Originally published on 1st October 2017
I’ll miss our Sunday mornings the most. Laying on the brown leather sofas to watch reruns of Malcolm in the Middle, accompanied by endless slices of white bread. Always toasted and soaked in salty butter or sweet jam.
I remember the exact night when it dawned upon me. That our days wouldn’t always be filled with each others’ presence. It was on the way back from one of Tara Khala’s infamous dinners. Squished in the car; Dad racing down the high street. We had had the best evening, all 5 of us. The type of evening you never want to end. My stomach muscles began tugging, my body begging me to take a breather as laughter filled the Honda.
I don’t know what it was, what triggered the thought. But while we all laughed, probably at something Zain said, I had a realisation. Eventually, we were all going to leave each other. To start families, jobs and lives of our own.
I don’t know why that thought came about, in the middle of a good time. I don’t know why my mind drifted (still drifts) to the impermanence of it all. In any case, that memory is utterly ingrained. And I’m sat here now, in a Pret in Soho, trying to recall how quickly life has got to this point.
The truth is, I hoped you wouldn't leave. I hoped Dad’s bribes to keep you at a local uni would work. Or something within you would...click, and you’d realise that you just couldn’t do it. Even on the day, when we packed your things in the boot. When we put your brand new Ikea bits in your brand new room. Then we went outside and you and Dad had a little sob together. I hoped you would yell “Let’s just go home!”
But you didn’t. You wiped your tears, put your arms around Dad and hugged him quietly. And although it was the most difficult thing to let you go at that point, we all had to. I’ve never been so proud of you.
I know you’ll make your mistakes, like we all have. But I also know your pride won’t stop you from coming to us when you need an ear. I hope that never changes. The only thing I worry about is the distance. You becoming distant. Everyone says that’s normal, but fuck what everyone says. I hope you join us, every now and then, for those timeless Sunday mornings. Reruns of Malcolm in the Middle and endless slices of white bread.