Eighth Grade. You were the new guy. I was the popular girl. You were in division A and I was in B. We didn’t speak for the whole of first term. You didn’t even exist for me. Well, it was natural. Our friend circles never crossed. The only thing I heard about you was that you were the most reserved person anyone had ever met. It didn’t get my attention. I was the most un-reserved person. We were virtually opposites. Obviously there was no point in talking. Was there? Shark Tale. It’s probably one of the most childish movies I’ve seen in ages but it’s the one movie I’ll remember forever. I sat beside you in that movie, remember? Talked to you for the first time. We talked music. You said you liked Ozzy Osbourne [although I know he isn’t your favorite] and I thought you were crazy. I was still in my Taylor Swift phase, you see. I never saw any part of that movie except that part where the fish clean the bigger fish’s teeth [because the teacher told us to stop talking.] We laughed like crazy at that. I still don’t remember what was so amazing about that scene. Come to think of it, it probably wasn’t the scene. It was you.
We got on like a house on fire after that, didn’t we? We were always together. Lunch Break, Second Break. Always. You’d come to my class and we’d sit on one of those huge window sills and talk. Talk about anything. Everything. Music. Movies. I tried talking about books, but you despised them with a passion didn’t you? Haha I loved teasing you about that. Anyone who saw me talking to you would ask me, “What the hell do you guys talk about? I’ve never seen him talk that much before!” And I’d just smile. They’d never get it anyway. Eighth Grade was tough for me. Eesha wouldn’t let me be friends with anyone outside our group and I considered Anjali one of my closest friends. Since she wasn’t in the group Eesha gave me a choice. I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever heard. I wasn’t her puppet. Obviously I left the group. Looking back, I can’t see why I was ever friends with her. But the “walking away” still hurt. After all I knew those girls since forever! There were memories. You told me it’d be alright. That I’d stop feeling hurt. Remember how we bunked that wood workshop class? You hugged and told me, that I was the most important person in your life. I remember being shocked. Not that you weren’t important for me, but “most important” was something different. You told me about your relationship with your parents. I remember us hugging each other, drawing comfort. For the first time, I felt like things were going to be okay. Turned out, I was right. Two months later, things were alright with Eesha. There was no “group” now. It was just people being with people. Pure and simple, friendship.
And then you got a girlfriend. Aliya. She was really nice! She was in my bus but we’d never said anything but “Hi!” to each other before. Now we’re pretty good friends. Because of you. I remember being the mediator in your relationship. Boy, did I solve fights! I hated it when you guys broke up. You made a nice pair 🙂 Remember Mt. Abu? We went on a class trip for three days. You removed my fear of rappelling and I took care of you when you became sick after eating the horrible food. You always had a weak stomach. I remember how we stored your medicine [the one that had to be mixed with water] in my water bottle. My bottle smelled for days after that. I had to buy a new one. But I still kept the old one. Memories’ sake.
Ninth grade. It was horrible at first. All my friends were in the other class, except you. And people kept teasing us. Like, that didn’t make talking to you a little awkward. I saw a different you in ninth grade. You were possessive, jealous and moody. It terrified me. I knew the happy, trusting guy. Not this one. Dhwani later told me that you were always like this, it was because we’d been in different divisions last year so I didn’t know it. Though she did admit that even last year you were different with me, than you were with others. I had nothing to say to that. They told me Tirath was your sworn enemy. But Tirath was my childhood friend. Not that we were that close, but he had been in my class since Nursery. We talked occasionally. You hated that. You confronted me. I said I wouldn’t stop talking to him just because you wanted me to. Although obviously, you were more important. But I being the stubborn person I am, refused to compromise on what I believed. And we stopped talking. I hated that. It hurt like hell. But I was the silent sufferer types. No one ever came to know just how much it hurt. I cried everyday, wondering if I should have just compromised just this once then things would’ve been fine between us. But I never told you how much it hurt. You purposely talked to others in front of me, taunting me. I don’t know how I stopped myself from crying. Like I said, I was the silent sufferer types.
Rann of Kutch. It was going to be the worst camp ever. They were taking us to a camp in the middle of Navratri! It was horrible for a garba-fanatic like me! You were cool with it though. You hated any form of dancing. Though you DID do garba with me back in eighth grade when we celebrated Navratri in school. You told me you did it only for me. I liked that.
The camp turned out to be the best after all. Because we made up. It was the best 3 days I’d spent with you. I’ll always remember them.
The rest of ninth grade wasn’t peaceful though. You kept fighting with me. I kept making up. You apologized and I gave in. Everytime. I hung on to that thread of friendship which was now full of knots. Because it kept breaking and then getting fixed too many times. At the end of ninth grade, you told me you didn’t trust me anymore. I was shattered after that. You broke our friendship. I had no idea why. You broke me. I picked myself up though. I wasn’t going to show you how much it hurt. But I wanted our friendship back. Like it was in 8th grade. I even tried being nice to you. You never gave me the time of the day. That pained me more than ever. I decided I’d had enough of you. I stopped being nice. I pretended like you were never there in my life. I’d forgotten that you were my life.
It took me almost a year, before I could look at you and not tear up. We were in 10th grade now. But it still hurt. There were times when I wanted to hit you. Kick you. Punch you. Hurt you like you hurt me. Not that I could ever bring myself to. I told myself that it was never meant to be. But you were my best friend. I couldn’t just erase you like that. Just when I was learning to acknowledge your existence with a smile, you came and apologized. Apologized for everything. In that moment, I didn’t want anything but our friendship. I wanted “us” back. And so I forgave you. Once again. No questions asked. Things were amazing from then on. You were back. We were back. I loved talking to you. You updated me on your life. Turns out, you were as hurt as me. But then why did you do it in the first place? You said you didn’t know. I brushed it aside. You were back. Nothing else mattered.
But then you did it again. You asked me how could I possibly bitch about you behind your back. I told you I didn’t. You didn’t believe me. And I was left broken again. I wondered why I let you do that to me. Let you hurt me like that. I guess the lure of our friendship returning to its former glory enticed me into forgiving you everytime you hurt me. Looking back, I wonder whether going through months of pain was worth having a week of friendship. I wonder why you were so important to me. Was it because when things were fine, they weren’t fine but perfect? Or was it because I enjoyed being with you so much that I sort of forgot to think rationally. I’ve never found an answer to any of these.
Sometimes I still muse, the problem was with you. You were the one who had trust issues. You were the one who hurt me. I was the one who tried to make it better. Sure I made mistakes. Hell, I’m not perfect. But I’d talk to you. You, you’d just shut me out. Leave me in the dark. Not once did I know what actually went wrong. But I’d forgive you. Every f*****g time. I still wonder why. I always will.
That last time you told me you didn’t trust me, I decided that I was done. Done with being the one who was left hurt. Done with doubting myself and somewhere blaming myself too, for the demise of our friendship. We talked after that but it was more like we were acquaintances. Not like we were best friends. It’s been about 3 months since we’ve been cordial. Do you wonder like me? Do you wonder where our friendship went wrong? Do you still smile when you see photos of us on facebook? I do. Because whatever said and done, our friendship had become the most important thing to me. Ever. Its taken time, but I’m at a better place now. A more stable place. But I still miss “us”.
I’ve never told you any of this. Everytime I tried, you’d say- “It’s all water under the bridge now.” And I’d stop what I was saying. No point ruining the friendship, I’d think. Slowly, I lost the courage to admit how I felt. I just went along. Somewhere, I’d become someone else.
Now that I see it, I wonder how I didn’t suffocate. Probably because everytime our friendship was renewed, I was resuscitated. Keeping all that inside me was probably the toughest thing I’ve done.
There. I finally wrote it all. It’s taken me months to become that same girl you knew. The same girl I knew. But I did it 🙂
We may never meet each other again. But I’ll always remember you. Because you taught me the most important lesson of life: Sometimes, it’s just easier to let go.
And I hope one day I get the courage to tell you all this.
A/N: This is the OS closest to my heart. It may not be the best thing I’ve ever written but its made of things that have actually happened to me. If anyone’s interested, the guy in question is still an asshole LOL 😀 And no, he wasn’t my boyfriend 😐