Missing: Have you seen this child? …I would attach a photo for identification but, sadly, I don’t have any. You see, this child has never been real enough for photos to work on it. This child is yet to be conceived.
Technically speaking, something that has never been should not impact your life. It is technically a nothing. It should leave no mark, no pain, no lack. But I feel its absence all the same. This child, who is still missing from my life, has left a gaping hole even without a true existence. This child, that has never been, dances in and out of my consciousness. Playing at the edges of my vision, like a dream or a ghost. She haunts me.
Missing… I don’t know how else to describe this feeling. Something is missing. Like when a dear friend moves far away, or a beloved individual dies. Missing. There is a profound lack. But unlike these other times, when missing is expected, this missing is complicated. When I miss a friend I can pinpoint the missing that I experience. I can vocalize it. People understand this missing, it’s real, tangible. I miss the coffee dates, the way they made a room light up, the soft hair on his cheeks…
This missing is different. Slippery. Evasive. Unknowable.
What do I miss the most about this baby whom I have never met? Is it the turn of her mouth? Her laugh? The way she likes pizza? Or sandwiches with the crusts off? Or cupcakes with only yellow sprinkles? How her favorite thing to do is colour? Or read? How her eyelashes brush her cheeks when she dreams? What does she dream?
You see, I’m not sure what I miss. Everything and nothing. I don’t know this baby. But I miss her. She is missing. I keep looking for her with the hope that, eventually, she will be found.