I am that baby born to complete the family.
I am the child whose complete family was broken irrevocably at the age of six.
I am the child who said her first prayer in the back of your car while you rushed us to the hospital.
I am the daughter who laughed and played at your funeral, only realising on the last day what death really meant: that you were never coming back again to let me lie on your belly while we watch TV together, to cook fried rice for us, to let me hang onto your arm swinging like a monkey while we crossed the road.
I am the student whom you almost drove to suicide, you who abused your powers as a teacher with your daily verbal taunts and emotional attacks, just because I was a fatherless child.
I am the imp who pooped in her uniform, lying to all and sundry that she had sat on dung while lying on the grass in the school field.
I am the daughter who never saw you at prize-giving ceremonies every year as she went on stage to collect her prize while other parents were busy taking photos of their children.
I am the daughter who is grateful for the free rein you had over her life, for allowing her to choose her own paths, for shaping her independence and resilience.
I am the sister who looks like you, sounds like you, thinks like you, and used to wear your hand-me-downs.
I am the sister who fought you, despised you, hated you.
I am the sister who never stopped loving you.
I am the cousin who climbed on top of letter boxes, jumped from slides and swung from monkey bars with you, just like a boy, just like you.
I am the granddaughter who, in her dream, wanted to make you a cup of tea as she always did after your sudden death.
I am the best friend who will never judge your actions, your words, your life, just like you will never judge mine.
I am the friend who gave you laughs with her silly boo-boos, from falling flat at your feet on the day of our exams to walking around the school with a trail of toilet paper stuck on her pants.
I am the girlfriend whose dreams of having a tall, dark and handsome boyfriend vanished when she met you, and then realising that it didn’t really matter.
I am the girlfriend who found you sexy driving the black manual Honda Civic SIR.
I am the girlfriend who accidentally flushed the first ring you gave her down the toilet bowl because she had been playing with it, and not because it flew out of her finger as she had reported.
I am the girlfriend who watched you sink into murky depths of isolation, self-abasement and desolation but did not have the strength to pull you out and still keep herself from tumbling in after you.
I am the ex-girlfriend who vowed to hate you when you flew off to the other end of the world into the arms of another, but realising that hate can seep into the very pore of her skin, flash in her eyes wherever she looked, be inhaled and exhaled in her every breath and then she vowed never to let that happen.
I am the woman who decided that she did not need to live for or with another in order to be happy.
I am the woman who finally understood that to truly love one is to forgive one’s mistakes with no recrimination, no baggage, no doubt.
I am the woman who now waits for you to be the driven man that she had fallen in love with once more, whose talents had amazed her then, and still amaze her now.
I am that woman, that girl, that child.
I am me.