“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I leave people behind.

“Hey, I am leaving Dubai. But I’ll be back.” “Dude, I am leaving Lahore. See you when I’m back.” “Mate, I am taking a break from London. Be back in a bit.”

I was nineteen days old when I first moved countries. I remember my grandparents bidding farewell. Or perhaps I’m remembering the time after. My best friend from school giving me the finger from across the departures terminal. Or the time after. Hard to say; I have left people behind every time.

I envy how easily people talk about ‘home.’ Belonging is a feeling I have simply never understood. I hate it when taxi drivers ask me where I’m from. It makes me think of all the places that I have been, and all the people I have left behind.

Maybe I will miss your wedding, and the arrival of your first-born. But I will wish I was there, and I will call to say congrats. And I will be there when that first-born leaves for college.

Maybe I will never put down roots, and I will never find ‘home.’ But I will be there when you need me most, and I will belong. And I will not leave you behind.

— Emad Nadim