I was sitting in the room the other day, just same old, working on my college assignments when one of my friends walked into the room. (He is a good friend of mine.) He sat across me and I looked up from what I was doing and looked at me.
“Are you okay?” He asked me. I was surprised with that question. I smiled and said that I was fine.
“You always say that.” He replied. I was taken aback now. I didn’t say anything further. I was just looking at him. He refused to make further comments. I was feeling down on the day so I was not really happy with him leaving a comment hanging, just like that, while looking at me. Maybe he was expecting an answer from me, but I could not find any answers that I could offer him.
“You don’t look okay.” He finally said. With that, I stretched into a smile and told him that I was okay. I asked him why did he think so? He said I was not smiling and laughing that often anymore. I told him I had too much assignments that I had to do and that not smiling and not talking were not things that he had to notice, or worry about. I just needed to focus on the things that I needed to do first.
“How did you do it?”
“Do what?” I asked while returning to what I was doing before. I was getting annoyed. I was not in the mood to talk to anyone at all.
“How could you be there for everyone when they need you but you push everyone away when you need someone? How did you stay in solitude most of the time and not feel lonely? How did you smile when your eyes are so sad?”
He caught my attention then.
I looked up at him. I did not know people notice that I was sad. I was not in the happiest moments these few weeks and it would continue on because I just lost a friend who was really important to me. He left without a reason, without an explanation. It hurt me and I was sad. He was really important to me and he was one of the people that I would really talk to. I told him my problems some days and he knew who I was, very clearly. We were a bit more than friends at one stage but it ended. I lost him and it was a difficult time for me. (It still is a difficult time for me.) I was so absorbed in my sadness that I forgot to mask it away.
I told him I was fine with an extra effort. I smiled up to my eyes, flipped my hair like I always did and played a happy song, telling him that I was listening to the song just before he walked into the room. He squinted and looked at me. I told him he was thinking too much and he was being too sensitive. He said fine.
“But I think you are selfish.” He said. “People trust you. They tell you their problems and they come to you most of the time when they need someone. You are always there for them, even those who don’t open themselves up to people. You listen to them and you are always there. Just like the other day for me. I was sad and you were there for me. I was really thankful. You listened to everything I had to say and you were there for me. But now, you are pushing me away.”
No I am not. I am fine.
“You are selfish.”
With that, he stopped. He sat there the whole time and I was sitting there too. I was thinking about the things he had said.
I am selfish. I always am. It is not that I can’t find trust in others. It is that, the friend that I have lost, I trusted him. I trusted him so much. My trust for him was enough for me to hand him a loaded gun when there was no one around. My trust for him was so strong and I lost him and it was not the best feeling. It made me recoil back to where I was before meeting him. I can’t tell people what is worrying me because there is no reason to. I hate the whining me.
Well, I am selfish. I don’t like it when people touch me without my permission.
What he said was right, though. I listened to others. But I didn’t do it because I wanted to be nice or selfless. I did it, still doing it, because I can’t bear the loneliness that I see in their eyes when they are upset.
Just because I have been there.