I rarely speak nowadays. If I am required to look for a new friend, I’d tremble at the thought of new conversation, like a kindergartner on her first day. I would rather stay in my room or look for a clean table and began to type. I might offer an occasional ‘hmmph’ so my parents knew I was listening. Other than that, I’m quite mute and it came naturally.

The society was not impressed. It was called ‘snobbish’ or ‘pretentious’, I guess. They tried to lure me out with cute children, gossip and food and I deliberately took the first bite. And then I learned my lesson – people really suck sometimes and they do it for fun.

The gathering was totally unplanned, of course. The objective is to exchange latest stories – dramas within 10 mile radius, recipes, children’s traditional remedy for simple ailments, religious talk and of course, the timeline of someone’s humiliation that’s coincidentally was not there. I came from a girls’ school and it was supposed to be the broth and blood in my bones but now I’m just sick of it. I had the same feeling when I scroll down my Facebook’s newsfeed. I was there, mute and judging silently. Sometimes I feel proud of myself. Thank God I’m not that pathetic. Most of the time I felt more awful than the previous time. Then I unfollowed them all, leaving the updates of some book bloggers, artists, photographers and writers.

And yet I still felt annoyed. Ugh. Pesky humans. They don’t even mean what they say!

I realized it way too late. People talk and say things. Promised things. Jokes about things. A word of advice; they don’t really mean it. They scatter the words into the wind and forget all about it when they sleep. Some never intended to keep it. They said you’d be their best friend forever and you thought that should last long enough after the sun collapses and you were wrong. They left and stomp your heart with their feet. They said they worry about you because they love you and they don’t want you to make mistakes and that’s why they’re not going to support your decision. You need some networking, not wasting your time doing petty things, they said. You’re not supposed to be happy. Just suffer life like the rest of us. Use your degree. They tell you if you have any problems, they’d be there. The same one that says ‘all your secrets are safe with me.’ When disaster struck, I had to chase them one by one. I begged them to protect me. I was that scared. All I received was uncomfortable silence and a voice saying ‘call me when you’re better and we’ll celebrate!’

And I just stood there with all the words printed on my bleeding skin. Reading it all over and over again, asking myself which part of this conversation I didn’t understand.

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