Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Parenthood And (Un)conditional Love By Ameera Mian

I was very young when my mum brought us to England. I don’t remember much but I have since been told that I was eager to be reunited with my family. My mum had looked after us like a hero over the last two years, especially for an uneducated woman who was all by herself. Granted, she did have her brothers there to help out but they weren’t the same as a father. Layla and Omar were so lucky to have him look after them. They got all of his attention for three whole years while they were in England with him. I remember having this incessant desire for the man I had the majority of my relationship with in small fragments of conversation over the phone. My mother would show us photos of him on occasion. He had straggles of a beard, which looked like it would aid soft kisses that could have helped me against the bitterness of Pakistan.

The one thing I do remember was that when I saw my dad again, after eleven months since his last visit to Pakistan, he went to hold Hina first, then hugged Azhar, and me last. His beard scratched harshly against my plump cheek. It was in that moment that I was reminded of my mum’s rough palms. The battled hands of a struggling seamstress patted my back when I found it hard to sleep. Her loving chest rhythmically elevated with every breath while I lay on her. Epiphanic thoughts of my mother scoured away at the desire for my dad, and my appreciation for my mother grew.

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