You let me down, my friend

Published: June 1, 2014
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Today, as I lay in my death bed, you have ignited an painful and uncontrollable fire in my body, I have realised who you really are. I can see clearly now. PHOTO: JUPITERIMAGES

Teenage years are said to be the golden age of a person’s life; when a person feels unchained and independent as if the whole universe lies beneath him. Nothing seems unattainable, boundaries are invisible and risk remains a concept unheard of.

It was during my teenage years, that I met you my dear friend.

When I got hold of you for the first time it was as if I had found a dear friend. You completed me and I felt like you would never let go of my hand. And you never did, my friend. In times of good and bad, you were always there. But throughout our friendship there were times at which you let me down too.

The first time was in college when I saw some girls walking and laughing like angels, outside the canteenDesperate to leave an impression, I took hold of you. I thought they would appreciate our friendship but they didn’t. You let me down, when their expressions labelled me guilty. Perhaps they thought I am in a relationship with you. Maybe they thought you are more important to me than them.

College was over and I remember how you helped me study during examinations. You stayed awake all night to help me. I passed and I am so thankful to you. But you let me down the day my mother saw us holding hands together. Though she said nothing, I still get embarrassed when I recall the look on her face. Perhaps she did not like her son in your company. Maybe she thought you were spoiling me.

Time passed and our friendship deepened. I’m sure you remember when I broke up with the love of my life. That was a crucial point in my life, full of conflicting emotions and feelings, but you stood by me through thick and think. She left but you didn’t, my friend.

But then again, on the night of my wedding, you let me down.

Dressed as the groom, as I approached my bride with love, I noticed something in her eyes. She must have smelled your presence in my breath. Though she said nothing, her beautiful eyes told me she was upset. I can understand though, I can understand that my bride did not want to share her husband with anyone else. She didn’t like the idea of someone else having touched my lips.

Soon enough, responsibilities started piling up on me, droplets of problems started raining over me and I started getting old. Every day was a new fight, a new challenge. I needed you every now and then, and you never say ‘no’.

But then, my son started looking at us with a strange look in his eyes. You let me down again. He didn’t want his father’s hands touching anyone else with affection; he wanted me to never touch you again. But you didn’t understand – you never walked away.

Then I got old and then, my dear friend, you broke me. I saw you holding hands with my teenage son. How could you cheat on me? How could you use your charms on my son of all people? My son! I never thought that my son, who hated our company, would befriend you. You betrayed me. That day I died my first death.

Today, as I lay in my death bed, you have ignited a painful and uncontrollable fire in my body, I have realised who you really are. I can see clearly now. You were never my friend. You only stayed with me so you could become popular in my social circle. Your intention was to betray me from the first day onwards. You were the only reason I stayed lonely, the sole reason that compelled me to set aside other important relations. And I did it all for you. But now I regret it. I regret it because you were never a friend, you were a disease. That is why my dear cigarette, you let me down…

Omair Rauf

Omair Rauf

The author is a student of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and belongs to the Mastung District in Balochistan. He is currrently based in Karachi and tweets @ORBaloch

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