I don’t remember how it ended. Period. No matter how hard I try, no matter how many years go by, I can’t recall when it was, where it was that I last saw you or spent time with you before that visit. When you left that was it. The end. You walked out of that spot I reserved just for you, that spot every daughter reserves for her mother.
I want to believe it was at the airport that last time I saw you. Maybe we were at the gate, where non-passengers cannot go beyond, with the black elastic lining those boundaries and the security with their stern faces painted on, gripping their batons as though they might sprout legs and run from them as well. You might have had a suit on since I picture you wearing one even to bed back in those days (those days back then). Maybe you wear one to bed, even at night, even at fifty, when you’re overwhelmed from staying in the house too long. It might have been one of those black pencil skirts and blazers that I saw walking away from me. So tight and streamlined you always were, hair even bobbed then so as to be cleaner, straighter.
We may have hugged, with you whispering in my ear a promise to come back, or apologies for having to leave. I might have even cried, though that one is a bit of a stretch of imagination. My hand was probably clutching grandmother’s the whole time, grandmother very likely crying and shaking as you stooped onto your knees to envelop me in your hug.
I want to believe that you hugged me tight so as never let me go, so that hug would linger on me as you yourself walked away, barefoot with your arms over your head to stroll past those vigilant security guards. I want to believe that it lingered, that I could feel that hug on me as I pressed my cheek against cold glass to watch your plane, or maybe it wasn’t even your plane at all but some other business mom’s, disappear into the sky.
But, I don’t remember how you left.