helping the fish resurface

(posting for the daily prompt)

I’ve tried holding my breath underwater for more than ten seconds. I didn’t know that my lungs can do that until I succeeded. For a brief moment, I thought I could be a fish.

My zodiac sign is pisces. I’ve read too many horoscopes to justify that I am. It doesn’t matter, though.

What matters is when I stumbled upon a girl during the first day of our class. Being a judgmental person such as myself, well, I didn’t really think good of her. I have this innate characteristic that can tell who I would perfectly associate with. Trying not to show subtle movements of looking at her from head to toe, this innate characteristic could tell that she’s definitely the type of person I would not gladly associate with. I could only think of this until I was proven wrong at that same day. Seeing that it was a very hot day (by that time, summer has just ended and the heat barely went away), she brought this mini fan and she was sharing it with us, especially with me. And I don’t even know her at all and vice versa. Touched by the small gesture, I realized, “Hey. Maybe she isn’t that bad after all.” So I decided to stop judging her and started befriending her.

I didn’t know back then why she was so clingy. You see, there are two types of being clingy, it’s either cute or annoying. And she showed the latter one. She sat beside me when I just wanted to sit beside my friend that I’ve only met one month ago at that time. Since I saw that my friend found someone new to befriend with, I went along with her. I have no choice because she was really being clingy with me. I just couldn’t get her away from me.

And so the following weeks came. I was happy with her. I brushed all of the judgment that I have imposed upon meeting her by that time. We had another friend whom I have introduced to her. Together, we made a bond. We were happily doing stuff typical teenage girls do.

Everything I’ve thought of her changed when she started showing her true colors. She was inviting boys over her mother’s condominium unit, the same place where she lives. I felt queasy seeing her with three boys who look like they’re going to do something that I should be aware of. I warned her. She listened– defended them, too. They were nice, she said. They’re good people, she said. I wasn’t convinced, though. She still invited them afterwards for more than three times. They’d go with her for I don’t know– and I don’t care– how many times.

She’d go to school with skimpy crop tops or with outfits you don’t casually wear to go to school. I brushed off my typical judgmental self. Told myself, “Hey. She isn’t that bad. Don’t judge by the way she dresses at school.” I successfully convinced myself. I have to admit, though, that I was confused during that time. Always asking myself, “Is this really the kind of person you befriend with?” I’ve always chosen to defend her at the back of my head.

It became normal for me to see her cry, too. In school or even in public places. She would tell stories about her mom. How terrible her mom was, how she has no freedom from her mom, how her mom hurts her every night physically and emotionally. I pitied her. I really did. I would comfort her. She’d seek help and I was generous to give her what she needed for the sake of her sanity. Until one day I finally said, run away from her or report her in a government agency which would help for her own welfare even though I know that she doesn’t have the gut to. I’ll admit that I regret saying that.

We (me and our other friend) met her mom in their condominium unit while we were writing our term paper. Her mother was so nice and so cool. I can’t see the mother she was telling on us. Not one hint of that mother who hurts her every night. After that encounter, she told us that her mother liked us very much. I remember her mother saying that she shouldn’t bring boys over their unit without her permission, one rule she broke too many times that I eventually have lost count of.

It appears to me that her mother was nice at all. It’s just the way how she interacts with her. In fact, I understood her mother. Very much. I saw my own mother in her mother’s worry and behavior. That is one reason why I don’t get why she seems so mad at her mom. (Her mom works alone and is the breadwinner of their family. Her father would help them financially sometimes, and other times, he doesn’t. Her father has yet another family to take care of. He left their home when she was still at a very young age.)

Time passed by and I wasn’t happy anymore. Her problems became mine. I never wanted that. I have my own troubles to deal with and yet I have this petty little girl to take care of. I sought help and advice from my mom. She said,”Yeah. I know the people you associate with. She clearly isn’t the type.” In short, I left her. She was becoming emotionally dependent on me. I didn’t want that. I’m not anyone’s savior. I saved myself from drowning but she was this fish who chose to dive deeper into the abyss. I think I didn’t live here on Earth to help her resurface. If I could do it myself, why can’t she?

I give her the cold treatment now and I hope she would realize that I’m not comfortable around her anymore. I feel bad for myself. I don’t know if I should pity her.

I hope she could resurface soon without anyone’s help.




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