It was meant to be forever. I never reconsider anything said and done. I accept them like my sisters.
Maybe forever is a long time to endure this.
I have been called many names. Some I hated, some I don’t mind and some I enjoy replying to.
One girl called me cocky.
One boy called me crazy.
One girl called me witty.
The thing is they never really know me. They haven’t met my parents or sleep on my bed or told me their utmost fears and their wildest dreams. They’re just random strangers giving opinions during several insignificant episodes of my life.
I am tempted to not care.
But those girls called me selfish.
This very word flew out after 17 years of high and lows, laughter and tears, peace and struggles, heartbreak and pain.
They knew the story of my life. They knew that I volunteered to go to the bullying fest* just because my then-roommate didn’t want to be alone there.
*There was a special club that only the chosen ones could get into. It’s Reserved National Navy and most girls (I’m from an all girls’ school) wanted to join in. You got to go camping, shooting, even join the Navy rounds with their war ships. It’s acknowledged as one of the most prestigious co-curriculum association but to get in it, you got to be treated like the Navy.
She, the roommate was not picked into the squad. I guess she lived happily ever after but I got stuck with it for two years. It was really hard for me. I did not manage to make any friends because everyone picked their partner already and they didn’t look too happy to be paired with me.
All those time I had to endure burpees, starjumps, push-ups, frog jumps, quacking on hot, baked tennis court, punished for things that I didn’t do. It’s a combo of the most pleasant and unpleasant things in the world. I had to ignore trickling sweats and blood all over my body, blisters, aching muscles and the cruelest of all, the unforgiving Sun. There was a lot of screaming from our seniors, kicking, punching, running and marching.
But I learned to assemble M-16 in less than a minute, I camped in most beautiful places in Malaysia, I rode the Navy truck, frequented their camp, I joined the Navy to cross the Singapore-Malaysian border with their war ship, I learned to make a proper fire, I learned to shoot, I got to know many good, kind people from the Navy, other students from other schools with the same program and won many marching competitions.
I never complained about that. I know how unhappy feels like and I wish no one would ever sink into it. It was never about the prestige or the uniform. I just couldn’t stand seeing someone so sad.
That wasn’t the only time I volunteered to do stuff to people. The paid price is usually more that I ever imagined in the first place.
But I did it and I understood completely how Katniss must have felt though we do it for a different reason entirely.
So when someone I cared deeply and the same one who knew exactly how I function said such a thing, It really hurt.
I searched again and again what did I do wrong and my only sin was not reaching out to them.
I don’t know if you ever been in a phase where you can no longer said anything good about your entire life. You have this bitterness that won’t go away even long after you woke up and every single time you open your eyes, you ask yourself why. You slowly forget how to laugh. There’s just one big cloud surrounding you and you wonder if you really deserve this life. Is this your purpose?
I learned that talking about it doesn’t really help. People have a proper life too. They worry about their wife, their husband, if the combined income is enough to send their children to a good school, if they need to further their studies, if they could afford the mortgage of the house of their dreams, if they could buy another car, if they can go for a vacation during their free weekend, stuff that make my problem seems pale in comparison.
Stuff that matters to them.
I can’t really compare my mid-single-life crisis to that. My friends already have enough troubles of their own. Why would I attempt to add more? If I don’t have anything funny, respectful or progressive to say, why would I bother to start a topic in the first place? The world has enough negativity.
So I took to bottle it up. This is not easy. There were moments when I thought I could no longer hold it in or I might burst in pieces but I keep at it. I was tempted to look for my best friends, the girls that I trust but I was scared. What if they’re miserable and I was just being insensitive? I had to remind myself that I am not their priority anymore. They’re married. And what was I thinking? It’s better to drown in my sorrow than to make them listen to me.
I am not selfish, I thought.
And then, of all the words they could ever chosen to describe me and the picked ‘selfish’. The irony.
I don’t understand it. Why would you hurt someone that puts your happiness first? Why would you continue to hurt her when she apologized? And for the love of God, why would you hurt someone that owns nothing, said nothing and do nothing even after you spit all the venom of your heart into her face? You already won.
That was the same mouth that forged those words when we were 13. How dare you said forever when you actually meant if you don’t ask me how I was doing or update me about your life, you can go to fucking hell.