Tuesday, June 30, 2009


You feel so old, you tell her once.

She laughs and says that you’re silly. Your age is still spelled with ‘teen’, she points out, and any age with ‘teen’ on it is not old yet.

You chuckle, but you insist that you really feel old. Sometimes you even feel like you're old enough to be someone's dad.

She doesn’t answer, but she sits up on the bed. It would have been her pleasure to tell you that you're too moody to be a dad, but she sees that you seem too tired from battling your mathematical monsters for a playful banter. She refuses to admit it, but you’re that important now – important enough to make her adjust to your moods. So she keeps quiet and keeps her thoughts to herself.

She watches you continue your mad computations and tells herself that maybe all that acad stuff is just stressing you out, that’s why you feel old. Or maybe it’s not really the acads – maybe it’s the reality that these acads bring. You’re graduating soon, you need to find a job, you need to rake in big bucks like your brother, you need to be the good and grateful son that your parents need.

She remembers having asked you once what you wanted to do after college – you said you’re not sure, you might take Law or get an MA. But it doesn’t matter, you added. What’s important is that you know what you want in the end. You’ll just find a way to get there. She took one look at your grinning face and knew that you meant it.

You continue working on your computations. She yawns and tells you that it’s two in the morning and she’s sleepy. Go ahead, you tell her. You’ll only be up for another hour and then you’ll hit lights out too. She closes her eyes to welcome sleep, but not before looking at you one last time and deciding that this must be part of your finding a way to get to where you want to be, wherever that is.

She wakes up a couple of hours later, at around four thirty. She finds you asleep on a pulled-out bed on the floor, your peaceful teenage face bearing no trace of the feeling of old age that you were talking about. She lays her head back on the pillow, but she doesn’t close her eyes.

For most of her life, she’s been a cross-the-bridge-when-you-get-there kind of person, just like you are. But now, because of her earlier thoughts, she finds herself thinking about her ‘where I want to be in the end’ and how she would get there. Her ideas about the earlier are vague – becoming a financial analyst would be okay, raking in a hundred grand monthly would be fine, having a kid or two sounds so-so. The only thing she’s sure is that somehow she wants you to be a part of her future.

But the latter is a different story – she is absolutely clueless about how she would become an FA, where she would get the hundred grand is a mystery and the idea of having kids suddenly sounds bad. Most of all, how will you be a part of her future if she keeps pushing the ‘me and you’ away?

She guesses that she fell asleep while thinking about all of these because the next thing she knew, she was opening her eyes to the cheerful sunlight. She rubs her eyes clear just as you return to the room from the shower.

You grin at her and say good morning.

She smiles back, and suddenly she knows that she doesn’t really need to worry about the future.

Because everything will be alright.

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