Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Understanding

It was a crowded day at the mall. Two friends mercifully managed to get off work early in order to catch up.
"I couldn't wait to see you!" she exclaimed. "He finally proposed!"
"Oh, that's wonderful!" came the squeaky high-pitched response.
Both friends embraced each other - one to share her happiness, and the other to mask her state of confusion...

They chattered endlessly while eating dinner. In between bites, the friend spread out a piece of paper and scribbled earnestly. Lots of plans needed to be made. Apparently, an entire childhood had not been enough to fantasize about the dream wedding. The friend continued jotting down finer details of the wedding-dress and the guest-list. She drew out a neat timeline of the tentative flow of events. It gave her some sort of stability and comfort knowing that there was something solid and familiar amidst all the haphazard chaos.

Indeed, the amount of chaos in her mind was tremendous! She was still trying to process all the information. Everything was happening too soon and she could feel the wall that she had built around herself crumbling. From a distance, one could see two friends excitedly talking about the future. Only she knew the true reason behind her incessant babble. She knew if her mouth failed to do its job, her eyes would give away what she was so desperately trying to conceal.

She had always been the spare wheel. Time after time, she had seen her friends jump from one relationship to another until they had finally settled upon 'the one'. She had been with them in all their adversities, nursing them through rejections and break-ups, assuring them that things would be all right. And in the end, things had always fallen into place. Well, for them. Once they had settled in their newly-found haven, they conveniently left her behind.

She had never felt completely isolated for she was approachable and it was easy making new friends. Yet, she missed those who had let her go. Building relationships took time and it wasn't fair to have to build a new one all the time from scratch. Was she so easy to forget, she often wondered to herself. Why was she always just a filler? Surely, her existence had more meaning.

As she reflected on her past friendships, she realized no one had been by her side when her heart got broken. No one cleared their schedule to make time for her even during emergencies while she had always been just a phone call away. Perhaps, she was the problem. Not they. Perhaps, no one would give her a lot of importance until she started prioritizing herself.

Suddenly, she saw her friend staring at her.
"Penny for your thoughts?" remarked the friend. "Where have you drifted?"
"Nothing," she simply shrugged. "I was just thinking of work," she said. "Something funny had happened..."
"Oh, I will hear about that later!" dismissed her friend.
She knew this was the moment. It was up to her to seize it. "No," she snapped. "I would like to talk about it now because 'later' never comes. I am very happy for you. I genuinely am! But have you realized that in this entire while, not once have you asked me how I'm doing? Would you not like to know what is going on at my end?"
Her friend was surprised. Nevertheless, she decided to humour her. "Sure, tell me. Did someone ask you out?"  
The dismissive tone hurt. She realized that she could not expect to be treated the way she desired from her friend. It was her fault, she acknowledged, but there was no point in beating herself over it. It was time to rectify the mistake she had been committing for so many years. She had to respect herself in order to get that respect from others.
"I just remembered that I need to be somewhere," she said. "Sorry, but I really need to go."

She picked up her bag, dished her share of the bill on the table and walked out without looking back even once. She knew she was leaving behind a rather perplexed friend, but her heart skipped with glee at the realization that she was also leaving behind her old inhibited self. The tables were turned and from that moment onward, everything would revolve not around the others but around her and her needs. She had embarked on a new journey and once again, life would become beautiful!


  1. pacy read. I hope she stays on her chosen path and doesn't give in.

  2. It is something we all need to learn, it is fine to take care of other people but we also need to take care of ourselves... it is not just about the other person... I hope she sticks to and remembers she is just as important as her friends. xox

    1. Being a 'sacrificing' and 'giving' person is a virtue celebrated so much in the society we live that sometimes we do forget to take care of our own needs...Let's hope she sticks to her decision :-)

  3. I guess its the choices we make that matters in the end. I have couple of friends who I know care a lot about me than sometimes I do about myself, but they don't always talk.
    Let's see if she stands by her decision :)

    1. We all have such friends...but we also have those who take us for granted. It's them we should avoid

  4. Taking for granted is not done! Good to c ome back to your blog after a while, Divya:)

    1. It's good to be back, Rahul :-) Thanks for dropping by!

  5. may the understanding prevail n she stands by her decision:)