“Love is a curse!” hissed my mother through clenched teeth as she crushed the happy picture of her and father. I couldn’t fathom these words at my young age but the tears that glistened in her eyes showed the hurt. The news of our father’s infidelity and bankruptcy had hit her to the core. Mixed emotions of embarrassment, hurt were like a tidal wave. All of this was revealed at the will reading in front of close relatives and neighbours. “Thirteen years of marriage but I never knew!” She chocked on her words and shock her head solemnly.
“Mommy, what do you mean?” Irene-my-little-sister chirped in and hid behind my black dress. If it was possible, I would have swallowed back the question my dear sister said. It was on rare occasions when we saw her eyes changed from their loving gaze to a bloodshot wounded animal. “Simon’s children what do you want from me?! I said what do you want! Get out of my presence and pack your bags like I told you!” She screamed at us and the verbal words felt like a slap on our faces. Without any hesitation, Irene began to whimper and break out into full blown sobs. She had always been the sensitive one between us, so it was easier for her to reveal her emotions. On hearing her youngest daughter crying, mother broke out of her reverie and hugged us. In an unintelligible garble she asked for our forgiveness and repeated why we were leaving.
The day we exited our family home, my childhood home, my curiosity got the better of me so I asked what she meant. Mother remained stoic. Thinking she hadn’t heard my question I repeated, “mommy, what did you mean by love is curse?” She suddenly clasped my hand. It was freezing cold in my warm one and I winced. “Virginia when you think you have found the love of your life you will know the meaning behind those words.” She replied with a deadpan voice. With that we walked into my uncle’s band-wagon and drove to our new apartment with our meagre of possessions.