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I was 3 years old, maybe even younger when I realized something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t really tell but I felt uncomfortable, especially when someone praised me on doing something good that wasn’t expected of me. I felt like a “cheater” because in most instances I was simply applying what I had observed without knowing it was good or bad and found it out later. I didn’t correct anyone though, because I did enjoy the praise but felt oddly guilty. There was another person who always knew I was different.

My grandmother. Even though out of her love, the words she used to describe me to the rest of the family made them laugh because she painted me like something supernatural but she understood. Every time I was copying someone we had passed by a week earlier, or a strange sound we had heard, she used to get excited and call my mom expecting the same response.

However mama would laugh saying all children make strange sounds or do strange actions, disappointed, eventually my grandmother stopped sharing the excitement. I was her best friend and she was mine.
On our walks I asked her so many questions, like why do the ants walk in lines & not side by side .

Or why older children ran from the stray dogs when she had told me there’s nothing to be afraid of. She always smiled and had the perfect answers.
I didn’t like candy, but I harbored a strange love for cardamoms. I used to get a very limited supply, so one day I asked her .

“What do we do if we can’t get something we really want?”
“We pray to God ” she said
“Where is God”?
“In the heavens above the skies”
“How do we pray?”
“We just raise our hands and ask”

So from that day onwards, i used to stand outside every day, raise my hands, look up to the heavens, and fervently ask God for cardamoms.
The prayer was answered & everyday I found a cardamom, some nuts & a coin under her pillow.
I did find my cardamoms, even on the day she died. I was 4.5 years old, but I knew perfectly well that no one would understand me as well as she did so I just sat on her bed.

I haven’t cried properly/mourned for her to date. I think a part of me would never accept she is gone. I think of her whenever I feel misunderstood.