Our siblings were friends and we were both introverts. We met daily for our studies, so a friendship was inevitable. We would often make small talk. I liked talking to her, because there was something that made us believe we could confide in each other, instead of talking it out with other people. It was a small town that we lived in and people started spreading rumours, so she insisted that we stop talking to each other.
I was just starting to make a good friend when life put a full stop on it.
I didn’t talk to her after that for almost 2 years, until the end of my high school when she asked me a question regarding our chemistry practicals. After school, we ended up in separate places for our undergrad. Introverted people like me have one certain common trait, that they try to hold on to the few people who mean if not everything but at least something to them. We reconnected again, it was early 2009 so calls and messages were our only options.
She was going through a nervous breakdown due to which she was doing crazy things, things not worth mentioning.
I wanted to hold her hand and tell her that everything would be fine, but she didn’t give me a chance to do that. Perhaps the time was not correct for us to reconnect. All my efforts were futile. Our conversations went on and off for the next couple of years. Come 2012 and she was over the roof for having scored entrances in some of the top-notch universities of US. I was happy to see her happy. After 2013, I joined as a software engineer in Gurgaon as she began her studies in the States. STD calls turned to ISD calls, she would describe her life, her struggles in coping up with her coursework, research and personal life. She taught me to be self-reliant, independent. It was because of her that when I began my grad studies in the US, I fearlessly took on the coursework and its challenges. I would ask questions and I learnt as much as I could in those two years of my MS degree. During my MS, she told me about her heart surgery that she had in 2011 for a birth defect, and how doctors were telling her to hold on to her life while removing the electrode that had become attached to her heart. She spoke about her fears about the impending surgery in 2017 when her battery’s life wears out.
Talking to her made me realize the limitations of science and how small we were in the hands of destiny.
We didn’t have the time or luxury to meet even though we lived in the same country. We were each running our own rat races. In the conversations with her, I realized that she was much lonelier than me and wanted to fly back to India and be with her parents. In 2016 she called it quits and flew back to be with her parents. Our conversations again switched to an on and off mode. Well, it's safe to say that we have hit the worst rock bottom ever in our friendship. I just want to say to P that I miss listening to her, and all the amazing research that she may be doing. I miss sharing with her all the amazing things that I have been doing.
I forgive her for all the lies that she has been telling me and I feel sorry for the hypocritical Indian society which has forced her to lie to me.