“Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday dear Samu!
Happy birthday to you!”
They all clapped as they watched her make a wish and then blow the three standing candles on a cake that was too cheap, showing how little thought had gone into her birthday. Her own family had failed her too many times. As if asking her to move out of her home on her own birthday to make room for their father’s illegitimate teenage son wasn’t bad enough, this counted as the worst birthday she had had yet.
With her bags at the door, handbag over her shoulder, she stood and turned to leave. Her mother tried to convince her to stay until dinner, but she couldn’t bring herself to be in the same room with these people who had never been family to her. And yet she had needed a family so bad. She lay her hopes on making her own family, in a warm home where no one would want to leave. Where those who left, yearned to come back with every ounce of their soul.
When she picked up her big suitcase at the door, her younger brother called out to her and she turned to look at him as he asked,
Musa: Sis Samu, what did you wish for?
Samu: To be born as a turtle in the next life.
Musa: A turtle sisi? Why a turtle?
Samu: Because turtles are born with homes that no one can take away from them.
With those words, she opened the door and left, tears falling and yet she refused to acknowledge them by making a sound to accompany them on their journey down to their death on her blouse. She was determined not to cry for them. They had never deserved anything she had ever done. They surely did not deserve her salt flavoured eye water.