Moving Backward, A Story

You left your coffee cup under the bed, naughty kid. It was dirty, covered by dust, surrounded by ants. I took it out and brought it to the sink. When the water was running and someone punched the doorbell, I almost thought it’s gonna be you.

Stupid, wasn’t I? So I turned off the water, opened the door, and felt heartbreak for the countless times since you had left. There was no way I could tell that to the delivery man, though.

It was a package from your grandmother. You loved her so much, didn’t you? She missed you a lot. Sometimes I thought she loved you more than me. Childish worries. An adult like me shouldn’t envy her love for you like that. It’s just not fair.

Your grandmother sent a pair of suits, meant for you to wear on your graduation ceremony. I couldn’t tell her that you had left and would never come back. I told her instead that you were on a solo travelling. She probably didn’t believe me. You didn’t even like nature. You hated airplane so much. You never felt comfortable sleeping alone. A college kid like you—how would you survive the world? I told myself that it was no longer my problem. You left. So you must be feeling okay right now.

The truth was most of the times I couldn’t stop blaming myself over your departure. After all, you got your harsh words and stubborness partly from me. People whispered that your mistakes were mine too. No, they said the fact that you strayed was undoubtedly my fault. I couldn’t refute. How could I refute? You are still my son even though I am no longer your mother.

So I kept the door to your room open. I still saved all of your belongings. I didn’t move out from this house, even though I had been saying I would for years.

You had told me once upon a time that I was the best thing ever happened to you. You also had told me one day you would become the biggest regret I’d ever have.

You loved me once upon a time. You came to hate me one day.

I tried to tell myself it wasn’t my fault.

But at this point, the truth didn’t matter anymore.

Sragen. August 20th, 2020

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