The taxi drove away as she smiled and waved out of the window like a dancing sunflower (yes, sunflower is definitely fitting). We had huddled around her, my parents standing side by side, my sister slightly aloof, me in my pajamas, and all of us fairly quiet, waiting for a taxi to U-turn.
I can assure you, just because I didn’t cry does not mean I don’t care. Just because I couldn’t say the words out loud does not mean there’s nothing that I want her to know. She was tearful when I hugged her and I hugged her tightly, hoping she’d know that I knew I’d miss her in her absence.
I wanted to thank her for opening the door for me with only a slight furrow of the brow for being woken up by the bell at 3 am, for coming to school and dropping off books that I forgot to bring, for cleaning up my ubiquitous mess, the cups that line the headrest of my bed, for cooking me eggs and sausages when I’m indecisive about what I want to eat, for cutting apples and pears for me without me having to ask, for stocking up on Indonesian noodles for me, for policing my outfits (she has an eye for mismatching), for ironing shirts for me last-minute, for folding and re-folding the clothes that I displace every time I change, for enduring my singing in in the morning, for killing the cockroaches, for knowing where the objects of my life are placed and for encouraging me in everything I’ve ever set out to accomplish (even if it’s just making it through an exam).
Truth to be told, we didn’t speak all that much. Routine was our speech. She knew I’d come home eventually and I’d expect her there when I did (except on Sundays). Now, she’s got her own home and family to build with her soon-to-be husband, and someday soon, I’ll realize how hard it is to go on as I do when I’ve lost part of the equation to normalcy.
She gave me more than I ever gave her and she helped me more than I’ve helped her. For that, I am apologetic and most of all, thankful.