Aren’t we a selfish bunch!
Oh, I don’t mean you or me. I mean the human race. We always think of ourselves first. No matter what the catastrophe, big, small, medium, we ask if it affects us in any way. Most of the time, we decide it doesn’t, and continue to think about our own lives and be self-absorbed.
But there’s no excuse for how we behaved on that particular day.
We had begun to describe the “self” as the two of us. And the resulting selfishness was ours to share and feel small about.
In life, you wade through a few bad relationships and get convinced each time you try again, you’re only setting yourself up for another heartbreak. It’s this pessimism that gives way to fears of jinxes and speaking too soon, like how some women hide their pregnancies until they’ve crossed the three-month mark. So far, we had told none of our friends about us. It was swelling up on the inside, the weight of this secret. We expressed disbelief that it wasn’t plain on our guilty faces for everyone to see. It was worse that we didn’t really want to keep it a secret, and we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the “fear”. It was a bad itch, like living with sewed lips, because we didn’t want to blurt anything out. But blurt it out we did.
At Sara’s father’s funeral.
There was an air of sorrow all around. Her father lay in a casket placed in a small room in a corner of their house. It was just our group, Sara’s closest friends, that refused to step in to the room and pay our respects. Were we afraid suddenly of death? Was the grief sucking out our newfound joy? Or had we just held it in for far too long?
When we told her, Sara should have punched us in our faces for our insensitivity. She didn’t. She smiled through her tears and told us she was happy for us. Our other friends murmured in half-hearted agreement, even as they reproachfully looked at us with the words, “How could you reveal this today?” unsaid but heavy in the space between us. They also chose not to punch us in our faces. Sara went a notch further and said the two of us getting together called for celebration. The worst thing was that she wasn’t being sarcastic. This only made us feel smaller than we already did.
We made excuses. We said we were trying to cheer Sara up with some happy news during this terrible time. But in the end, we knew they were right. What were we thinking? Oh, that’s right. About ourselves.
Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!