Your daughter won’t eat dinner tonight.

Your little girl is gone.

She wears silver necklaces that dance in the moonlight and choke upon her throat just as coldly.

She leaves the house with crimson painted on her lips and returns at 4 in the morning, with pools of dried blood between her bruised knuckles.

She’s gone.

And she won’t eat dinner tonight –
because there are embers in her soul, burning low and deep, and when she loses her mind at midnight she tends to burn herself down with them.

Your mother is lost.

When you come home at 4 am, smelling of smoke and blood, she has fallen asleep on the couch – waiting for you. She never lets you see her cry. Never. You wonder sometimes if that’s why you do the same as well.

She speaks of fire.

The fire in her blood, the flame you saw ignite in her eyes when you sat on the kitchen counter and talked about life, about dreams that taste like ashes now.

A fire that might raze this house to the ground someday.

A blistering hellfire that can’t be put out.

Your father ran away.

The world fed him honeyed lies, it spoke tales woven of sunlight and everything golden. But daggers of ice float in his veins, frozen so cold; you might get burnt at the touch of his fingertips.

He held his breath and tried to brave it all.

The chains he was born in. The shackles that he earned.
A wife who breathed fire.
A daughter born of inferno and glaciers.

A house of haunted little corners and silent dinners.

He’s still here, sitting in his chair by the window, reading the paper. You can see him with your eyes closed. But if you tried to search for him, to call out his name into the echoes of his empty room, he wouldn’t look up.

If you looked for him, you wouldn’t find him.

So here’s to all our lives.

Here’s to the crimson scars and bloodshot eyes.

To the art of rushing to the bathroom with tears spilling down your face so that no one sees you break down.

To the gift of pain we have all given and received.

To questioning the sanity of it all.

To the skies that have fallen.

And to us, who still stand.

Storylines.

It feels like there are a million stories out there.

Uncountable, like the stars that dot the midnight sky.
At some points, the threads of these stories intersect.

And that’s where we exist.

You are the colour of the cardigan your mother wore to college, the first dish your grandfather made for your grandmother, the shade of your father’s eyes, the city you grew up in, the city you dream of moving to.

In the end, we all become stories.

So it goes, I’ve always been fascinated with the art of storytelling. And as I grew up, the subject of my interest moved from fairy tales to ghost stories to the history of famous empires to the history of my own life.
I love listening to the stories about my family. For me, it’s an enchanting idea how the plot lines of the lives of two generations of people before me can melt through space and time and change who I am, today.

When you do get to listen to these narratives, the key is to look for the details. The hint of surprise in your grandmother’s voice when she realized ice cream cones are meant to be eaten, the hint of nostalgia in your mother’s voice when she describes the house she grew up in, the tremor in your grandmother’s voice when she talks about her mother…these facets of the story take you there.

You truly live your past.

Understanding these stories is like untangling so many spools of yarn. Every moment is an answer, a reason for things being the way they are. They pass by without us realizing, but someday these glimpses will become stories. And they will mean something to someone else looking for answers.