“Howdy! We need to catch up, how about dinner tonight”, Shirley called up her best friend quite early in the morning. The timing of the call wasn’t what surprised her friend, but the call itself.
Shirley just wanted to escape those horrid feelings, she just wanted to escape herself and that’s why she had called her best friend. They hadn’t met or even spoken for ages, not because Shirley was busy all these last couple of years but because she never felt the need to take time out for her friends.
All Shirley had been doing all these years was that she kept running back to the person that she needed to walk away from.
Two years back when Shirley had realised that she had fallen in love with this person, it was one of the greatest feelings that she had. She had just shed her shackles off someone who cheated on her and all she was looking out was for a man whom she could trust unconditionally.
He was charming as much as he was appealing and that’s what had attracted Shirley towards him. For Shirley, it was a relationship that she wanted to last. She was not looking forward to have a great couple of months with him and then call it off. She never wanted to experience the feelings of being lost and hurt all over again.
Shirley was committal in her relationship, no matter what happened. Whatever the challenges, or how hard her situation was, she kept fighting for his love. She just wanted to be with him all the time.
Relationships often break due to mistrust or cheating. But for Shirley it wasn’t either of these. She knew that he would never cheat on her or lie to her. For her, the pain was different.
While she would be with him, Shirley made sure that they did only what he liked. Whether it was the friends he loved to hang out with, the movies and food that he liked, the places he wanted to go, she was always accommodative.
Sacrificing her priorities for the sake of love was something Shirley never regretted doing; for her the feeling of being in love was far superior to the various foregoing of her significances that she wittingly succumbed too.
While Shirley started prioritising his needs and interests before hers for the sake of love, he started to believe that he owned her and that she owed him.
Probably his needs were different from hers but then slowly but surely, he started thinking that she needed to adapt her needs accordingly. With every passing day, it wasn’t just he wanting her to look like a supermodel or love chicken wings, but it went beyond just wanting her to love football too to expecting her to spend every waking moment with him.
Shirley was ready to adapt all that he loved, but all she wanted in return was to be feeling seen; she wanted to feel him hearing her. She never really expected him to be affected by her every emotional state, but the least she expected of him was being aware of it, at least be a witness to it.
Every single time Shirley would be suffering emotionally and on the verge of tears which used to be really rare, he would find him in his own therapy and expecting her to fight his assumed emotional demons with him.
He assuredly used to confess his love for her every single time they met or talked but that was not what Shirley was asking for. He was so preoccupied with his own issues that she started wondering that if he isn’t able to see that she is hurt now, how long it would take him to figure it out.
Shirley realised that once they would be living together, she would be suffering for days or weeks before he would be even aware of it or care enough to help her through that. She understood that she would have to rely on herself for her own emotional support.
For Shirley, her relationship wasn’t something in which she wanted him to be someone who has every step of his life pre-planned; she just wanted him to be someone with drive and with goals. She wanted him to give her a shoulder to lean on when she felt like crying once a while, and not someone who himself cries every day.
“Why not, it’s been long, why don’t we catch up for a movie too”, her friend replied and those words were really soothing for Shirley that morning. She really wanted to meet her best friend and talk.
Shirley knew that talking won’t change anything for her, and it really didn’t matter too. But at that moment, it was what she wanted the most and she knew that her best friend would be there when she called, though Shirley had never really cared to check out on her all these years.
Shirley just wanted to tell someone what she had been going through all these years to escape from those rotten feelings. She just wanted to vent her heart out so that there was no pain left in it; she just wanted to open up her mind in front of her best friend so that there was no fear, no ugliness left behind.
The movie wasn’t great and the food wasn’t awesome too, but strangely, Shirley had no reason to complain. She was smiling as she walked back home that evening.
As Shirley lay down on the bed to close her eyes for the day, she realised that when she opens up her eyes to a new day the next morning, she had to be different. She wanted to be remembered as the girl who always smiled even when her heart was broken, as one who would be there to always brighten up the day of others even if she couldn’t brighten up her own.
As Shirley closed her eyes and allowed the last drop of tear to drop down, she could feel the entire memories of the last two years just fading away. She could feel her best friend holding her hands and her words echoed in Shirley’s ears, “Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together”.