WARNING: This piece contains descriptions of sexual abuse and suicide.

Nothing feels good like a long hug just after a long day. The affirming words they utter while brushing your back gently. That has always been my dream since I was a little girl. Hugs have always been my love language. They are what connected me to my Mom. Out of all the events that occurred in our lives, one thing that connected us was hugs. My Mom is not so much of a talker, her hugs were the only thing closer to the affirming words I longed for. 

Her death really took a knock on me. I felt my world shatter right in front of me and there was nothing I could do. Unlike other kids, I could not scream or shout. Only my eyes did the screaming and shouting. I watched them lower her box slowly while Auntie kept brushing my back gently. 

A few days later I watched them enjoying their lives as if Mom was still there. No one talk to me, I could not talk to anyone. The only thing I did was to sit there, with my heart in million pieces, and just watched them continue with their lives. Ever since then my life has been a blur. Each day goes by, the same circle of getting up and going to work. Trust me, I tried accepting things as they were. I tried letting my Mom go. I did everything the therapist told me to, but nothing helped. 

Nothing could help me, nothing still can. There’s only one thing I needed, one thing I longed for. A tight hug from Mom. I just wanted to hug her one more time. I wanted to look at her beautiful big bright eyes one more time. I needed her lips planted on my forehead one last time. I wanted to feel the warmth of her skin one more time. That’s why I did what I did. Please trust me, I’m not crazy at all. I’m perfectly sane, I just needed Mommy’s touch one last time. 

I had to. I had to get her. She had to give me. One last kiss. One last hug, then she can rest in peace forever. I needed to see her beautiful face one more. 

What I found was the opposite of my Mommy. She was pale as if all the blood was drained from her body. Her skin was not warm or soft as it used to be. But the scars were still there. None of them seemed to be fading. They were as I knew them to be. Each and every one of them. I knew their story, how they were incited in her frail body. The memories are still fresh in my mind. She couldn’t do anything to protect herself. Neither was I. All I could do was sit there, and watch him molest her. Strangle her after he hit her. I couldn’t do anything. Anything at all. I sat there. I watched her take her last breath. I could see the despair in her eyes. She had accepted her fate. 

But I needed to see her one more time. To put my heart to rest before I join her in her wonderfully peaceful land. She had dark patches around her eyes, her hands were eyes cold as they brushed against my skin. I had to take her home. Clearly, she was cold. Plus I missed her. I needed her to witness me take my last breath too. Like I did years ago. So we can both live happily ever after. 

But as usual, father dismissed all that. You should’ve seen horror in his eyes when he saw his wife. What did he expect? That she would still be the frail Thembi he used to have his way on. Oh, you should have heard his screams. They were of a little girl who’s afraid of spiders. The disgust in his eyes as they took Mom away from me. It’s what I still play in my mind over and over again. 

It’s his fault I’m stuck in this white cold cell without my Mom in. It’s his fault I’m tired like a dog with restraints all over my body. It’s his fault that these doctors inject me with foreign substances every now and then. It’s his fault I’m in the psychiatric ward like a mad woman. It’s his freaking fault. And for that, I’ll die hating him.