As a kid, I always envied all the other kids when the school’s annual Parents' Day swung by.
Imagine a day where being carried for nine months has been returned in appreciation nine-fold or more. Both tears and laughter heralded the same happy note, shared in between recollections of the past.
Typically, such things keep young hearts warm, but mine cooked in boiling blood.
If presence and punctuality had any value to me, then I would not have been left at the mercy of excuses and absences. I’ve filed for accompaniment too many times to the point that opportunities for love looked like job columns.
Was it that my Dad only arrived after everyone’s special day ended? Or was it that my fosters handed me several I-owe-you’s in the shape of “I’m too busy"? Or perhaps there was no other place to go but a bus ride home, and a love letter from my teacher about meaningless grades.
You see, I should not have questioned my life repeatedly and so early. But that’s the thing, right — what else was there to do but question if I have any worth in terms of risk and loss?
It’s true, I was taken care of, but supplication does not supercede moments I could’ve remembered sweetly. Being loved was not a language I understood too well, because being told I was loved only taught me its English.
I could write, read, speak, and understand “I love you" just like anyone, but between the void and I, they haven’t carried much meaning.
My glass was neither empty nor full, but split into three, glued by saliva, and drenched in oil. Love’s meaning was more or less a guessing game at best, and one that wasn’t never fair.
They say our childhoods were the height of our happiness. I do have unforgettable moments, something like parents, and the idea of love and peace — yet none of which blended together in a room, let alone a sentence.
Sometimes, I wish I could grow out of the shoes of that kid who wished he had parents on Parents' day.
I don’t like how they look, let alone that until now, they still fit.