Phone call #1 : “Yeah baby, I’ve reached safely. Thanks for sending your car. Miss you.”
Phone call #2 : “Hey hon, yeah just got here. He had just called. He never leaves me alone. But you do know you’re all I think about. Miss you.”
Phone call #3 : “I love you too. I’ve known you for years now and I don’t want to lose you as a friend. Let me get back home and we’ll talk about this babe. I saw your post on Instagram. Any girl would be lucky to have you. Could you not say ‘girlfriend’ though? I miss you too, bye.”
And I just stood there, waiting for her to finish, since I had finished sending a text to my mother twenty minutes ago. “Reached safe. Take care.”
More often than not, we see two types of girls around us. I hate to stereotype, but for argument sake, there are those girls who are waiting for prince charming and those who found theirs and are chaining him down. So this girl got all my attention. The three conversations that she’d had in front of me, I would never have known those were with three different people. And I would never have known those people were ‘just’ her friends.
Was I missing out on something? Did I not know the social convention any more?
A few tequila shots later, I had the stomach to ask her. And in reply she threw a cheesy 8fact quote at me. She said,
Boys play with toys and girls play with boys.
I took a few deep breaths before lecturing her on how that is morally insane and decided to take the high road. I wanted to know the back story here. So that night, since I didn’t want to seem like I was prying ( which I totally was ) , we air-kissed and drifted off to sleep.
Two days later, she received a call that drained all the blood from her face. She rushed home and found her mother in tears, and her father anxious and furious, two other middle-aged people she didn’t know and a lawyer. By the time I got there, the family was in the middle of a law suit, she was shaking and all hell had broken loose.
The boy from phone call #2 had taken his own life.
He also left a note saying she had driven him to it. You might call it dark humour, but if I had to guess , I’d say phone call #3 would be the one to go. When I slapped some sense into myself, I realised chasing attention can be much more harmful than it sounds. Keeping someone on the hook, might be you playing safe, but it might choke the person on the other side.
We girls have this tendency to judge other girls based on their social media profiles, their relationships, and other such things that don’t really matter. And for some girls, escaping this judgement becomes so important, that the number of ‘likes’ on their pictures decides how beautiful they are, and the number of guys on hold decides how loveable they are.
My protagonist is now in an all-girls convent, and we Skype once every 2-3 months. And when I told her I want to share her story, she made me promise I’d end it with this warm little poem by Eric Hanson.
You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.