depression and destitution we helped orchestrate. We heard you were suicidal for a very long period of your life. Our silence must’ve come as no surprise, you probably thought we were enjoying the show from the sidelines – we can’t blame you for thinking so. We deeply regret our inaction.
It must be the two decades of your hard work that’s led to this day. You probably remember every act of cruelty we inflicted. Does it still keep you awake at night, like it used to, and sting the pit of your stomach until it makes you sick with grief? Or is it nothing like that, have we become so insignificant to you that you barely remember? Is it like a dream when you think of your past with us? Like it’s someone else’s story? You make the art of forgetting look so easy, one could almost get away with calling you selfish.
We can briefly recall a blurry image of a younger you with those sad eyes and a heart full of love, no-one to share it with: we don’t suppose our favouritism of others over you helped at all. Nor did the fact that we purposely sent them away on the days you visited. But today, things are different. We’ve ripped down those banners that bawled, ‘You’re not welcome.’ We no longer make daft excuses like ‘Our furniture can’t tolerate you’. We wish we hadn’t decorated our hearts and homes with malice but how were we to know you’d turn out to be this? One can definitely get away with calling us selfish, we know.
Of course, she’s the real reason you were disliked, but that was our folly. You are nothing like her and we realise it now. No, you’re one of us. Everyone says it, it’s in the sparkle of your eyes and that ear to ear smile. You’re definitely one of us.
And, what was your name again? Zara? Zaynah? It doesn’t matter the slightest bit, we will always know you and refer to you by your old name because that’s the only you we know.
If only you can just… you know, forget about it all. That’d be great.
What will we talk about you ask? We have plenty to catch up on – don’t worry. It would be nice to finally hear how you did in your SATs and GCSEs, nice to hear if you got into that uni you really wanted a place at. Nice to be able to help you out in any way we can, like finding a place to stay or just going for dinner somewhere. It will be nice to hear of your first failure or success in your career, did your interview go well and why not? Nice to attend the three graduation ceremonies we missed. It will be nice to wish you goodbye at the airport…Oh yes, of course it will be ever so nice to come and visit you out there. We wouldn’t need to pay for a hotel right? We can stay at yours? We can all come, one by one of course- we’d help you settle into a foreign country. We’d love for you to show us around.
Yes. That would be nice.
Eagerly awaiting your reply.