“Hello, is it Geet?” Samar’s voice almost choked, as he asked to speak with Geet. Two years and ten months had flown by, since he had last spoken to her.
“Samar, is it you? I can’t believe this! Is everything all right? It’s 2:30 am,” Geet chirped, not as mindful of the time as she wanted to sound. After all, it had been so long. She wanted to speak with him too.
Geet and Samar were inseparable during college days. They attended classes, ate meals, watched movies and went for drives together. They interned at the same firm too, often working on the same projects. It was obvious that they were meant to be, but still somehow it wasn’t. Inspite of their proximity, they’d never dated, never thought of their relationship as anything but friendship, a chaste and pure one.
After graduating, Samar got busy with preparations for interviews and planning for his future. Geet would try to call and text him, but he’d rarely respond. Life caught up with the both of them and they drifted apart.
Tall and slim, but by no means lanky, she was naturally gifted with beautiful looks and endearing eyes. Her claim to fame was the perfect jawline, endorsed by her sister who was a cosmetologist.
Geet was the quintessential chatterbox, blabbering her way through every situation. Her mouth stayed open so often, that she had now forgotten how it felt to keep it shut. Opportunities to talk with Geet around were limited, and if one was wise, he’d take the opportunity and make the most out of it. If Geet allowed you to talk, it was either because she was tired of talking, or that she had no interest whatsoever in listening to you speak and would switch off.
But early that morning, not only did Geet keep shut, but also listened intently to what was being said. The backache and swelling, the surgery, the unbearable pain post surgery, which continued to get worse as the days went by, incapacitating him.
“Gosh, Samar, I didn’t know about all this. I wish I could’ve been there to help you through this,” she exclaimed, after patiently listening to him.
Samar’s pain had worsened. A month had passed by since the surgery. He’d tried every legally available painkiller both alone and in combination, but to no avail.
The knife piercing had now turned into a pins and needles pain, one where he felt as if some one was poking multiple needles into his back and right thigh. While the earlier pain was temporary with spells of numbness in the interim, this most recent form of pain was more like a silhouette. It had no form and shape, it remained in the backdrop, only to emerge akin to a pestilence in an unpredictable fashion.
Frustrated, he eventually turned to illegally obtained marijuana, something that offered him solace and comfort from the pain. The loneliness did not help and Samar needed to talk to someone about his troubles. He was facing depression and he knew that the only drug that would work, was social interaction. It was then that he thought about Geet and called her.
It was his fault that Geet and he had drifted apart. He had an agenda and was rigorously pursuing it, only to lose someone that he now realized he valued so much.
Few months after internship ended, he met Sanya and forgot about Geet altogether.
The next day he met Geet for dinner. His gait still exhibited a limp and his demeanor reeked of discomfort, but it disappeared when he met her. Geet was so effervescent.
Not once did she talk about his illness. Neither did she tell him what people had been telling him all the time, that it was all in his mind. She never told him that it will be ‘okay’. She knew it would never be okay, she knew that she could do nothing about it, but by talking to him and diverting his mind from the illness and the pain, she was helping him cope.
Samar was averse to socializing for the same reasons. He despised people telling him that the pain would subside, that he just had to stop thinking about it and then he would be fine.
“Try living with this pain and then tell me to take my mind off it. I wish all these so called well wishers have to go through his same thing. Only then, will they realize,” Samar often thought to himself.
In Geet’s calculated snub to his illness, he found a reasonable chance at redemption. Maybe not from the pain, but from the associated depression.
Samar and Geet started where they had left off after college, like nothing had changed. The winds of time and the maturity they’d gathered over the years hadn’t changed their affection towards each other. Without the associated depression the pain seemed tamable. Samar found some meaning in life and Geet had rediscovered her long lost friend.
[This is the second in a series of 5 blog posts (may be extended depending on feedback and responses) that follow Samar’s journey in dealing with his chronically acute pain.
Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, eventually causing the sufferers to contemplate or attempt to commit suicide. This series is dedicated to all those suffering from chronic pain.]