That day I was alone and sobbing, I thought of my mum. If only she was there with me, I wouldn’t have been that wreck crying in a public place. Superwoman, my mum, would hold up the sky if it was crumbling for me. She can achieve impossible physical feats, like breaking that plastic piece holding a new pair of socks together with her teeth. Of course she has psychic powers too: knowing my latent eczema would flare up in the blistering cold, she supplied me with the weapons that were moisturising creams. I returned one to her, but guess who likely needs more? She always masks her concern under her prickly exterior – her affection only manifests in her regular reproaches of my careless behaviours. Yet I remember the quiver of her voice and her lovely face as she struggled not to cry the last time we separated at the airport.

And that was only for six weeks, not six months.

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