Coriander Hopes

I look over my shoulders. One, twice, and then again. This ritual never ends. Me, chasing darkness for that sliver of light. And light evading me, elusive as ever. I couldn’t have been more desperate, more wanting of that one little ray of hope.

I wake up. The morning is chilly. There’s a slight nip in the air. I slept wearing that sweatshirt, and I wake up in it. It is my 11th year in it. Every time I put it on, I think about a certain someone who is long gone from my life. I have lost a lot in all these years. Not just the extra weight around my shoulders, but the weight on them too. The sweatshirt comes loose around me, but it still is snug. The chill in the air gets in however. It is 12 degrees, and I’m cold. Literally.

The other day, I planted coriander again. For the 4th time. So I head straight to the pot for a quick inspection. No sign of sprouting. Why am I so adamant in growing it anyway, mom asks. Because it is testing my patience, I don’t say. I head into the shower with coriander hopes. Something that takes most courage these days is getting into the bath. Ask me to skydive, I’d do it in a beat. But showering feels like a task. Some days, I am idling to vanity. Scrubbing for minutes altogether lost to oblivion. The skin begs to stop and I realise I’ve branded it with a burn.

There is a sense of foreboding. What’s about to happen? What is the signal the universe is trying to send again? I don’t have the time to brood over it. With the guitar lessons, the driving lessons, the baking lessons, and a regular job, there’s less time to engage in daydreaming or lackadaisical brooding. But I can’t put the feeling behind my mind. And that’s driving me increasingly restless. The last time I felt this way, the news that would leaving me devastated for the rest of life had knocked upon my door. Dad left us soon after. What is it next? And it comes.

On a trip to the grocery market, my phone gets stolen. It takes me a few hours to fully comprehend the loss. The consequence hits me in waves. I never thought I’d be so impacted losing an object. But was it truly just an object – I ask myself this for several days. For a week, I go without a phone. I feel relieved at times, but most times I’m just grieving. Why the ache? Perhaps, for those who of us who are on their own for most part of the day, the piece of metal is more than just a thing. I analyse if it had slowly become a confidante, a friend, a company for all those X times.

I report about the theft at the police station. The lady at the table is hardly concerned. Sure, why will she be? She didn’t lose someone she lived with for over 4 years. She takes my complaint anyway. It feels stupid to call it a complaint when I don’t even know who I am complaining against. I didn’t see the person. I don’t have a face nor a name. But whatever! When all’s done, she tells me to not have my hopes high. I leave with coriander hopes, nonetheless. I’ll wait till I hear back about my phone. My sister thinks I am turning insane overassessing the matter when she heard this. I need to move on. ‘Just buy a new phone’, she ends the call. It’s not easy, I don’t say.

Is it normal to feel this way or I’m just being melodramatic? Who can tell!

Loss, such an unwanted visitor. And such nuisance its party of anguish and despair. We are better off without them, aren’t we? And what would I not give for it to have a wrong address over mine?