The young girl who’d line up all her dolls (and sometimes, when the story required the enrollment number to increase, lotion and soap bottles too!) and “play teacher” turned into a girl who’d draw figures and dresses based on this celestial doll. I’d brush her hair again and again and again and again and again. I’d carry her from room to room with my hand gently protecting her porcelain head, never letting go because of a fear that I might drop her. I could only imagine the horror of losing her.
When seasons of summer, of home, of fun, of laughs, of gentle jokes, of close friends, of simplicity, of honest happiness, of those perfect little moments ended- when I had to go back to school and “real life”, my mother told me not to take her with me. She knew what the dorms in the school were like; she knew the utter chaos of our cupboards, the friends that mercilessly “looked for things” and the ease at which a primary school elbow can knock a princess over. At first, I cried. I screamed. I pleaded. I begged. Please don’t make me leave her behind! I need her to survive! My mother shook her head. A few more hours of crying later, she told me to decide. If it breaks though, she asked, who’s going to be more upset? Me. I thought about it all night- the little porcelain pieces on the floor.
The next morning, as the car pulled away from my little hometown, only a plastic barbie and a fairy accompanied me. I was alone on my journey but I had made my choice. At first, I remember being angry but then, I realized that I had made the decision myself. Who am I angry at? I’d think, only to receive no reply at all. My heart and my brain were in a constant state of war- the first longed and the latter defended the cruel decision it had made. The anger turned into sadness and the sadness manifested in loud tears amidst the silence of the night. This somehow turned into a silent grief, a loud hysteria and a plan of survival- don’t think about it.
But still, there were days, when my little heart couldn’t help but wonder about that pretty little soul sitting alone on a shelf back home in a house that remained locked and uninhabited. I’d envision her loneliness as single teardrops scratched my cheek. What was the right thing to do? Let her break or let her live? Be with me or alone? The answers to two questions pointed to opposite solutions. The it- the thought of her- lessened and lessened and lessened and lessened… until she became just a little dot in a childhood mosaic.
You have to let her go, the voice in my head though didn’t fully fade.