March 20

She was a mess, a complete mess, when she fell ill. She threw tantrums like a stubborn child and teared up over everything. She was clingy too. She wanted his warmth wrapped around her always like a blanket while she sneezed, coughed, cried, and fussed over food. Would it hurt to treat her like the little baby that she was? To the world, she was tough and unstoppable; the world would never get to be acquainted with the messy side of her. She felt comfortable being that mess only with him. She felt guilty for walking him through something that he disliked but every time she fell ill, she turned into a little cry baby.

It irritated him sometimes. Wasn’t she old enough to take care of herself? He disliked the light whining sounds she made when she was trying to fall asleep. Those sounds were so close to his ears as she clung to him with one arm and rested her head in the cradle that was his neck. He was irked by it and often asked her to be quiet. He had to cajole her into taking her medicines or visiting the shrink. He lost his patience too soon with her. That was how he was made and it didn’t mean that he loved her any less on her gloomy days.

But, isn’t it true that it is only at home that we pull away the layers of masks, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and let the child inside us out?

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