I heard them mourn my death. I lay in the next room. Motionless, silent, and staring at the ceiling.
Darkness stretched out from every direction, engulfing me in it. The heavy curtains on the window kept the sunshine away. One streak of sunlight still managed to trespass into the territory of gloom. Like a torturous, lingering hope of a broken heart. My eyes marked its path. My brain failed to recognize it.
In the next room, voices kept on rising, trembling my heart with their every word.
‘Peehu! My child!’ my mother cried. Amid the muffled murmurs of other people, I could also hear another voice of sorrow. It was my father. That was the first time I had heard him cry. It was terrifying.
‘My poor child,’ my mother wailed. ‘She always said she was my unlucky daughter. We said she was careless and rash. We scolded her so much. Now look what has happened. My poor Peehu, dead at such a young age.’
‘I’m not dead!’ I called out. My lips didn’t move, no voice came out.
Something was weighing me down, robbing me of the power to move or speak. An aching longing that screamed there had been an irreparable loss. Something had gone away from me that I would never get back. Something had ended. I just couldn’t remember what.
Mother kept on crying. I heard the word again in mother’s wails. Unlucky. Yes, I had said that to mother. Often. I had believed it too, for as long as I remember. My twin sister had all the good luck. I had all the bad luck. Or so it seemed to me, at least. My life had done a marvellous job so far in proving this to be true.
But it takes only a moment for the destiny to flip over…