“How come she didn’t tell me she was depressed?” She always told me everything. From everyone else around her, I know her the best. If she needed assistance, she would come to me first. She’s the type of person who can’t keep her problems and sorrows to herself. She adores me. And she knows I am always there for her, more than anyone else”, Arun replied.
Radhika hadn’t been herself in a while. She’d been keeping something from everyone, including Arun, lately. She was sad, and there was a reason for it, one she couldn’t tell anyone about, one she couldn’t put her finger on. She wasn’t sure if it was wrong or right. She expected Arun to comprehend. That one person who meant the most to her. She’d never had true friends, people she could call at 2 a.m. and lean on.
Radhika pondered whether those five years had any meaning now. How difficult was it to understand her? How difficult was it to recognize that she wasn’t happy and that she needed Arun to recognize that?
Arun grabbed Nikita’s shoulders and shook her. Nikita and Radhika weren’t best friends. They had only known each other for two years. Radhika never really talked about Nikita; all she said was that she met her at a party and that they started talking.
“Radhika informed you. She tried.”
She told you that when she began hiding in her room and stopped calling you, she began skipping meals and refraining from going shopping. She told you when she didn’t ask if you had lunch or dinner on time, when she refused her favourite ice cream, and when she woke up with dark circles under her eyes and frequent headaches.
She began responding in monosyllables and didn’t blush after you complimented her, but you were too preoccupied to notice. She stopped arguing with you over trivial matters, and her room was filled with countless alcohol bottles—the same room that had floral curtains and was once lit by sunlight but was now dark. You noticed her weight gain and found her sitting near the verandah with drooping lilies.
We, humans, tend to underestimate the importance of little things in life and take them for granted. All of this is accepted under the guise of “Human nature!”
Nikita responded, “She told you. Every day, every minute.”
“She expected you to notice. But here’s the thing about sadness: It’s quiet. It isn’t loud. And the reason you didn’t hear her was because you weren’t paying attention. Because there’s no way you wouldn’t notice if you were listening, or maybe…. you didn’t love Radhika enough.”
Because if you could love someone and keep loving them, then there isn’t a chance that you wouldn’t understand their silence. And if you can’t understand that, how will you ever understand their words?
You see there are two kinds of silence: the kind that unites, and the kind that separates. unknowingly, most of us choose the latter one.
“And that’s why Radhika left,” answered Nikita.
That’s why it is so difficult to decide between leaving and staying. Because whether it’s the right or the wrong call, the hurt’s always the same….