When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
– Mary Oliver
I met you at a very tender age. You wore a purple top, so tight and low cut that nothing was left to the imagination. Your husband gave us little lecture on love and new beginnings. You giggled at every silly joke the evening made that day, and your judging eyes stared at my uncomfortable face for hours. It was our first meeting.
I didn’t like you that day.
I was hungry, tired, and worried about my new journey. You didn’t offer me any food. You were not like other marvelous women I met during my short life span. I was annoyed by your superficial expressions and pointless laughter.
Once we met for coffee. For the first time the cup seemed so full and hours seemed so stretched. We had nothing in common to discuss over a cup full of coffee. Nothing. Fashion. Poetry. Sports. International Affairs. Politics. Feminism. Technology. Friendship. Food. The world offered so many things to talk about. But we had none.
I remember, that evening you said how you would help me in my new life, though you seemed to forget that sooner. But what I remember the most is what you said after that, ” You know, marriage is like winning a jackpot. At least mine is. He makes me so happy.”
“How naïve!” I thought then. But I admit, in next a few years, whenever I was touched by various facets of love, I was reminded of what you said. A good marriage is truly like winning a jackpot.
We learned to accept each other. We kind of had to. Sometimes life does not give us much choices, we be happy with handfuls thrown at us.
You mostly came to me with your problems. It seemed like your life was full of issues- even the tiniest ones were big page turners. Your husband was the antagonist in each problem story. I backed you. Not because I liked your side of the story, but because your husband’s disguised misogyny showered to every mortal of the opposite gender. I supported you like an elder sister. Every time we met, you pointed out our age difference. I kind of surrendered to the fact that though the months of age difference could be counted using all fingers of my hand, the difference in our life experiences could not be done that way!
I wrote to you. I called you when you felt empty. I protested when someone tried to humiliate you. I gave you company on big days of the calendar. It was a thankless job. And it took me years to fathom that part of our story.
The happiest chapter in my book started when I moved thousand miles away from you. Suddenly my days were not that obnoxious. Suddenly I was not living my life to fulfill your wishes, to make you a bigger person, to listen to your boring grievances, to give you my attention that you didn’t deserve. Suddenly I felt I had all the right to live the way I wanted to. In freedom.
Then we meet again..
All of a sudden, I live a sense of deja vu. I see how little you have changed. They say time has effect on every living being. But I see how unaffected it left you. Your life stories are still the same- iPhone loving, self-indulgent, selfie-blinded narcissistic. You start your days framing stories about your personal life on Facebook. There you pretend to love singing, cooking, reading, and even writing, though none of them are even slightly present in your real life. You copy other people’s originality, and keep living in your lies. You write paragraphs on how great everything in your house looks, how tidy your relationships are. Back to reality, you still complain about all little and big things of life. Just like many of us, who struggle to sail through. Life is hard and imperfect at times for everyone in the real world. Isn’t it?
I remember many of your favorite foods, I cook some of them just once again, just to keep practicing on doing something thoughtful. I give you suggestions when you ask, though not like our old days. I keep my stories short and distanced, because unlike you, I happen to learn from time and certain experiences.
You leave when new leaves start emerging on blank woods. I feel new again. And in freedom.
In one of the shortest long distance conversations, I share a wonderful news from my life with you. Missing your chance to be happy for me once, you reply, ” My story must have inspired yours.” I call you narcissist openly, without a hint of remorse in my throat, and close our chapter for good.