I couldn’t contain my joy the first time I heard her voice. My Mother leaped, and immediately felt her hand close to me. “I can’t wait to see you”, she said. Her voice was as warm a blanket and as soft as my skin. I spent most of my days eavesdropping, listening to Daddy talk about work, my brother talk about school and the mean bully who took away his lunch. Daddy told him that he needs to learn to fight for his right and that he should stand up to his bully. He was, after all, Daddy’s little prince. “A prince.” he said, “A Prince must be brave and stand against those who want to harm him. He must never back down. He must, if fact helps those who cannot help themselves, and always stand for what is right.”
My daily routine consisted of numerous naps, swimming to change my position, listening to those who visited mamma and listening to all the things happening around me. “You must read because reading now will make the child and avid reader, an intellectual”, they said. “Play soothing music, eat a lot of fruits and keep yourself healthy. We don’t want anything affecting the baby prince now do we?” They told her of various herbal remedies that could cure her cold, told her to keep herself warm and kept reminding her, that the baby prince must be healthy. Listening to these ‘advisers’ soon became a tedious task. All they did, was speak of what she should eat, what she should drink, when she should sleep, how long she should be sleeping for, what she should be reading, what music she should be listening to and what they think, the new prince to come would expect of her. Not once, did they ask Mamma what she wanted to eat or drink. Not once did they ask her what she wanted to read or listen to. And not once, did they consider the possibility of my being the baby princess.
Then came my grandmother. My brother didn’t like her. She came home, to take care of Mamma during the last few months of her pregnancy. She cooked ‘healthy’ for us, ‘helped’ Mamma move around, bullied my brother and generally made life harder. The one thing he never failed to say, was “For your sake, he better be a boy. My family cannot be disgraced. The fact that your first born was a son does not mean you can bring out disappointment. It only increases our expectations. Besides, the last thing we need is another version of you”. I would never be her Princess.
Most of days followed a rather monotonous tone. Sometimes, Mamma would fall sick and throw up and sometimes, she would ask for the food that I wanted to eat. She threw up every time she ate Chinese food- but that’s because I didn’t like the taste of it. It tasted funny. Mamma and I love Ice cream. And chocolates too!!! We like dark chocolate the most, especially the chocolate called Lindt Lindor it is creamy and strongly flavored, and fills a warm feeling in my body.
On some days, mamma would seem really worried. On those days, Daddy would hold her close and she would fall asleep in his arms. She says, that he is the most amazing man she has ever met. He cares for her, for my grandmother, and for my brother. He gives them everything they need and always put their needs first. Daddy always helped my brother with his homework. He needed a lot of help with math. He hated the subject and couldn’t bear to study it. When Mamma got sick of my grandmother’s ‘healthy’ food, Daddy would sneak in food form her favorite restaurant for her. What I never understood was, however, was why daddy always called me his baby Prince. Wasn’t I his princes?
I was uneasy. I was scared. What if they didn’t like me? What would happen to me?
Mamma could tell something was wrong. She felt my emotions. She was worried too. I loved my mamma. And I knew that she loved me too. I was a part of her after all. Wasn’t I?
Daddy saw that Mamma was worried. He held her in her arms and told her that everything will be okay. Everyone gets a happy ending. Always.
Seeing this world for the first time was not easy. I was met with blinding lights and for some reason, I just couldn’t stop screaming. I was whisked away from my mother’s arms, and given a bath. I yearned to be in her arms, feel the warmth of her embrace.
My mother was restless. When she woke, she constantly asked for me, and once given to her, she never let me out of her sight. My father said he was overjoyed. He said he was proud. My grandmother didn’t come visit me. My mother never asked why.
She was restless when she fell asleep, unhappy about letting me sleep away from her, in the cradle placed at the other end of the room.
After what seems to be a short nap, I felt a pair of strong arms lift me from my cradle. One arm immediately went around my mouth, stopping me from crying out.
I was out in the rain and the pitter patter that seemed soothing a little while ago now rang out in cries of pain.
I felt myself being dropped, the stench of wet cardboard making my nauseous.
I was left out. My father wanted me to fade into oblivion.