The Unbinding

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It was past eleven in the evening and I had just escorted the last guest out the front door. I looked around, seeing the mess that I had to clean up, and released a long sigh. After I cleared the table of the paper plates and cups, I went to the kitchen to dump it inside one of the trash bins. Since I didn't want to leave the sink occupied with dirty pans, I rolled my sleeves up, ready to finish it all before the day ended.

As I was about to lift the sponge, I heard my father make his way to my side. "Sang, go to sleep. You don't have to do that," he said.

"I'll do it. This won't take long. Go to bed; you need to go to work early tomorrow, remember?" I said, reminding him that he had a presentation for a project at eight sharp.

He took the pan from me and lightly pushed me aside. "Not today. It's your day. So, go. I thought I told Marie to do this. I wasn't expecting you'd clean up after your own party."

I just shrugged, letting him do it. "Okay, I guess. And thanks for the party." I made my way out of the kitchen to the living room. After picking up my backpack from the floor, I headed upstairs.

That was a pleasant surprise. I honestly wasn't expecting anything from them.

Opening the door to my room, I dropped my bag on the desk across the room, below the windows, then turned my desk light on and sighed. I hadn't received a letter from Mom today. I had been expecting it to come a day early, like always. Guess I would have to wait until tomorrow. I miss her.

I went to my closet and pulled out a night shirt and cotton shorts, then went to get changed in the bathroom. After I pulled the t-shirt from my head, I stared at the skin above my heart. There it was again. That weird dark shade I always saw, whenever October came. I'd had a doctor check it years ago, but she'd insisted that it was nothing but a bruise. I'd already dismissed that thought, 'cause I always saw it come back. Whatever. Every year, I wasted my time staring at it, to see if it would disappear when the clock struck at midnight. Tomorrow, it would be gone, like magic.

After getting dressed, I went back inside my room, then turned the overhead lights on and walked to my desk. I needed to finish a few reading assignments before I could call it a day. As I pulled my bag off of the desk, I noticed something fall to the floor. I thought it must have been a few of the origami papers I had left that morning for art class. Instead, I picked up a lone black envelope from the floor.

Gasping, I immediately noticed the trademark red seal it held, then ripped it open. I thought my father said there were no letters for me today. I sat down on my bed and read through its content.

'Sang, my love.

The last ten years have been difficult, not seeing your pretty face.
By the end of this letter, I hope you'll gain knowledge and develop hunger for another journey soon to unfold. There are just a few things that I ask of you, from this moment on.

Guard your mind and heart.
Follow your instincts.
And be safe.

You see, my dearest Sang, the both of us are special in our own ways.
And it is time for you to know what has been kept from you for the past ten years.
But first, I hope you're not tired of this yet.
I have a gift. Another poem. It is the best gift I can give to you, while I'm away.
And this one's special. Much, much more so than the ones I've sent these past ten years.

Read it well. Whisper it to the air, like you're whispering to me. Like always.

'With a father, a step-sister and a step-mother,
I thank these three for the everyday food and shelter.
The time has come for this heart and soul to be free
For one last time, I give permission to thee

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