“I’m not running away from my problems. I’ll face them. I’m not moving out of my room,” I said. First sessionals were looming large and I was desperately trying to get over the fact that my roomie had fallen prey to thalassemia. I was still hoping it was all a nightmare so that I could wake up and find her sitting on her desk, studying from Wikipedia.
She wanted me to call her Sherin, not Rabeea, because that’s what her family called her. She said, “I’m so glad to have you as my roommate,” as I walked into 121 with my bags. She didn’t even know me then! I never went around telling people that I loved her and she was the best roommate in the world. I never appreciated the fact that we were two strangers from different parts of the country but we lived together happily. But I knew that she was my guide in KMC, the person who would show me the way to happiness.
“Take care of yourself,” was the last thing she said to me before she left to Kerala. I didn’t spend that last one hour I could with her. Only if I’d known that she didn’t have a lot of time left! I had so much to say to her. I had to apologize. I had to tell her that I loved her. I had to return those ten rupees I’d borrowed from her.
I lived with her things. Telling myself that it would seem like she went home for a holiday. I knew she would never come back but I didn’t let myself think about it. I was cheating my brain but that was the only way I could live in that room. “You promised to do osteology with me,” I’d randomly scream. A month later, when I came back after lunch, half of the room was empty. Her mother had come and taken her things away. Her absence hit me like a whiplash. No more lies. The truth was right there. She really was gone forever. I packed my bags and shifted to 129, in an hour.
I had to, at some point, realize that Sherin wouldn’t want me to live in an illusion. She would have wanted me to move on and face the real world. If I couldn’t get back to normalcy, it would hurt Sherin. It would’ve hurt my family and friends, who tried very hard to make me smile, got me to study for sessionals. I couldn’t break so many hearts. I had to make my people happy.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, leaving someone in the past but not wanting to forget that person. Moving on and finding happiness would be a tribute to the roommate I’d just lost. I had to get accustomed to living in a different room, with a different person. All I had to do was to sit down and cry over it. Shedding tears for a loved one couldn’t be a sign of weakness and it was time I realized that. I couldn’t completely get over it but I had to heal and rebuild myself. I knew that she was in a better place and her suffering had finally come to an end. I smiled every time I thought about her. That’s what she would’ve wanted for me.
This is what it’s all about. We become stronger people emotionally and learn how to live again. We know that we are prepared for whatever happens in the future. It couldn’t be worse compared to the tragedy we’ve had to face, right?
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