A story about a young boy who finds difficult to take life as it is – he cannot move on from people and things and then he asks himself a question – why was he feeling the way he was?*
Sigh. It is so difficult to talk about this, I am already tired even before I have begun. But I want to talk. My therapist says, talking helps.
I was living a dream life. I had the sweetest best friend, the best college education and amazing exposure to activities in which I excelled. I was a great orator since school and in my college I soon became a star. My best friend, was a guy named Rahul. We were in the same school and if there was one person whom I could turn to in any situation, it was him. We were there for each other, come what may. Until, I fell in love.
I fell in love with a girl from my college. It felt like it was meant to be. I introduced her to my family and to my best friend. Soon, we three were like the best of friends – at least I thought it was friendship. Until one day, it all crashed when he confessed to me that they had had sex. I didn’t know whom was I more angry on. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t scream – I took the blow and absorbed it.
I saw them both every day for the rest of the three years of my course! Some how they were still best friends and I was a stranger. They moved on and behaved as if nothing had happened and I was stuck. Right there. I made new friends and they did too. They gelled well, I could never fit in. I began stammering and lost my ability of oratorship! The boy who had been an excellent speaker for 20 years of his life was suddenly having stage fright!
I didn’t – couldn’t forgive them. They never apologised. Before I could recover, there was another shock. My sister, my baby sister passed away. A barbaric truck driver had run her down – my hand shivers as I type this – but I can never forget that sight. My innocent little baby sister in so much blood! I wanted to track that bastard down and crush him with my bare hands. I imagined doing things to him that no one would ever do even in the most gory movies. I felt helpless.
There was so much pain around – there was so much of darkness. How could I ever move on? How could I ever live with the fact that my baby sister wouldn’t be on the bed next to mine like she was every night? How could I believe that she was never going to trouble me with her kiddish tantrums again? The sound of her laughter…echoed in my ears as I screamed out my pain. This time I screamed but nothing ever came out, in fact the pain settled in. Like it had found it’s home in me.
Boys don’t cry, they kept saying. I believed that. I didn’t cry. I wish I would have. I wish I could move on…
Today, two years later when I look back, I have this empty feeling inside me. I felt like I did not ever live during the years of my college life. I was stuck in the past. I was stuck in sheer pain. I couldn’t forgive Rahul and Jhanvi. I couldn’t forgive my sister for leaving me like this. I had never processed it. I still cannot.
Now that college is over, I linger on to that time. I keep cursing myself about missing the fun people usually have in their college lives. I miss my teachers who kept helping me cope up with the less. They moved on with new students. I still cannot move on.
My therapist told me something today. She said that those who had caused me pain had moved on. My sister had moved on to a different world. My teachers had moved on to a different time. For what was I waiting? Why didn’t I move on? Why didn’t I tell anyone what I felt for all those years? Then she asked me the most simple question which was the most difficult to answer. Why didn’t I cry?
I think I was waiting for them to come and apologise to me. I was waiting to be healed by them. Now I realise the silliness of it. I couldn’t wait for some dumb person to realise what they had done to me and waste my precious life bearing a burden that slowed me down. In fact, it froze me. I couldn’t wait for an apology anymore. I had to forgive them even before they became deserving of forgiveness. I did.
Last night, I cried for three hours. My eyes are swollen but my heart feels better. Crying meant facing the pain. It wasn’t easy. But it helped. Do you know what helped more? Forgiveness.
I had to let them go and stop hating them. When I tried so hard to not think about them, I was actually thinking about them. I stopped restraining myself. I am getting better, I will eventually get there. What’s important is that I am now on my way. I haven’t moved on but I am not stuck either.
*This is a work of fiction loosely based on true events.