about who you are?published: 2012-06-02
Young and innocent, in our teens. Careless. Reckless. To self-obsess.
And so she never considered she might not know her dear friend. Not as well as her dear friend’s neighbour knows her now. When she reads a story her dear friend wrote she can hear her voice. Her dear friend’s voice, not the author’s. Her dear friend speaks to her as if they were still 18 and on the phone. Yet she sounds more solid, more even than she was.
She speaks of the clothes she wore when her mother left her father. Of how her mother took her. Of how she didn’t speak her mother’s language, not then.
She does now.
Of how she said ‘no’ when a child asked if she wanted ice-cream because she hadn’t understood. Of how nobody told her she was not going back to her father.
“I miss my father,” she says, her character says. “I haven’t seen a field of irises since that day.”
She cries about her dear friend’s irises. About leaving to never return. She wants to go to her dear friend and say that she is sorry. For not having realized, back then, for having been unaware.
My dear friend, she writes. We all have one pain. One loss. It feeds on passing years. It grows and grows, until we are so full of that thing, so overwhelmed by it. We discover this thing is no longer in us. It is us.
Sit down, dear friend, burn these words and speak to me. Let us talk as if we’ve never met before. What is the first thing you’d tell me about who you are?