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Being OK

He was okay. He had been like that for a while. Sure, life could’ve been better. But it could’ve been worse. He counted his blessings and thought, he was okay. Comfortable. Content. Maybe even happy.

And then he met her. He wasn’t much for talking. Putting himself out there was something he was just beginning to learn once again. But with her, he talked. He didn’t realize when courtesy-conversations changed to “friendly” ones.

In her he found an intellectual companion, an equal. And he talked. About feelings. About life. About his little joys, and disappointments. About his biggest strengths, and weaknesses. He said things only a few ears had heard before. And he wondered.

He wondered about how easy it was, how effortless, to open up to her. He wondered because it was strange. He had always been quiet. And all his earlier experiences had taught him the dangers of “giving people access”. He had been hurt before. He was careful about not getting hurt again. But with her, he wanted to share. To converse. To be comforted when he was hurt. To comfort her when she was.

And so, they talked. He wrote to her. He chatted with her. He called her. And she reciprocated. Conversations stretched on for hours. He was never a phone person. But with her, it was easy. There was laughter, contemplation, angst, and above all, catharsis. And he wondered.

He wondered because he had never understood how you could talk to someone for hours on end every day. But here he was, doing exactly that. Every day, he found things to say. The dreaded awkward silences never materialized. And all this when he knew her for what she termed as a mere 30 seconds. So he wondered.

He wondered what this was. He wondered because it was strange. He wondered what she thought.

She told him this is as far as it would get. There were conditions which prevented anything more, she explained. He listened. He understood. He was just happy to have her to talk to. It was undemanding, it was painfree, and it was simple. It was just – comfortable.

And so they talked. He smiled when he saw her number flash on the screen of his cellphone. He smiled when she expressed mock outrage over his ribbing. He smiled when he heard those songs she’d recommend to him every day. He smiled when he found she could trust him enough to share a bit of her life with him. He smiled at how they’d end up talking for another hour after she would say that she should hang up and sleep. He smiled when he allowed himself to think he’d found a friend – the kind that he didn’t have a lot of in his life. He smiled, and he hoped.

He hoped that it would stay this way. He sometimes wondered how it would be if this would’ve been allowed to be more than it was. But he had made his peace with the fact that it wasn’t. He wasn’t going to jeopardize a beautifully blossoming friendship – he had started to allow himself to use that word  – for something unattainable.

Everything was okay. It could’ve been better, but it could’ve been worse. He counted his blessings and thought it was okay. He was happy. Until she told him that he must leave her life.

He must leave her life because when she thought of him, it made her smile. Because he was nice, and she couldn’t afford that he continued to be nice. Because the reasons that had shaped the relationship to what it was, were now forcing them to become strangers once again. Because the fact that conversation was undemanding was now demanding that the conversations stop. He listened. He understood. He wished her well. But he wondered.

He wondered how fair it was that he had to let something beautiful go only because it was developing into something more beautiful. That he had to now work harder to shut out those awesome 30 seconds because they were awesome. He wondered if things are not perfect simply because their perfection would be their downfall. Perhaps that was why, the world as it was, was perfect.

But all that contemplation, he knew, didn’t matter. She demanded he move on. Life demanded he move on. That he be okay again. And he knew he would be. Sure, once in a while, he’d wonder.

Wonder what if things would’ve been different. If he’d been stronger. Wonder how it would’ve been if she’d been stronger. Wonder if she thinks of him sometimes. Wonder if miraculously their lives would intersect again some day. He’d wonder once in a while.

But he knew whatever happened, he’d be okay. He could’ve been better, but then he could’ve been worse. He knew he’d count his blessings and think he was okay.

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Categories: life, Ramble
  1. March 15, 2011 at 22:01

    I can read this several times, and still see something new.
    Honest and beautifully expressed. Something everyone can relate to.

    Love it!

    • P
      March 16, 2011 at 00:05

      Thanks Vijitha. 🙂

  2. March 15, 2011 at 22:15

    Love it! So glad you’re blogging again! 🙂

    • P
      March 16, 2011 at 00:07

      Thanks A. Glad you liked it.

      I hope to be able to CONTINUE blogging. That is the toughie, not starting again 🙂

  3. March 15, 2011 at 22:28

    It’s fabulous. Love how you’ve tied the beginning and the end together.

    • P
      March 16, 2011 at 00:09

      Yay! You noticed :).

      A similar paragraph more or less divides the two parts of the story as well. That was one of the things I tried to experiment with.

  4. March 16, 2011 at 10:16

    Wow.. this is so straight from the heart and nice! Good work!

    • P
      March 16, 2011 at 20:36

      Thank you for the kind words Sameera 🙂

  5. Garima
    March 17, 2011 at 03:39

    I have read this about 50 times now… and I always want to stop just before the sentence – “And all this when he knew her for what she termed as a mere 30 seconds.” ….

    • P
      March 17, 2011 at 21:21

      Why?

      • Garima
        March 17, 2011 at 21:27

        Coz thats the line between truth and fiction and present and future for me!!

  6. Spirit
    March 17, 2011 at 05:31

    Nothing other than what comes straight from the heart can be as beautiful as this. You definitely strike the chords…. Loved it.

    • P
      March 17, 2011 at 21:22

      🙂 Thank you.

  7. alok
    March 17, 2011 at 08:16

    Beautifully written and I can relate every bit as I have had a similar experience before…

    • P
      March 17, 2011 at 21:22

      Thanks Alok. 🙂

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