“Mom, have you seen my red jumper with the school’s logo on it?” I yelled in the direction of the hallway as I rummaged through my closet, making two heaps of clothes behind me. The first would be the things I leave here and the second was vaguely in the suitcase I was bringing with me. 

When I got no answer to my question, I tried shouting a second time but before I could finish she was at the door, leaning on the doorframe. Some of her dark brown curls had escaped the hair clip and were dangling freely around her face.

“Calm down Sweety. It is either under this mess or downstairs, I might have washed it.” 

I rushed into the laundry room and there it was, neatly folded on the top of the freshly washed pile of clothes. I picked it up, careful not to unfold it and made my way back upstairs.

Mom was always the calm and composed one of my parents. She perpetually had the solution to every problem and words to every situation. 

I remember the first time I rode a bike without the training wheels, I headed straight for a tree and ended up with a gash on my forehead. I still have the scar right above my left eyebrow. While my Dad was hyperventilating, she took care of everything while singing a song to make me feel safe. 

It was a song she used to sing to me every night before going to sleep. The chorus played in my mind as I replayed the memory.

“Il y a longtemps que je t’aime jamais je ne t’oublierai”

“What is that tune you are humming?” she asked curiously as I arrived back in my room. She was now sitting on my bed, patiently making order in the lump on my suitcase. Realising that I was absent mindedly humming the song out loud, my face flushed a bright red. As close as I was with my parents, even they were too much of an audience to sing in front of.

She didn’t need my answer to know exactly what it was and continued, “You know, my Mom -”

“used to sing it to you and Great Grandma to her and that went on for generations. So far that the very first lived in France. I know, I know. You’ve told me about a billion times” I cut her off and finished her sentence with a big smile on my face as I sat down next to her.

She laughed shaking her head. “You know, you’re going to miss hearing my rambling and old stories when you go off to college tomorrow, so enjoy it while you can” she tells me while pulling me into a hug.

“If that’s your way to trick me into telling you how much I’m going to miss you, I caught you. But I am going to miss you terribly…” The last sentence made my confident smile vanish and was more of a murmur, but she apparently heard it as she squeezed me even tighter.

“You’re having a hug without me?” I heard my Dad’s voice joke, followed by a dramatic sigh supposedly showing a sign of hurt feelings. But his credibility was nonexistent as he had already wrapped his arms around us both and was squeezing us tight. “My little girl, so grown up…” 

“Guys, I’ll only be an hour and a half drive away. And I’ll come back during the holidays. Plus, you can visit me anytime.” I try to tell them before being entirely suffocating.

“We know, but you’re our baby girl and you’re already all grown up.” Dad croaked before finally releasing his grip, allowing me to breathe again. He looked up, taking in his surroundings. “What a mess! Come on Honey, let’s go down while this one,” he announced nodding at me, “puts a little order around here.”

They manage to push themselves off my bed. Dad stopped in front of the door and did an exaggerated bow, allowing my Mom to exit the room laughing. Standing up straight, he gripped his back with a grimace mixing with the smile on his face. In response, Mom took his face in both her hands, stuck out her bottom lip before giving him a quick peck before racing down.

With a “Wait for me!”, Dad ran after her, their laughter echoing through the whole house as they went. 

While the stairs creaked on their way down, I continued the folding Mom had started. Most of my belongings were already packed away in boxes and this was the last thing on my to-do list before tomorrow. The room seemed so cold and empty without all the pictures and posters on the walls, without pens and notes everywhere on the desk and with no mess all over the floor. Even the books were properly organised on the shelf, all lined up, not one overlapping or simply lying on top of the others.

With a sigh of relief, I zipped the suitcase closed. Behind me, my teddy bear begged me to take him with me. I reached over and carried him back into my lap where he just stared at me with his big brown plastic eyes. I could see my deformed reflection in them and remembered all the games and tea parties he had been at the center of. I straightened out his left ear. “Fine” I told him before finding him some space in my backpack between a book to read during the trip and a few pictures I put there to avoid crumpling them.

All the memories that I had here made me homesick before I was even gone. It started dawning on me just how much I would miss living here for at least the next few years. But I still had several hours left and just as I had told them, I would still see them often. I dashed out to go make the most of my time left with them before the departure.

August 02, 2020 19:45

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Doubra Akika
00:51 Aug 09, 2020

So beautifully written! Loved this! The family bond is everything. Well done and please keep writing! If you're not too busy though, would you mind checking out my recent story? Have a lovely day!


Joanna Bertheau
07:03 Aug 09, 2020

Thank you for your support☺️ read your story about the step mum and absolutely loved it!


Doubra Akika
11:38 Aug 09, 2020

Thank you so much!


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Gopika Ashokan
18:06 Aug 08, 2020

Aaahh, this was so pure! Thanks for writing this.


Joanna Bertheau
22:27 Aug 08, 2020

Really sweet of you😊 Thank you so much!😊😊


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