In Another Life

Words by Aurelne (she/her), 26 ACT

Would you be my daughter again? You asked.

I didn’t hesitate as I said, I would. I would be your daughter again, and I’d have no other as my mother.

Biggest lie I’ve ever told.

In another life, I would not be your daughter again. If unborn children were souls floating in the ether looking for their next destination, I would never come to your home.

If storks carried babies and carried me to you, I would pluck out its feathers with a chubby fist until it turned away from you.

In another life, I would not be your daughter again.

In another lifetime, you would have been a stewardess, or the manager of a five-star hotel. You’d curl your hair and spray it like a 90s star instead of tucking it into a bun to keep it out of our soup. You’d carry teeny tiny handbags that fit nothing but a card and some lipstick, instead of a supermarket tote with packets of wet wipes and apples and onions. You’d have your red and white silk dresses dry-cleaned, instead of waiting for the sun to come out so you can hang up mismatched socks. You’d accept every weekend invitation for an afternoon tea instead of chopping up potatoes for mash and folding dumplings for the week ahead. You’d stay out late at night – maybe even have a glass of rosé – just because you can. You’d make heads turn when you sway past in heels so high that people whisper “she must be a model”, instead of soccer-shoes from a season ago. You’d wait for someone to turn up in a Maserati and take you to a candlelight dinner, instead of curbing the four-wheel drive in your rush to get us to music class on time.

You’d have flowers sent to your door – oh, you would have so many flowers sent to your door, because you would be the most brilliant woman the world has ever set their eyes on.

You are the most brilliant woman the world will ever set their eyes on.

So, in another life, I would not be your daughter again. Maybe I’d be your mother.

Maybe we’d be best friends. Or maybe I could be your lover, and then I would love you in all the ways you should have been loved.

I would not your daughter again, because in another life, I will be the one to love you so.


Illustration by Aileen. You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenngstudio

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