It had been one of those mornings that I’d woken up with the reminder that I’d lost everything yelling inside my head. It had been dark and the house had still been asleep when I’d gotten up. Just as it happens on those days, the instinct to run had began it’s usual frustrating prod. Usually, on such days I would remain indoors to avoid ridiculing myself by trying to run away and then later find myself walking back ‘home’ like a coward, with the fear of not actually knowing where I was going leading the way.
At first I’d tried to ignore it, believing that it would treat me just the same way it had done in the past. But that morning had been different. This time, the instinct itself had led me by the hand out of the house. Usually, I would have broken into a race the moment I felt the grains of sand under my feet. But I hadn’t run. I’d walked mindlessly away till I could no longer trace my way back.
When I’d found out that I’d lost my way, instead of being gripped with fear, the urge to go on had become stronger. I’d never been as eager to walk as I’d been that day, so I’d walked all day. All morning and all evening. I’d walked till my legs could no longer take me on. Then I’d let the instinct push me on till I got to a place that no more led anywhere. Then I’d collapsed.
I’d woken up in an unpainted room with my mother seated at my head side. Her countenance had been very calm and the wide smile on her face had been the strangest I’d ever seen her wearing.
“Mum I hope you know I won’t be going back home?” I’d asked her the moment I remembered what had happened and why I was there. And she’d nodded. I’d become more astonished.
“You know?” I’d asked, and she’d nodded again, that strange smile still worn on her face.
“So, where will I be going?” I’d asked. I hadn’t be able to hide the fact that I was confused any longer.
“Anywhere you know you’ll get the strength to get yourself back.” she’d responded. At this moment, her response had reminded me the fact that I’d lost everything and I’d begun to cry.
“Mum, I’ve lost everything,” I’d said, sniffing. But she’d shook her head sideways.
“You’ve still got something,” she’d responded with her smile growing wider.
“What mum…what?” I’d asked exasperatingly, wailing this time. She’d stared at me for a while and then replied,
“Life’s breath.” At this I’d sobbed the more.
I hadn’t understood her that day till now.
When I got better, she’d told me I could stay there as my new home for as long as I wanted.
It’s where I am right now.