She hadn’t had anything to eat last night either. What her mom said had devastated her; and she had lost her appetite. The night was rough as she clung onto her brother and cried. He was the only soul who knew how to lay it to rest. He listened to her more like a friend and would hold her warmly in his arms as she would weep her eyes out. Later she would be light and would beam a smile at him. It would be over as simple as that.
Last night, too, he had listened to her. His face had been calm, not a sign of anything that could have possibly disturbed him. But deep down, he was angry. How could mother have said this to her? “Di, I’ll have a word with mother.”
“No please, don’t”. But the boy had made up his mind. So, the night grew worse as there arose yet another argument. She had given up to her sobs eventually and had fallen asleep.
She woke up to her best friend’s call. “Tell me, why do you always send stupid messages?”
“I’m sorry Adi; I just had an argument with mum. I wasn’t okay.” She had sent a frustrating text to him last night, just to show him she was upset and he wasn’t there.
“Okay. So, what’s up? What have you been up to?”
She thought, Geez, I fought with my mom what else? And he thinks I’ll be dancing around after that?
“Nothing much.” Silence.
“Well, talk about something!” Adi said after a pause.
“I don’t know what to talk about.” That was true. All she could think of was her hard moment with her mother. She was half shattered because of it.
“… Okay then, take care… Bye!” It came so suddenly, she didn’t even make out what he had said; she was there in her depressing train of thoughts.
Should I stop him? What shall I talk about? But she soon realized she would be pretending everything’s fine. Why did she have to pretend always? And why to someone who claimed to be her best buddy? She decided otherwise.
“Ya… bye.” She heard the other end click without a word. Rude.
Her lunch was getting cold but she didn’t care anymore. WTF! What do people think of themselves now-a-days? Her brother had asked her last night if it mattered anymore. She had had nothing convincing to say in return. Now, what just happened made her think again.
“Tell me about those countless nights you came crying to me? Where was he? Did he ask you even once if you really were fine?” he had asked her last night.
No. She thought, but she dared not say it… And now this. She was angry. She picked up her phone and started writing a text message to him.
“I don’t need a ‘zabardasti’ ka friend. It’s so clear you don’t need me. I don’t want any friend now. They all change! Even you did!!” She knew what was going to follow. He’d message her back, an angry one, telling her to be off and ending it with a cold, cruel “bye”. But it couldn’t have been helped. A year back they were inseparable. They never fought and were always there for each other. Perfect, perfect friendship. Their friendship started with honest confessions of the past. They clarified their past relationships. Now, Diya was engaged to someone but she was finding it somewhat difficult. She dreamt of her life partner as someone she could feel happy and alive with. The poor guy was very sweet and caring, but then, he wasn’t Adi. Diya thought of it as her betrayal to her fiancé. She had tried sincerely to forget her special moments with Adi but wasn’t successful. She wanted it to be him. But when the engagement thing came along, she knew it will soon change between them. That was something she couldn’t bear. She looked back at the horrible time when she cried on the phone, endlessly, telling him she knew him too well to think it wouldn’t change between them. “No it won’t.”
“I know you… You have always been possessive about me…”
“I’m saying it won’t. Now don’t make it worse!” And she would know it better to shut up. It wasn’t that she liked being a trouble. It was her heart that was fretting and making her worry. Something very precious was going away and she couldn’t do anything about it.
What she had feared happened. He went further away with every passing day with her trying fruitlessly to stop it. Now he was out of reach. The binding love between them had vanished. What she still regarded were the memories of an innocent friendship that they had shared. He had long ago learnt the art of being distant; and it was so perfect, she doubted if it was the same person. Traces of happy times were left in her still. There were nights she lay awake in bed and would eventually cry her heart out, trying to rid herself of the memories. In vain.
The phone buzzed, interrupting her train of thought. It was him. She braced herself.
“You don’t need me, well babe, hold your ground with this. And yea, go get your brain checked up!! You need it badly!! You’re such a waste! Bye!!” Her eyes fixed themselves on his “waste” and “bye”. They were such hard words. She remembered his previous texts that always ended with hugging expressions and a “muah”, a caring “take care!” Ah, gone are those days.
She turned back to her lunch, cold and tasteless now. She tried to eat but started crying bitterly. Of all the people, you mattered so much! I gave so much to this lovely friendship… and it goes down the drain when you call me a “waste”. Loneliness started creeping up on her again as memories from the previous night came back. Adi was such a shield from anything bad that may hurt or harm her. Now him going like that, she felt vulnerable and unprotected. Last night was rough. It had all started when she fell for someone. That was years back. Someone in her family came to know about it and people started taking about every bad thing they could associate with her tender, innocent love. She endured it all but one day she gave up on her tolerance when her mother said she feared she’s suddenly put on weight because of the special pills she took! She was bewildered… she went crazy and mad and out of control!! Can her mother really think like that? About her baby? The girl she raised with so much love, can she really think her baby would cheat on her? She remembered how she had quarreled with her mother for the first time. She had forcefully made her sit and listen, her blood was boiling! And then, after everything, they had broken up, she and him. She got over him quickly because Adi was there. He healed her to her old self. But people didn’t shut up. They still took her for a flirting little tramp, which was the last thing she could have been. Her self confidence was restored a great deal when she and her mother came close again after years of being distant. She was happy and felt protected… until last night; which started as a little disagreement between her mother and herself and ended with her confessions that she still thought of Diya that way. Again she went crazy, half mad… Had she been any weaker she would definitely have committed suicide. She had tried it once; but that had only made her stronger. There came a fit of screaming madness in her, trying to put the world back at its place. For God’s sake! I’m your daughter… How can you say that? I’ve never had anything to do with a guy all these years of my education… it was just him Goddamit!! And it was anything but vile!! Look at me in the eyes and tell me do you really see any sign of mistrust…?? Come on mom look at me in the eye! She suddenly became quiet realizing it was of no use anymore. It is only God who forgives, she thought, humans are not capable of something as divine as that. She locked herself up in her room and silently sobbed. She felt as if she were stone. She had gone numb now. Every feeling of trust and love she had shown to anyone in her life had been thrown back at her face. So they don’t need it. Fine. She lost her composure in front of her brother and she cried in front of him like a child complaining about something to a parent.
Life had been bad with her. All she had were a few internet friends who were kind enough to listen to her. She could share her bad luck with them, but now she didn’t feel like doing it anymore. People felt sorry for her and she didn’t want their pity. She wanted a real friendship that she could dwell in and be stronger. They say you find strength within yourself, she thought as she sipped orange juice. Hell! God knows how bad I take things just ‘cause I don’t know an honest heart to share it with. She had another bite at her sandwich. Her brother had just come home and had given her a warm hug the moment he did. She smiled back. She spotted a little butterfly outside the window with beautiful colors… bright shades that reminds one of life, hope, happiness. She felt better. She remembered life again. Of course, I have my bro; she thought as she felt a twinge of happiness starting to grow within her. And this one shall pass too!
picture courtesy: deviantART