When My Mother Left Me

Just For Fun

By Nandini Sinha, Class 9, Trinity International School, Sion, Mumbai

For all my life, everyone knew me to be my mother’s girl. We were nearly always together; inseparable. People would always talk about how I looked just like her. She was the one who always helped me, she made me feel safe. Had I known leaving my home that day would have completely altered our relationship, I would have never left. It all happened on 16th July 1998.

It was a normal day for me; Saturday had finally come, after an exhausting week at school. The day went on as any normal day. We slept in, had pancakes for breakfast, and just relaxed the whole day. Everything was normal and tranquil, nothing out of ordinary. A bit too serene, I had thought. I should have recognized it as the calm before the storm. My best friend and confidant's house was right next to mine; always welcoming me. I was always here on weekends watching some or the other movie and today was no different. It had been hours since I’d arrived at Emma’s- almost 11:30 pm. That was when the earth tipped on its axis. A ping alerted me of the arrival of a message from my mother. I didn’t pay it much mind thinking it would read, "Alyssa, time to come home.” But the message was just the beginning of mother-daughter catastrophe. "Find somewhere to stay tonight. I will not be coming home. I have left Ray.” I sat paralyzed, stunned disbelief on my face. The change in my features must have caught Emma’s attention. "Alyssa, is something wrong?” Emma sounded worried. I wordlessly handed over the phone to her and this time incredulity was posted on her face as she gaped at the phone, mouthing words as though to demand answers of the questions she doubtlessly had from it. As she got stuck in the brain jam, I snapped out of it, snatched the phone and dialled her number as fast as humanly possible. Phone calls, messages, voice calls- none were answered. I ran as fast as I could back to my home. The mist was falling softly. No one was there home- there were no lights switched on and no music was playing. I barged in, and the voice resonated throughout the house. I ran to my mother’s room. This could not be happening. The drawers and cupboards were open, bed sheets ruffled everything out of place. It was like a storm had wrecked the place. Most of her belongings were also gone. With no other place to go, I ran back to Emma’s house, tears dripping down. I showed her parents the text and they graciously allowed me to stay the night and more if needed. It was in the middle of the night that my father called, asking where my mother and I were. My eyes watered and voice thickened with grief and emotion as I explained the situation to him. And try as I may, I could not come up with any plausible or reasonable explanation to this when he asked for my opinion. I felt completely and utterly abandoned. I never saw my mom again. Never talked about her again. Never contacted her. She was completely severed from me.

Living independently at the age of sixteen is no easy feat, I learned the next few years. I had to do things not even eighteen-year olds had to. My young age caused problems with the government too. But fortunately, I had great friends with their families and my step dad, who even after mum leaving him helped me through thick and thin. Even now, sixteen years later with my dozing daughter’s head on my lap, I couldn’t fathom what made her leave. 16th July 1998. This date will be forever etched in my mind, burned into the very essence of my life like a scar that would never heal.

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Nandini Sinha Trinity International School, Sion