Friday, 22 August 2008

Why was it always her?

It had always been her. She was the loved one at home, there was no doubts about that. Jenny wondered what had gone wrong or where she had gone wrong. Daisy was her own sister, and yet mom and dad loved her more. Was it because she was more accomplished than Jenny? “No, that couldn’t be the reason,” Jenny thought. “Mom loves me too, and equally.” But a small voice from inside asked her, “Do you really think so?” And she had no answer to that. Right from when they were kids, Daisy was the more loved one at home. When she was very small, she had certain health complications and mom and dad thought she needed them more. They cared for both of them equally. But in the process of growing up, Jenny was expected to be more mature in her thinking than her age called for. Jenny loved Daisy with all her heart, who would not? And she was very protective and possessive of her but she also wanted her sister to grow up on her own fighting her own battles. That is what Jenny had done. Being the elder one at home, no one was really there to help her out. Mom would only listen to her problems and woes but nothing could be done. She had to face her own problems by herself. This made her quite a fighter. Jenny realised early that things would never be served to you in a silver platter unless you fight, more so being a girl.

But in all these struggle, there was one thing happening unknown both to Jenny and her parents. She was drifting away. There was a huge ridge building up between them. Though she loved her parents a lot, Jenny stopped showing it. She donned a mask of indifference. This soon turned into a habit, and soon her parents stopped trusting her much. To the outer world, she showed as though she didn’t care, but in her heart she was crying, she was miserable. Her own parents never understood her, they always doubted her. They always thought that she was up to no good. “Is this what they feel about me?” Jenny often pondered. ”What can I do to win their trust again? “Why can’t I be their darling daughter?” Questions than ran through her mind, that she had no answers to, try however hard she might; she just couldn’t figure them out.

One mask after the other, Jenny’s sweet nature was soon replaced. She came to the conclusion, no matter how hard she tried, her parents would never love her as much as they loved Daisy, so why bother?

There were small instances that got imprinted in her mind and would never be forgotten. They were always comparing their two daughters. Why couldn’t they understand? Daisy and Jenny were as different as night and day, they both had their own different attributes that made them unique. But no, her parents saw Daisy’s uniqueness but never understood Jenny’s.

As years passed, Jenny grew to be a much admired young lady but she still yearned for her mother’s love and affection and more so for her understanding, things that were never to be. Her love for her parents was still the same but it had grown passive over the time. She learnt not to show any emotion on her face, whether love or hurt and her parents felt that she had lost all emotion. Now she was being accused of being selfish. One day, things having gone beyond her tolerance and patience, Jenny burst out, Mother, you say that I am selfish, but who do you think made me this way?” But even at that time, her mother was overwhelmed and she started crying. Now Jenny had decided, “That’s just about it! There is no way mom will ever understand what I went through or am still going through.” Living at home was becoming unbearable. Jenny could not connect to the people at home, she never felt part of them. She knew only one thing, she had to get out of that place. She really did not call it home so it did not affect her much and moreover no one was going to miss her, except her sister Daisy. But she had to do this for herself. Now was the time to be really selfish. The best thing for her family was her staying away from the family. And this was what Jenny intended to do. But every cloud has a silver lining, and the silver lining in Jenny’s life was that her sister loved her more than anything else in the world. The two girls were very close and were best of friends. Nothing that happened between her and her parents ever affected her relationship with Daisy. And Jenny was very thankful to the Lord Almighty for that. Every morning she thanked God for her sister whom Jenny loved too. Nothing would ever change that. What happened between her and her parents would never ruin anything. Here was one person who understood Jenny and loved her for who she was and expected nothing in return.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Time to move on

Her heart is heavy today, so very heavy. And that is not because of all the stress that she have been having for the past few weeks, but because today she knew that she had lost a friend, a very good friend. 

Why did things have to get complicated? Why did their friendship become such a mess? Things were fine just as they were. “Why, oh why did he have to propose to me?” She kept asking herself that question time and again but could not come up with an answer. When she had asked him, he said that he had really and madly fallen in love with her. 

Sara just didn’t know how to react to that. Now that changed things drastically. There was some awkwardness that has crept into the friendship now. They were always buddies, teasing each other and pulling each other’s legs yet always being there for each other. Now Ned felt that they would be happy as life partners and so he proposed. But the question was would she be happy? She liked or rather loved him as her friend and had not looked at him as anything else, but suddenly this issue had to pop up. And there was such a marked change now in both of them. They just didn’t seem to talk to each other as they used to earlier. The prank calls that he would make just to irritate her, with either a different accent or a different voice, all now seem to be a thing of a past. This is just like two people happily hopping along a path and then suddenly one of them tries to veer the other friend into a whole new direction. And when the friend realizes that it is not the way she wants to go, she tries to stop. But little does she know that this stop will bring about a breech in their earlier friendship and things will never be the same again. They will never go back to what they were.

She sat there in her office trying to concentrate on her work. But every other minute, her glance kept reverting back to the mobile in front of her. “I wish he would call”, she kept telling herself. But however hard she wished, there was still no call from him. Sara knew Ned even better than he knew himself. She knew exactly when he was upset and when there was something on his mind. They rarely met face to face but that did not matter at all. And this is what troubled her most, the fact that she knew him well. She knew how he had been hurt in the past and even today he hadn’t forgotten that. And now she didn’t want to be the one to hurt him again. Her circumstances would never allow them to be happy in life and Sara just did not want that for Ned. He deserved a lot better, much better that her.

She stood at the counter waiting for her boarding pass. This seemed to be the best option to her. There was no way she could still be around Ned, without him getting hurt or constantly being reminded of her refusal. She had to go away, move out of his life. There was no way that they could be the same friends that they were. Others would not understand but she knew, there was no going back, now only move forward. It was all for the good she kept telling herself. It was very hard to tell Ned that she was leaving the country. He just wouldn’t believe her and didn’t allow her to leave either. But she used the ruse of better career options and he knew her to be a very ambitious person. And she promised him that she would come to visit very often. Ned was not exactly overjoyed but he was happy for her. “I really love you Sara and I will always be there for you, remember that.” Ned had told her that and in her heart she knew this to be true but. There was always a ‘but’ involved.

Putting all these thoughts aside, Sara boarded the plane. She looked out of the window at the setting sun sending an ethereal glow in the horizon. It was beautiful, both Ned and Sara were always captivated by these sights and had spent many evenings together watching the setting sun but not today. She had already started missing Ned but she was determined to keep her resolve. Ned should never know. Ned would never find out how much she loved him, how much she cared for him. The day he proposed to her was by far, the most beautiful day in her life, but Ned would never know. She had to make sure of that. He had to move on and for that she had to move out. Closing her eyes, she made a simple prayer to keep Ned always happy Ned safe. As for her, she knew not, what she would do, or where she would go. The plane took off, and she took with her the most prized possession-memories of the beautiful times spent with Ned and these she would guard jealously for the rest of her short life.