I did not break down into tears, even when the news was being told to me. My heart rate remained to beat at a normal pace, no cold sweat dripping down my face to leave me with a maze. Breathing is steady, and my brained processed the news like it does to any others.
“I’m sorry, we have done our best.”
I had taken a seat by the empty corridor since it has been disclosed to me. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of iodoform, eyes resting on the ground, coming to terms with the situation. Okay, they had done their best, there was nothing more to be done. She is gone, somewhere else where I most probably am not going to be able to find. Right. Now what? I embraced myself for the tsunami of emotions, sorrow, desperation, injustice. But nothing. I felt nothing. What? I know I had always been a relatively emotionally distant person, but am I honestly that cold?
We are not an exceptionally close pair of mother and daughter; neither were we on bad terms. I think we just grew a bit distant as I got older. We only had each other in our family, I remember relying on her heavily as she tried to make ends meet. Eventually the roles were reversed, and for me to do so I would have to be working. Which means lesser of my time were spent at home with her. So much so, that I was not the one to have found her collapsed on the floor in our tiny 2 rooms apartment, but our weekly visiting home care helper.
Regardless of my absent emotional turmoil, my job to update the status of my mother to the other relatives, who were all supposedly worried sick about her, but apparently lack the time to make their own way down to pay her a visit. “Too busy,” they claimed through their monotonous voice over the phone, like a receptionist who is sick of repeating the exact same protocol repeatedly to her customers. I picked up my phone, dialed the number of my first aunt, I snapped into the facade of the dejected daughter upon hearing her answer. After all I do not want to be recognized as the heartless kin, and broke the news.
My visions started to blur itself as I began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach, confusion slipped into my train of thoughts, what are these overwhelming feelings that I am only experiencing now? Is it because I have said it? It is because I have said it. The news that went in my ears had made their way into my brain, and out my mouth, but only after it goes back into my ear for the second time does it gets absorbed. The plot imprinted itself into my life and made its mark regardless of my desire to have it or not. My breathing became uneven, just like a newborn only learning how to breathe for the first time, haggard and messy.
There is an aching feeling in my heart, it is the feeling of hopelessness. I identify it mentally as my emotional state goes into an irrational state. “When will the funeral be held?” Were the last thing I remember hearing before I slammed my phone down onto the ceramic ground. How dare she ask such a question so soon? This ever so insignificant mobile shattered into pieces, against the wide ground leaving not even a single mark. That is life, a catastrophe to one is a mere brush off the shoulder to another, reminding you that you are nothing more than a mere pawn to the world that is not going to stop spinning for you.
The tears do not stop falling, I brought my legs up to the seat beside me and crouched forward. Wrapping myself up in my arms, hoping to make myself feel at least a little more secure than I am now. Was she happy? I felt oddly vulnerable. The loss has made itself known to my heart and it is responding accordingly. I had gotten so used to her always being in my life that I just forgot she grows old like me. The so-called subtle changes to me must have been a lot for her but I did not notice that. Or maybe I did and I just brushed it off. Upon noticing that my body was shaking, I gritted my teeth together. I will be okay. I tell myself. I will be fine. I must be. I had lost my chance to make up to her in her days of living, but at least I can be more careful about the people around me in the future. Right? I squeezed my eyes tight together and let myself drown in the desperate search of a light that I am trying to convince myself is there.