Dear Saina ma’am,
I am sorry I could not come today. I so wanted to! But momma says I have fever. I tried to pretend I was all right. But she caught me. We can’t hide anyone anything from our mommas. Can we?
I could not keep my promise to meet you after school. But I promise when I get all right, I will ask my mom to meet you. She thinks I should not meet strangers. I told her you are not a stranger. But she did not believe!
You keep telling me to always listen to my mother. But this time I won’t.
Am I unbelievably selfish? Am I the worst person ever? Why can’t I stop myself even though I know I can’t ever have her?
I still remember that gory day; my seventeenth birthday when I told mom and dad that I was pregnant. Yes, a seventeen year old pregnant girl. I pretend to forget the shame that followed. Frankly, ten years hence, it’s all a blur.
I got terrified and did what everyone wanted me to. The day after she was conceived, I gave her away. Still I was called characterless, a slut.
But I don’t blame anyone now, just myself. Not because I was careless. Rather, because, I did not fight for her. She could have been my angel. My saviour. But I got scared. I did not fight to keep her.
Last month, I had to pry out information about her from the adoption agencies. In fact I would have failed but for a kind matron. ‘I wanted to see her just once,’ I had said. But something kept telling me it won’t be just once.
I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. They have named her Priya. I like her name, I like her smile. I like everything about her.
She does not tell me but I can tell she wonders why I want to see her. So, no, we can’t hide anything from our mommas. Nor can we hide anything from our daughters.
Sometimes she says I have blue eyes just like her. I just smile and tell her that is why I love her. What else can I say? Should I tell her everything? Can I ever tell her without jeopardizing her life?
I will cling to the last strands of hope.
~ Samyak Pradhan | Edited by Afreen Zeb