I’m letting the plant in the corner of my room die.
I stole this plant from the nucleus of our home, where the sunlight would tap-dance on its leaves, imprinting their steps in purples and greens. It was only as high as my knee when I grabbed it from its spot by the door and placed in the corner of my room, watching it sway with the whispers blown from my AC. I painted its pot in colours of three and watched it over the months as it grew taller and taller, tall enough to tickle the switchboard with its leaves.
It was the first thing I changed about my room after I moved back from Italy – adding little plants in the corner to remind myself of my apartment in the eternal city. I hung up pictures of the five years I had spent away from home with people who are now family, freezing those carefree moments as mementos of memories, for my life there felt extraordinarily otherworldly, but I’ve always belonged in this little blue chamber, sitting on my four-poster throne, in the place that’s always been home.
It was the home we spent years conjuring up out of nothing, colouring in floor plans with dreams and wishes, decorating them with promises – promises of growing old and chaotic dinner parties, of decking the house in twinkly lights to celebrate the weddings of all three, to fill the home with noisy grandchildren eventually. Our little haven became the vessel for our collective souls, holding them gently as we grew up to disperse into different corners of the world but always had our home waiting for us indefinitely. The cliché is that you don’t know how good you’ve got it until its gone, but not for me. From the very first day that I stepped through the large wooden doors and my bare feet settled on the colourful concrete, I knew I was swaying through a manifestation of our dreams – that I was exactly where I was meant to be.
But despite the four walls keeping us protected and happy, our home was placed in a land plagued with cruel truths about our reality. Eventually the parents had to be parents and make a decision in the best interest of their family, one that I spent years fighting vehemently, but then one of out three decided to call it quits too early, and the foundation of our walls began to crumble because beneath all the cement and concrete, this house was erected on promises and dreams that had now melted away into a distant reality. Overnight the home weathered so many storms of our grief, swept so far away to the tune of melancholy, I stopped recognizing it as the magical place that was meant for our family, as it morphed into a shrine of all that used to be – persistent reminders of fragmented hopes, shattered promises, and picture-perfect fairytale fantasies that were never written in our destiny.
It feels as though leaving this home behind is the final nail in the coffin as I bury my naivety that allowed me to believe in magic and meant-to-be's for no place in the world has cradled me so gently, but every goodbye so far has been abrupt and forceful, yet orbited by uncertainty. It was naïve of the thirteen-year-old who moved in eleven years ago to imagine she’ll always have a place to call home because nothing in this life is a guarantee. No shoulder is there for you unequivocally, no matter how full of love or brotherly, the meticulous plans one makes for their life is subject to cosmic intervention spontaneously, and a home can reduce to rubble while still standing tall, suddenly devoid of any room for me. Gradually it becomes hard to stay attached to moments that carry significance and harder to be positive in the face of adversity, so I’ve let my plant in the corner of my room die even though I’m still staying here for another week.