You always hear people saying “be careful what you wish for, or it might just come true”. But I’d still throw the dime into the fountain, wishing we’d be together again. Reunited, as a family. Like the coins as they met their cousins under the cold water. Every 11:11, we were in my mind. Every loose eyelash, turkey bone, shooting star, birthday candle. And yet, I never thought for a second about that saying.
I know I won’t overlook it again.
My mother always said there was a reason her and my father split up. And there was, no doubt about it.
But at the age when I still believed in birthday candle wishes and shooting stars, it was hard to see the reasons were anything other than me.
After all, they did split up after I was born. It was me who gave my mother the everlasting sadness that came with childbirth, rather than the thrill and joy of starting a new family. A laughing baby was nothing to her, and soon a crying one wasn’t noticed much either. But it was fine, for I would keep wishing on my magical eyelashes, and not be let down by these events. I would keep wishing.
You always hear people saying “wishes don’t come true”. I didn’t think they did, until my father finally decided to move back in with my mother that fateful day. I don’t know what caused it. Whether the money issues, loneliness, or the fact that they had been on good terms for about a year that inspired it, I was just glad that my wishes had finally come true.
For a while at least.
The saying is true. You have to be careful for what you wish for, because sometimes what you wish for isn’t specific enough. Sometimes the universe is cruel, and you are naive for thinking it would waste any opportunities that arose to exert that cruelty.
Slamming doors, tears behind walls, frustrated glares. It was like living in a war zone, and not only was it my fault, but there was no way I could fix them either. There was too much fear, too much grief for what could have been, too much love.
You would have thought that by now, I would have learnt my lesson. It seems, though, that I am too stubborn to accept that the world is cruel. Therefore, every birthday candle was once again being used for an escape. I didn’t know what it would be, I just wanted out of the damned hell of a house that the universe had decided to abandon me in. I wanted out, and I wanted the tears to stop, the anger to stop… The fear to stop.
And to this day, I can’t tell whether it has. There are still tears. Still slamming doors, every once in a blue moon. Too many glares to count, so much isolation and seclusion. So much anger. So much fear.
And still, somehow, so much love.
I don’t know whether other families are like this. I don’t know whether it’s normal, or if my childhood was one of abuse or neglect, like a scar no time will be able to erase. I don’t know if it affects my brain; my anger, my fear. And I don’t know if it affects my willingness and ability to love.
All I know is that despite all of this, there is love somewhere deep inside. And if that means getting as far away from each other as possible and never speaking again, I hope we do it out of love and not fear. I hope I can live my life out of love and not, never, fear.
But most of all, I won’t be careful for what I wish for. I will never, ever be careful of what I wish for, because the universe isn’t always cruel. Sometimes, the universe is kind, and loving. And sometimes, there is no such thing as fear.
Be careful for what you wish for. But wish without hesitation, because the universe is unpredictable, and sometimes kind. And when that kindness comes, you’ll be so happy you’ll forget about the cruelties. Be careful of the opportunities you miss because you were too fearful to wish.