By, Safa Saifudeen, Computer Science student, 2012-16 batch
(from her blog, http://tosimplifycomplexity.blogspot.in/)
Title: The Second Glass of Wine
Word count: 1k
Summary: She lost the one constant in her life of changes. She cries, she throws things, she copes.
I love the sound of rain, it reminds me of the times we sat together on the balcony during rainstorms with glasses of wine in our hands and cigarettes on our lips. All those times we shouted over the crescendo of the crashing rain to be heard. We spoke about unfair bosses, ridiculous working hours, the lame pick up lines the loser coworker tried on us that day, anything, everything. Some days we just sat there, not a word passed between us, it was all unsaid, we still understood.
You’d always been there, the only constant I needed in a life of changes. Boyfriends and acquaintances came and went, you stayed. No matter how long it had been since our last conversation, the bond remained. Every girl needed a best friend, you were mine, I was yours.
You are the most important part of most of my memories. You was the first one I told when I got my first job; the first thing I bought with my own money was drinks when we went out to celebrate. Being your friend was easy, I didn’t have to try, I just needed to be myself.
That little black dress we both tried on and loved but left at the store because it was ridiculously expensive. We never forgot it though, we stared wistfully at it every time we passed by until they removed it from the display. The way the sales girls looked at us, we were those two weird girls who drooled at a dress each time but never bought it.
We promised we’d be with each other the first time we got drunk, who knew what we’d spill under the influence. I ended up getting drunk with my colleagues the first time, but I felt bad, like I betrayed you somehow. I bought us a bottle of vodka on your birthday but we didn’t like it much anyway.
Those nights we stayed up watching movies, pretending we were still kids, as if it was all a long sleepover. We woke up sprawled on the floor with the laptop still switched on, and went to work that day bleary eyed and with prominent dark circles under our eyes.
We met in school, friend of a friend, it didn’t take us too long to become inseparable, giggling over little things, sitting at the back of the classroom. We swore we’d never let anything come between us, but we once did and I guess we were stronger because of it by the end. I remember those conversations we had after we made up, it was a huge misunderstanding, we both felt the same way and I’d never forget that moment when we realized we could stop apologizing, it was all forgiven and forgotten, we were better than before.
We were similar in some ways, our love of new things, open mindedness, but we had our differences, I was always more flighty, you were more grounded. You still put up with my crazy mood swings and impulsive decisions, like that one time we drove out in the middle of the night because my favorite band was landing at the airport at that ungodly hour in the next city.
That one late night phone call you made, the first time we spoke about everything and nothing, that call probably was the beginning of everything. That one time we sat on the front porch and I cried, talking about things that seem so insignificant now.
As I walked back from where you are now, tears poured down my face and I wasn’t really there, I couldn’t see the people with me, I couldn’t see the road ahead of me. I wished you were crying with me instead of me crying at your memory.
The first time I ever felt truly alone was when I walked back into our apartment after the funeral. I still hear your voice sometimes. It used to reduce me to a crying, shaking mess, curled up against the kitchen wall. Then it stopped making me cry, it made me angry instead. I threw things, I broke things, I yelled at strangers and screamed into pillows. I’ve woken up on the floor where I passed out after I tired myself out. At one point it was the only way I could sleep. If I closed my eyes, I saw you there.
I pass the corner where the car barreled into you every time I go out to get groceries. Sometimes I stand there for a while and I can feel you there with me. It’s almost like you were never gone. I drop some money into the hat of that old homeless man who sits there, he’s taking care of you for me, keeping you safe until I come again.
I’ve never been a believer, neither had you, I couldn’t accept the whole ‘God calls the good people’ because it wasn’t fair, you were too young, you didn’t deserve to die. I was angry at everyone. How could everyone go on with their lives when I had lost everything? How could they expect me to act normal, like nothing was wrong when everything was wrong. I didn’t know why I lived anymore, it was pointless to stay on, I couldn’t bear with the pain.
People talked about how I was in shock at your funeral, not shedding a tear, I didn’t care, you’d only gone out for work, you’d be back home soon. You’re still around aren’t you? I still feel you here. In your room, in the kitchen, on the balcony. I still pour out two glasses of wine, it’s waiting for you. You’re coming back, aren’t you?
It still hurts all the time, it hurts so bad that it is physical pain. Each time I close my eyes, I see your face, and you smile at me cryptically. Sometimes I hear your voice telling me to be strong but I can’t. It just makes me hurt a little more, because I now realize I’ll never get to hear your voice in reality again, it’s only going to be in my mind from now.
I tell myself I have to move on, that life goes on even if it feels like it has ended. It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked yet. Maybe it will someday. But for now, it hurts. And I can’t deal with it anymore.