How could I have been so stupid?
Clenching my eyes shut tightly, I try to erase the image of his grinning face out of my head but to no avail it stays there. I press my face deeper into pillow. His grey eyes brighten. My tears wet the pillow. I distinctly hear Mum and Angela’s raised voices through the thin walls that separate my room from Angela’s.
“…You are leaving me in the dark. Why do we have to move mum? I got a life here, friends here.”
“Never raise your voice at me, Angela Rae. We are moving. End of discussion.”
“No, I’m staying, ” she huffs.
“This move will be good for all of us, I promise you.”
“Not for me. Why do you put Meena before me?”
“I am not putting Meena before you.” Mum replies calmly.
“Yes you are!”
“I love you and your sister equally. I’d never favourite either of you against the other.”
“You’re making that hard to believe,” Angela scoffs.
“My work offered me a raise to work in another city and I took it. It was my decision, not your sister’s.” Mum explains. “Do not blame Meena, she has done nothing wrong.”
It stays silent for a few moments. There’s no sound of movement or voice from either of them so my only guess is that they are staring tiredly at each other. The only sound that reaches my ears is the ticking of the Hello Kitty alarm clock on my bedside table.
After what seems like an eternity, a timid voice passes through the wall. Quiet enough that if I am not paying attention, I’d miss it. But unfortunately, this question is like a scream to me. I’ve heard it enough times from her and everyone else at school that now I can practically sense when anybody is going to ask. Whether I can see them or if they are on the other side of the room.
“Why doesn’t Meena talk anymore?”
“I can’t say, baby,” Mum says sympathetically. “I wish I could but I can’t.”
“There are so many rumours that fly around our school.”
“I suspect so.”
“They gossip about her,” Angela says pointedly.
“That’s to be expected.”
“Everyone pressures me to talk about it.”
“But you cannot give them any answers,” Mum finishes Angela’s sentence.
“They say so much crap,” she growls, “Mum, I do try to defend her but it’s hard to when I have little-to-no detail.” Angela stresses the last few words. “Will she ever tell me why?”
Maybe one day. Years later when I am ready. I don’t want what happened to affect you. To have you look at me differently. I already hurt our mum and she doesn’t deserve this. I do not want to upset you either, Angela.