Josh (Part 2)
(If you have not read about Josh before, click here)
It is early morning, say 6:00 a.m., when my phone rings, and I curse for the hundredth time, get out of bed, run a quick shower, get dressed, and beg myself out of the house, into the streets, and into the office.
I hate this; the monotony of work. Of employment. Of pulling back the chair behind my desk every morning, and fake-smiling to everyone who comes into the office. This sitting behind the desk, typing away to infinity, and holding my heart in my hands every time I press ‘publish’.
What if that thing has glaring errors? What if the audience trashes it? What if it gets pulled down the moment it sees the light of day, followed by continuous streams of, “We shall not work like this’, and ‘I cannot be paying you so much money only for you to publish such kind of things.’
It is what happens when your heart leaves your work. When it stops making sense. When it brings nothing but anxiety and restlessness. When all that is keeping you at it is the money; nothing else.
When you start thinking you could be happier and content elsewhere, even without the money. Without the façade of happiness.
So when I drafted my resignation letter a week ago, I kept asking myself, ‘What would Josh say?’ Why? Because you have always been my voice of reason. You have always been the one to pull me out of my darkness, and clean me off the filth than arises from bad decisions. You have always been the one to look me in the eye and say, ‘You definitely deserve better. But sometimes, better is never the easy way out. Sometimes, we do not even know what better looks like.”
But it has been close to three years since we saw each other, and maybe more than six months since we talked.
I had not planned on writing this, but seeing that my heart falls every time I pick my phone to call you. That my soul wobbles, and my feet hurt when I come across your name, all the planning started to take a toll on me. This planning to call you. This planning to talk to you; looking for the correct words to use. How to sound. How to laugh. This deciding on which questions to ask, comfortably, and which ones to expect from you.
It hurt, this planning. So much that it started keeping me awake at night. That I started losing interest in the things I hold so close to my heart and soul; writing, reading, breathing, loving, living, talking to the Universe.
It hurt, this planning to talk to you, because never in my life had I ever envisioned wanting so much to hear your voice, but lacking the capacity to reach you. This wanting to write so much to you, about you, but only stuck with the site of a blank page and a blinking cursor.
But it is the thing that life does to people. It is the thing that time does to the strongest of bonds. It is the thing that distance does to spirits that were once used to each other. It is the thing that we do to ourselves; getting drowned in our own lives, and letting the waters erode our humanity, and then when the guilt and shame of it all starts haunting us, we lay blame on these things; life, time and distance.
I had not planned on writing this, but seeing that every new day at my job inches me closer to losing my humanity, I am reminded of a time when I was close to losing everything, and although no one knew it, you saw straight through it and held me close.
To this date, people we went with to school text me, or call, or bump into me, and I have to refrain myself from driving a fist through their face. I have to teach my heart to calm down, because these are things that happened in the past, even though these people do not think I remember.
To this date, I have never understood how I survived those six years of filth. Six years of monotony. Six years of waking up and fighting with my spirit to live just one last time. Six years of sitting with the very people so keen on planning my hurt. My pain. My despair. My downfall.
Six years of spending the day staring at my wristwatch, wondering why time takes a slow motion when you are hurting.
Six years of you standing right next to me. Walking me through the nightmares. Writing me letters of softness and goodness, reminding me that I deserve better. That I am worth so much more, and those putting me through all that hurt see it. They see the greatness in me. They see the bright star in my eyes. They see the flowers blooming beneath my skin. They see the trees sprouting on my head. And all these things scare them.
Six years of you blocking my ears from all the negativity, even when your own world was crumbling. Even when yourself was going through a much greater pain. Even when yourself was on the verge of losing everything you held close to your heart, but staying around just for me.
Six years of me going to sleep, and wondering when all these would end; this sitting through something that hurts me, just because there is no other way out. And still, six years of you speaking softly to me, and saying, “When the time is right, you shall know it. When that time comes, you shall lave, and will feel no guilt whatsoever.”
I have not yet handed over my resignation letter, because somehow, even without talking to you, I am waiting for my spirit to let me know that the time is here. To give me the green light to leave. To rid me of the guilt that clouds me every time I think of Ally saying, “Please do not leave me in this place alone. At least tell me before you resign.”
But how do I tell them in advance, when most of the life-changing decisions I make are impulsive? How do I tell them in advance when I am still unsure when the time will come? How do I tell them in advance when I am not sure they loathe this as much as I do?
I had not planned on writing this, but now that we are here, I hope you see this, and your soul finds peace in knowing that you occupy such a beautiful space in my heart. That this bond we have, this friendship we share, this niceness and goodness we emit, remains with us, now and forever.