Speaking out and seeking help is often the most difficult first step for people who witness turbulence, violence and disrespect in personal relationships. What is even more difficult after the first step is taken, is finding support within friends and family. This is a story about a friend coming to the rescue of another friend. 

We were “fetus” friends, as I describe! Our mothers were friends and we were born couple of weeks apart. Hence we knew each other since we were “formed”. She was big, bold and dominating. I was petite, quiet and submissive. She was the dare devil, ready to break all rules, I was “mom-fearing” and bound by rules. There was nothing much in common yet we were connected strongly by an indefinable bond. She was a leader, full of confidence and a brilliant performer. And I was a learner, lacking confidence and afraid of performance. 

Yet, I was there for her whenever she would need me, quietly watching over her shoulder every move she made and appreciating every milestone she achieved. We never realized as kids what bound us close when we had hardly anything in common. But destiny had it’s own ways of testing our friendship. As we entered our teens, she was sent to a boarding school and I was left alone. I felt a part of me was snatched away and my heart kept bleeding from that blow. I eagerly waited for the first few months to go by and for her to come home for vacations and we would be together again. And then when she was back, I was curious to know all about her.

“Did you miss me?” Was the first thing I asked with lot of enthusiasm.

“No”, was the short reply. “I made lot of friends and I am very happy in my hostel”.

My tender heart was broken for a moment but it knew how to let go.

“She is very happy to be in the hostel”, I told myself. “I should be happy for her as she adjusted to her new environment. I don’t need to watch for her anymore”.

As years passed by, we grew up differently and our personalities were totally different. We met during vacations but it never felt the same anymore. After high school it was my turn to go to the hostel and again distance got between us. She never liked writing letters so there was no communication as such (there was no internet back then). We both finished our graduation and were getting ready to pursue further degrees. Distance kept growing and we kept moving far from each other. And then it was time for her wedding; I couldn’t even attend as I was studying abroad. That was the final nail in the coffin and I knew that we will never be together again.

Years passed by and I kept looking for her in social networks and hoping for a reply to my email. But to my dismay, she was lost, lost in the chasm of the changing world. Deep in my heart, I still felt an emptiness, a gnawing concern, “Where is she? Is she OK?” Yet again, I consoled myself, “She is happy wherever she is. Just let her go…”

It was almost time for me to give up my search when finally I found her on Facebook! My heart swelled in melodies and my eyes moistened with tears. That moment of joy didn’t last long when I found out how she was! The bold, confident dare devil whom I knew had now become timid and fearful. How did it happen? What went wrong? She can’t be in depression!

My mind raced back to our childhood days when I used to silently watch over her shoulder to make sure that she was fine, it was all for a reason. Though I was timid and quiet, I was always sensitive and mature. Guarding her were my instincts and protecting her was my reaction. In an instant, I found a reason for my existence, a purpose for my life; to heal her wounds and to protect her vulnerability. I realized why I was protective about her, why I was not in peace while we were distant, why I missed her so much though she never did! Because she always resided in me. Separation was just an illusion.

I felt an excruciating pain mixed with infuriating anger to find her in distress. She was taken over by an anguish of grief which totally transformed her persona. A feeling of hopelessness had plagued her mind and her real self was lost. It was my turn to put her back together and wipe away the tears. I had to show her hope. I had to give her the courage to fight back and find her path to happiness.

Despite the physical distance, she could feel my presence around her and my healing touch. She started to believe in future. She started to breathe, and once again, she started to live! It was a new beginning, a new day with a new vision of a bright future where the past was just a bad dream. Just the feeling of togetherness was so fulfilling that she could welcome every day with renewed vigor, joy and cheer. It was still the same bond, the “fetal bond” with which we were born which was much stronger than the distance or the decades. Because certain relationships never change and are meant to be the way they are!

Authored By : Jolly Datta
Picture By : Soumi Haldar