"He was my nemesis and he was omnipresent. There was no place that I could have existed without him being by my side. He was air, just poisonous. He was water, just toxic. He was murky acid rain on a lovely spring morning. You can understand what he must have done to my existance then. It was ruined." Deena stopped short after this sudden outburst. She had always been that calm and cozy friend with a seemingly happy life. I never knew she was troubled
"I don't know what to say," I replied. I knew it wasn't exactly the answer she had been waiting for. We had been friends for years but I knew nothing about this part of her life.
She glanced at me and I could feel a strange and quesy feeling rising in my stomach pit. It isn't easy consoling a friend who has kept her secrets to herself all this while, while you unravel every single thread of your grief in front of her eyes. She knew my scars, my pain. She had held my hand through those tears but I suddenly felt cheated.
Why did she make me believe that she had nothing to hide when all the while her pain had been bigger than mine? What strength or satisfaction had she got by being so impervious to an obvious display of affection?
"What do you mean that you dont know what to say? You are my friend. Aren't you?" Deena looked at me with tearful eyes
"I sincerely have begun doubting it in the first place now,Deena. What took you so long in accepting a pain that was greater than mine. You could have shared it with me? What did you fear? Or were you rejoicing in your little secret while I put my heart on the table in front of you so that you could dissect is as you liked and come up with solutions that you thought were good enough for me?"
She looked at me in some confusion.
"Now what makes you think that I hid things from you. I just wasn't ready to speak it out. I felt I could deal with it."
"But we had the same problem. We could have looked for a solution together."
"So, are you moaning the loss of a moment that you would have rejoiced in my being a victim as well?"
"You know I didnt mean that."
"But that is exactly what you meant. Listen Darling, Friendship isn't always about sharing secrets. Sometimes its about being there. Some of us can tolerate more than others can take. It finally is about how long can you stand against the storm. When you can't, you blow up. You blew up earlier and well, I did today."
"Maybe you are right Deena, but I feel so cheated."
"Because your friend here has stayed strong for a wee bit too long and tonight she needs you more than anyone else, so maybe you should just hold my hand and let me cry a bit. Will you do it for me?"
"Yes," I replied tears welling up in my eyes. I had just learnt another aspect of human relationships.