Family Dinner

Updated: Mar 5

“Dinner is ready. Come outside.” said my sister, as I laid in bed hoping for this feeling to end, afraid that maybe I would end, or hopefully the world would.

“No. I don’t feel like it.” I told her very hesitantly. I was beginning to zone back in from an endless void as I rubbed my cheek against a pillow dampened by my endless stream of tears. “Ashu, do you want another scene? You know what will happen.”

I looked at my sister with eyes so numb, so confused that I couldn’t begin to express the multitude of emotions that clogged up my throat, causing it to ache so bad that I struggled to utter even a single syllable. My head was fogged with emotions and cluttered with feelings I could, but wasn’t allowed to express. So I got out of bed and washed my face, had dinner and went back to bed.

I went to dinner and sat there with a straight face while all of them sat there talking about their day, what they ate, who they met and what they felt. No one seemed to remember what they had said to me and what I had heard. No one seemed to care about how I felt then, or how I was now. It is like that every time. Every time, not one of them will apologise for the things they have said and they made me feel. Every time, they steal a little bit of my light. Every time, they take a little bit of my self-esteem. Every time, they eat away at my self-confidence as they lead me to believe only the oldest can be right.

This time it felt different. I felt like after hours of crying and numerous episodes of self-doubt, I was ready to look them in the eyes and tell them what I did wrong and what they did wrong. It was harder than it seemed, for when Mum said “He’s learning how to argue from those M.U.N.s” and Dad nodded in agreement, I felt my heart of sandstone crumble yet again to an amorphous powder, for I just wanted an apology, justification for the words they said that crushed my heart into pieces like shards of glass. I needed closure, a long hug to make me feel heard and my pain felt. I wanted to get through, a nod of agreement to the fact that I have feelings, I have emotions, and maybe don’t give me spoilers if you know how I’ll react. So with a heavy heart and heavier eyes, I turned to my sisters who said, “Never mind, they’re our parents and we are much older than you. Even if we’re wrong, we don’t have to apologise.”

A voice in my head started ringing so loud, it sounded much like a Godly alarm, I swear. “They don’t know. They won’t know. Why do you keep trying when you know they can’t know the power of an apology?” I did not know what to say so yet again, I went to my room. A day full of emotional trauma and agonising pain.

I picked up my notepad but didn’t know where to begin. Hopefully, it will get better, hopefully I will become stronger before I become callous like them.

Author: Vedant Vaswani

Editor: Navya Jain

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