Saturday night. This night surely has something. I usually don’t sleep on weekends at night. My room is dark and silent, with the only dim light of my laptop screen and the sound of these keys. Yes, I type hard and my keyboard kind of screams. Nostalgia has taken over me.
A quote flashed through my mind “If they can not handle you at your worst then they don’t deserve you at your best”
And with this quote, several memories followed. The person who used to say this a lot. “Sometimes people come and go, some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts.” No matter how short the stay is, some part of it is always left. Right now I am just having flashbacks of my last year in school.
In my senior year, I was not much involved in all the fun stuff and was too much into studies. I can take this intro too long but cutting it short. There was a girl named Menahil, in my class.She used to sit in the corner of the class, at the back. So silent and still, she had rough hair; carelessly tied up. Huge eyes and black spectacles over them, braces and a dry face that looked hardly washed or fresh every morning. She was so cold and firm, talked to nobody. The whole class kind of avoided and ignored her. They used to call her with weird names.
It was third week since the term started and nobody heard her voice. I was new there and I was more curious about her than any one. One day, I suddenly realized that I’ve met her before… Yes, we both missed our chemistry practical exam in our junior year so we were called for a re-exam. I went to her to talk but she was very ignorant. I initiated the conversation by complimenting her shoes and she gave me a frustrated look, “Duh, I know! You see, they are new… so.”
I was not taken back by such a reply to my sweet interaction because I wanted to talk to her for real.
I continued with my conversation, I reminded her of the day we took the exam together. She was still very cold and firm but gradually she became more open. I knew it, I was right. She needed someone for her stories and thoughts. She always wanted to speak up but no one was there to listen to her. We became good friends, I usually talk a lot but for this time I reserved my linguistic skills and focused on listening to her, more. Eventually, she told me some of her secrets too. I hardly took them seriously because maybe one can’t understand the suffering when they haven’t gone through same.
She was an only child and her mother was a professor and father; a government official. They both were mostly at work and she, at home. She was alone for so long. She was silent for so long too. She used to write; to be more precise scribble on her notebook during the class. No one could read what she wrote. Mostly, teachers used to hate her because her papers were a real struggle to check. All the teachers kept telling her to write with hands and not with her feet. She just ignored them. Only I could clearly read her diaries and journals, even though I also had much difficulty but I liked her so much that I never considered this. Her speech wasn’t eloquent. She used to stammer in between her talks, a lot. I realized she had a warm heart hidden behind that cold smile, she had a fierce blood flow buried inside her lifeless body. She had a healing touch. She was a piece of Art who was just thrown to trash by time. She was a great story-teller. (even more than me! *whispering* I like to call myself a good story-teller though) She was a gymnast too.
I remember that day, It was January and we were making cards and stuff for the victims of Peshawar APSACS attack. We were in the physics lab and were talking about the untimely demise of so many innocent kids. A smell of fear traveled across the lab, since we were also in another branch of the above mentioned school so it was a matter of deep concern. As it went, our conversations took the topic of death and trauma. There, she told us a story that explains some of her condition.
“It’s about the time when I was 12, one warm evening my elder cousin sisters took me out for shopping. They both were sitting on the front seat and on the way back home one my them called me and told me to sit with her. I was so attached with both of them, so close, even more than my parents. I rested myself on her lap, we were talking and I was in a safe heaven, I never wanted this car ride, evening and this time to end. Sigh, it never goes as we plan. One moment and my world turned upside down. A truck from the front, reversed back abruptly, the long iron bars entered our car piercing through the wind screen. The girl who was driving got a pointed iron bar straight into her head and died on the point. The other one got the iron bar in her shoulder. I was luckily saved; I just got minor injuries from the broken glass. The second one insisted me to get out of her lap and run. I was too scared and numb to think of anything. She opened the door and forcefully threw me out of the car. I called my parents but couldn’t speak anything. I saw my other sister died too.”
It was surely not an easy story to share, she stammered a lot. My warm smile and a kind tap on her shoulder from another friend was all she needed in such cases.
She continued, “The blur memory of my mother yelling at me to speak up made me worse. I was silent, I never spoke to anyone. I wanted to but my voice was lost in all those fears and my strength to move my vocal cords, was buried deep along….”
She never spoke to anyone in the next six months, despite getting all kind of help. Then, her paternal Uncle took her to England for further treatment, therapy and her well-being. She had an elder cousin brother named Rehan. He was very kind to her, he did everything to cheer her up, to bring her back to life. She was just like a baby girl to her. Again half a year went and she couldn’t speak. Although she was feeling much better.
Rehan took her to a roller coaster ride, after all other fear and shock therapies failed. Finally, her voice escaped her feeble soul as she let out a scream in mid-air, an occasion of extreme felicity for the family. Now she can speak, thank God! The only issue is she can’t speak a couple of sentences without stammering. People always left her in midway, before she could even complete her part. That is why she stopped talking to people and avoided them but Humans can’t live alone!!!
I repeat! Loneliness can’t accompany you forever. It may be a blessing when chosen by self but it’s a curse when given by others.
I always loved listening to her stories. Though she wasn’t that much frank but I made my every effort to lend her my ears. I used to read her written pieces, listen to her. I always had ways to keep the conversation going on. It’s not that I was so happy and free that I had time for her but I had my own demons too, and talking to her kept me distracted. I am not boosting, I am just sharing this happiness you get by cheering others. As the year ended, we both parted our ways with a last hug.
She wrote me a note, “You are a beautiful person; the only one who waited for my words with the warmest smile. Protect your inner beauty always. Never Change.”
I never knew, after some time I would miss her too much. She was a beautiful soul too, I lost her. Even today, I can’t find her. I know she might be feeling the same. Sometimes I miss her so much. I only shared one incident from her life. She had so many of them. Some stories of her are even darker than this one.They are too difficult for me too share but they always gave me strength and secretly I would feel more grateful to Allah Almighty for my life. We both were of help to each other in one way or the other, thought we were complete strangers. It might sound peculiar but yes, we weren’t that much frank and we never even told each other to take care.
The feeling of contentment you get when people find you to be of help; is the best feeling in the world.
Look around yourself; share your passions and little moments with people around you. Don’t rant over your life, love it. Learn to love it. I know it’s easy to say but hard to move on. Trust me; it’s not that difficult too. Listen to other people; you’ll see there is much more than the issues in your life. We all are playing here; all of us are stuck on some level and need other humans to level up. Actually all of us are heroes; we inspire others and get inspired by others too. It’s just an endless circle of sharing and care. We all grow up amidst humans, either avoiding them or depending on them.
Do share your thoughts friends 😀 . Share with your friends and tell in the comments if you ever had or still have such friends or listeners. Cheers!