Why is it then that when I try and recall childhood days of fun, all it draws is a blank?? Can you just imagine how horrible that feels? When a childhood friend told me about how much fun it was to be around me in school, all I could tell her was they were stolen moments. I asked her to tell me more. She told me that I was popular and fun. She had no idea as to the amount of pain that I had to mask to get a smile on my face back then. I had to be terribly brave to mask the sadness and just breathe the few hours that I spent at school. There again, it was not that simple.
There was this girl called S, same age as me, who went to school with me. She was the daughter of my mother’s friend (the local bitch. S was a chip of the old, ugly block. Unfortunately, since we lived in the same neighborhood, we even traveled to school by the same bus. Fortunately, we did not have to share the same classroom. Thank God for that!
S used to keep a track of me. Frankly, I do not know what she had against me. The only thing was that, she was a bit on the heavier side. Not that I ever called her fat. Now S would get back home and relate the days events to her mom, adding her own bit of spice. And all hell would break loose in my house. Not once, not even the teeniest tiniest once, did I ever squeak on her. She did tons of stuff that would get her in trouble. But I never ratted on her. Maybe it was because I did want another person to go through what I did. Maybe it was because my mother would not believe me. Maybe I did not care anymore. Whatever the reasons, I just never served her up for trouble. But S did so time and again, knowing really well how it would affect me. Can you believe that I was ordered not have any friends other than S?? Every evening would be spent in fear as soon as that friend of my mother would call. And the best part was that, my mother thought that S was such a nice person to bitch about her friends to her mom. I would be scolded for not ratting on my friends. But I never shared that kind of rapport with my mom. All she was waiting for, was a mistake from my mouth. But if S would have told it like it is, things might have been different. She usually would add a little extra to make it look worse. So that the limelight is off her!
I went through a friend’s childhood photos recently. I looked on wonderingly as her childhood unfolded before me. The terrible sadness that enveloped me, as I went through her birthday parties through the years, pajama parties, Meeting friends at each others houses, swimming trophies, karate classes, trips to the park, school events at which she won prizes, was unbearable. It hit me that this girls and scores of others around me lived a normal fun-filled childhood. We went to the same school, which means that we got back home at the same time. But despite that, there were so much else to their life that made such a colorful picture in my bleak black and white life. All I could after school, was wait for the rest of the day to unfold, take all the verbal and physical abuse, wait for the day to end and look forward to the few hours of school the next day. Away from home. Away from the pain. Just for a while. As you can imagine, I HATED holidays. School vacations were two months of unimaginable boredom. I would never tell if I was sick, because I did not want to miss school. I could not bear to be at home.
I had written earlier about how my friends shared a rapport beyond school and college. So I was always this person who was looking in from the outside. Though I was happy for them, more often their ramblings about how much fun they had at the party etc, would be like molten wax in my ears.
Now I look back with the horrible realization that my childhood years have slipped by me, without a trace of fun. I want it back! I want those photographs too. Photographs that speak of the fun I had. Yes, I want it. It is not enough if I just see my daughter or the other kids around me have fun. I want to run around with careless abandon. I want close friends with whom I have shared fun with.
Now when I see pictures of S, knowing that she went to college and stayed in a hostel, she made all the right career moves, is globe trotting while she was responsible for making my life so difficult, I cannot help but feel the pain and the anger that stems from it. I am not unhappy where I am, but the fact that I could have studied further, explored the world beyond the home, really, really hurts, She was having fun while I was busy shielding myself from pain and trying to barely survive.
Is it wrong to feel that way? I know I have repressed anger. But I don’t make an issue out of it in my daily life. But it does surface once in a while like this. Yes, I will try not to go through photo albums titled “Nostalgia” or the “The Fun Days” Or “Carefree Yesteryears”. I will steer clear of such things that will cause me to go through such emotions. :D
Maybe you guys can tell me how I should have kicked S’s ass! Should I tell her what a pain she was?