The Almost

It was a bright sunny yet pretty windy day. For some reason, wind makes me happy, especially when I see wind playing with the leaves of trees. It’s funny but this playfulness of nature made me crave for cupcakes. As I entered the cafe, I saw my friend sitting alone in the corner of the cafe. I asked her how is she doing. Her response shook me for a second. She said, “I’m bad with words, I hope you’re good at reading eyes”. I didn’t know how to respond to that. The only thing I could think of was how I didn’t keep in touch with her for a while. I don’t know why though. I think I just got busy with life’s duties that I forgot to check on my friends.

While I was feeling guilty for not keeping in touch with her, I heard her continue her words. She added, “Why do we live in a world where we are happy to compromise our emotions and feelings in order to fulfil our humanitarian duties towards life and profession? Why can’t we balance it both? Why does it has to be that humans of our generation can focus on only one thing in life at a time? Since when did we stop living life and keeping a mental and emotional balance in all aspects? I don’t understand why destiny allowed some people to meet when there’s no way for them to be together”. That last sentence made me realise that it’s not just about me, it’s about someone she is in love with. But still I didn’t know how exactly I should take this conversation forward or what to ask and how much to ask. I started questioning if I even deserve to know her heart when I didn’t see the real sadness and hurt behind that smile through which she is lighting the world around her. I didn’t want to be harsh but I just couldn’t find better words in that moment, so I told her – “You should let people know when you are hurt. You should let people know that they hurt you when they hurt you.”. She said, “.. and then listen to their justification? Or listen them saying how they didn’t mean to hurt you”. I replied, “I don’t know many things, but one thing I know when you tell someone that they hurt you; they don’t get to decide that they didn’t”. She added, “See, I know about their excuses and even though in the practical life that we live in, one can clearly say that those aren’t excuses. The fact is he knew what he was doing and he knew it would hurt me, but somehow that didn’t stop him. How do I confront something which was unsaid but was pretty loud.” I asked, “Do you guys still talk?” She looked down and said no. “But weren’t you both friends before?” I asked. She answered, “I am so confused, I don’t know what I want. Some days I want to be his friend but on other days I don’t. I mean, how can you be friends with someone when every time you look at them, you’re thinking about how much more you really want them in your life with honest feelings, undying trust and never-ending bond. How can I be just friends with someone who I have so much feeling for?”. “May be by accepting that the other person doesn’t feel the same way for you?”, I accidentally slipped these words out of my mouth without thinking. There was silence for a few seconds. Those seconds felt like hours and I felt horrible in those hours for hurting someone with reality who is already hurting and probably already knows the reality. For some reason in the silence I could see that she knew the reality but she didn’t want to accept it just yet. If I were in her place, maybe I would have felt the same way; that maybe I would have been in denial too because acceptance at this stage would only cause more hurt.

She then asked “Do right people with wrong timing ever get a second chance?” I said, “I don’t know..I guess..when two people feel for each other, pass the butterflies and heartbreak phase; and still look into each other’s eyes with honest emotions and reality, there is a high chance that there might be a fairytale awaiting for them. However, sometimes, there isn’t any fairytale and it’s all in our head. I don’t know why destiny allowed some people to meet when there’s no way for them to be together. It is so cliche to think that we experience failed love stories to learn a lesson, where as our style of showing love never changes. We might completely turn off our ability to feel emotions but the moment we turn our heart back on, it’s the same pattern and same style. Having said that, maybe you should focus on starting over again alone; leave this chapter and focus on writing a new one, not necessarily with someone but just for you and yourself.”

She looked at her phone and decided to leave for her appointment. Before I could offer her a hug, she got off the table and turned while looking for something in her bag. I wasn’t sure if I said something to upset her or if she actually had to leave. She took exactly two steps and looked at me and said, “He and I almost made it. I almost called him “mine” and he almost called me “his”. I think we almost loved each-other. Unfortunately, the only thing I am sure about is that “almost” isn’t good enough. Even though my head decided to not pursue it further, but this heart doesn’t stop hurting. May be because even though my mind has chosen to stay just friends, but my heart is filled with what ifs and could haves.”

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