A week has passed. No e-mails from home. No phone calls. There is a rumour (unconfirmed) that my siblings called early on last week, but were unable to get hold of me. No e-mails from people back home.
Have I died and am living out my death in this cold cold city, navigating the ice and storms, and someone forgot to tell me about it? It seemed only a couple of weeks ago I was getting regular phone calls, regular e-mails, regular messages from the folks back home, all revolving round the same theme: when are you coming back? Are you coming back?
Sure, this irritated me. I would roll my eyes, and exclaim why people can’t get over my immigration, why can’t they face facts?! Why don’t they leave me alone?
Well, looks like now they have. They’ve got over it. And they’ve left me alone.
Let’s not wallow in self-pity here. I’m actually feeling a bit anxious. The old old paranoia which lurks inside my mind since I knew I had a mind is resurfacing. Your father, it whispers to me. Your mother. They’re…ill. Or maybe…d-d. Or d-ing. Maybe, and they’re not just telling you about it. Maybe your siblings are even now worriedly holding phone conferences across the Atlantic, wondering how to tell you. How you’ll take it. Was it an accident, the paranoia wonders gleefully? Or is it the c-word again? I see myself e-mailing my profs, telling them I simply had to fly back home for unavoidable family reasons, and I will be away for a, for a , for a, how long? How long do you spend at home, in these circumstances?
Perhpas I won’t even go back, I think to myself. After all, loads of people don’t go back for their parents’ funerals or sick bedsides. So many in my own family. I remember the bitter withering scorn I used to pour on these people.
Monday morning. Listlessly, I check my e-mail. And I see something which I have never seen before, which I have never expected to see.
An e-mail from my mother. And she’s fine .