The flight

Publish date 30-01-2023

by Marco Grossetti

A child and the painful experience of a lost relationship with his father

Feeling rejected is one of the worst feelings a person can experience in any type of relationship, the highest level of offense and emotional distance: I don't just want you badly, you don't exist for me. Rejection is absolute silence, total indifference, denial of any feeling, conscious detachment which denies the existence of the other. It happened to little Saad with one of the most important figures in his life, the person who was supposed to protect and take care of him. After a story where there was little love and a lot of sadness, the separation between mom and dad was quite consensual, sometimes it happens much worse. Saad found himself fighting for a few crumbs of affection, between the desire to cut off all kinds of relationships from mom and that of dad's facts about him.

He did everything he could, not to cut the umbilical cord with that piece of his life that was slipping out of his hands, it seemed too much to lose what usually lets go at the end, when you're big and ready, at the very beginning of everything. Saad claimed his time, his toys, his parties, his attention, with a heart that found peace only when a father's gaze remembered his existence and decided to have time and to look at him and only he. Little by little he gained courage and began to trust: if there was time for the cinema, for a pizza or for the rides, maybe there could also be a little vacation, these are not the things dads usually do even when do they stop getting along with moms?

His heart broke into a thousand pieces when he saw his dad where he had sworn he wouldn't be, at the start of a trip that he had told him they really couldn't have done together, because he, with all the work commitments he had , he couldn't have been away for such a long time and gone to a place so far away. Instead he and his mother had booked without knowing it a seat on the same flight to return to their country of origin: the exact same destination to be reached a few rows away on the same day flying in the same sky.

Saad looked at him in disbelief as his heart almost stopped beating and the trolley slipped out of his hands and fell to the ground, attracting the attention of the other people in the check-in queue. Everyone turned around except him. Saad hoped something would happen, staring at only one person, praying before it could be a wonderful surprise, thinking that maybe she was there to greet him, that maybe he was just accompanying someone, that he must have seen it wrong, that it couldn't really be him.

He didn't stop hoping, first during boarding, then throughout the flight, finally during the very long landing maneuvers, waiting for a word, a look, a greeting, without receiving any sign that would tell him that someone had noticed his presence on that plane. And while his heart was breaking into a thousand pieces, Saad could do nothing but ask his mother the saddest question: why doesn't a father want a child? She begged her: don't send me to my dad anymore, I don't want to see him anymore. If I don't exist for him, he doesn't exist for me.

Saad has only one deep wound left in his soul, one that cannot be healed, it helps to talk to someone, you need to rework the trauma, but in the end you can only try to forget. It burns every time you think about it or someone puts a finger on it, every time you see a friend of yours receive that look, you meet any man on the street with a child and you can't help but think of your hope that has been lost forever , while a plane landed and dad disappeared from your life.

Saad found himself fighting for a few crumbs of affection, between mom's desire to cut off all kinds of relationships and dad's desire to get over him

Marco Grossetti

NP novembre 2022

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