Delicious Ambiguity | the rainbow named trust

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Chapter 9 {Ebullience}

N O T E

How quickly jealous I become of the wind when it, and not I, gets the privilege of properly messing up your hair.

Ebullience—the quality of being cheerful and full of energy, exuberance.


Harry

We fall in love and sometimes we grow out of love. The happy ever afters end in pointless fights, constant whinings and for me—in failed marriages. For the last one year I have being praying to find acceptance. The kind which ring in my bones and allow me to forgive myself for the mistakes I made and regret nightly and for keeping the past in me alive. In that order.

I look at Natalia, her swollen belly and then her hands as she stirs in her sleep, feet twitching to music only she can hear and a face as passive as it would be in slumber. Almost unconsciously I lean forward to remove a stray hair from her face. The only “good” memory I have of my father is one in which he said, “figure out what encourages your soul and have the courage to chase that.” He showed us what he could do with all that passion—he left us for his work. Having a beautiful wife was definitely a god gift but it couldn’t get worse than having two kids when one was at a peak of their Performing Arts career. I never want Natalia and me to reach this stage. I so want us to last but my Fake It Till You Make It game playing days are over.

Our fire has died out and we—I—are not admitting it. My eyes lack the usual glee they held for her. Natalia doesn’t believe it that we’re out of chances. She has always been a champion of Let’s Pretend since Junior School. She had been ‘made to be mine,’ that’s what Gia had said the day I introduced her to my parents. Childhood Sweethearts they used to call us. We won the Perfect Couple award in our senior year prom. Nothing could keep us apart; neither her music degree from Trinity in Dublin nor my local gigs at college and part-time job at the bakery.

I can’t rewrite the stars today and berate the woman she is for she and I had been good but not right for one another and we realized that a little—a child—late. I lift her hand into mine and caress the wedding ring, its pure white gold and diamonds sparkling and still intact unlike our vows. I sense a déjà vu with memories just out of reach. Her hands are silky and pampered just like the rest of her. She has perfect pianist fingers with cool white skin and perfect manicure that can caress my body in a lingering touch. An unknown guilt of letting it go stings my heart.

After dad left and mummy got the news through Facebook after seeing photos of him marrying the producer of his Performing Arts projects, she made Gia and me sit on the counter top and chanted, “Do not feel guilty to cut someone off from your life because some toxic relationships have to die. You aren’t liable to be friends with everybody. You are allowed to choose who you surround yourself with even if that butthurts some.” That day my respect for her doubled, tripled even. Someone as kind hearted as her, held through her heartbreak, used a cuss word for the first time ever, in front of her children that too and did not cry over a man.

But mummy forgot to teach me what to do when/ if I am in my fathers shoes. How do I continue an unhappy marriage? Is it worth it? Till when? I sigh gazing at Natalia. She isn’t a classic with golden curls and snowy skin and baby blue eyes she is a half German elegance of ivory black hair and grey eyes with full irresistible personality. Often when the house is too quiet and I travel to a world of my own I question, “What went wrong?” and the only answer I get is, “Respect.” We lost that for each other and for ourselves.

The day Jeremy went way over the top to propose to Gia immediately after her graduation, I saw her eyes shine with happy tears. Mummy kept whispering to me over our first dinner with him, “Love is a choice, Harry. You can’t make an opinion about love and commitment based on one marriage. What Gia sees in this boy is a choice and that is just an affirmation of her character, body and soul.” That news is twelve years old and mummy still swears by her “concept” of love. When I met Natalia, she shined bright like a star and exclaimed that I’d finally allowed new love to happen to me.

Now, I want to find a happiness that exists on my own terms and that part of my life doesn’t include Natalia anymore. This doesn’t mean I imply bad for her, I don’t, and my letting our love go can be scraped knees than jumping off a ten floored building. It doesn’t always have to be a heartbreak that knocks you down completely or rips your heart apart. It can be watching them for afar and giving them the chance to evolve to be their best version. For Natalia, I’m sure, it’ll be/might be falling and always getting up on her own and never needing me.

I heave out a deep sigh, leaning back into the chair I sat in, tilting my head and resting it on the headrest. Neither one of us wants to say we are sorry. I run my hand through my hair and close my eyes briefly, as if seeking divine guidance of some kind. I swallow. Let it go. My thoughts are completely unexpected, throwing me, and then there’s that string of words with the big meaning, hanging between us.

*

I believe the Ultimate Sing off Finale wasn’t a game changer for Maira alone. Since that day, all of us—Zaahid, Taybah, Penelope, Natalia, Maria and me—had taken their entire lives and drew a line through it depicting a Before Maira and After Maira. Trouble in Natalia’s and my paradise had begun in Before Maira and spread in After Maira because of our slowly frittering compatibility but if you ask Natalia, she’d never agree on that and will always blame Maira. We had been so devoted to each other, inseparable; in sickness and in health we supported each other and as mummy said, “The center of each other’s universe.” The ink would have barely dried on our marriage certificates when she was entwined in a hot and heavy affair. It was a whirl wind romance and eventually died down.

She came back and I never asked any questions. I think this was where I was wrong but her answers wouldn’t have changed the calibre of memories they would have had together—their impact, permanence, infinities and everything in between. When it came down to us, to doing the laundry, dishes, paying bills, taking out the garbage and putting petrol in the car, we didn’t have a method. Neither of us was ready to cope up with the monotony of matrimony. We sulked and punished each other for perceived oversights and petty grievances. I know when I felt the need to loosen the grip around her and the ghost of memories we made.

//

It had been the first ever colour run in Swettenham and I had known Maira for two years then. She had especially flown over for the event from her tour date and was staying at my place for the night. We both had been so excited for it—she had even got us printed matching white tees. When we got home after the 5k untimed colourful and fun run Natalia had given us a silent treatment. With a year old Denise at her hip she had furiously clattered pots and pans for dinner. Maira had gently excused herself and left the same day. I haven’t been THAT embarrassed before anyone ever since.

The minute she might have had stepped foot on our driveway, Natalia’s insecurity went over the roof and she kept questioning me. I felt being inquired by the police who already had insisted that I had committed a crime.

“What’s going on Harry?”

“Are you dating her?”

Harry does she mean something to you? Is she important to you?”

For Natalia, Maira and my relations became the blameworthy topic long before we even had one. She would draw some crazy dots and then join them from time to time hoping that at least once they’d do the trick—break us apart. She had begun with, “did you go out on a coffee with her? You don’t even drink coffee!” to coming up with, “do you both share a necklace?” to random blind arrows in the air, “you have a tattoo for her, don’t you?” “Knickerbocker glory is your favourite dessert because you ate that first with her, isn’t it?” to crossing all lines of sanity with, “why does she even come to Swettenham with all those crazy ring laden hands like yours?”

If somebody would test my patience on a regular basis, it was Natalia, hands down. Of course Maira’s important to me. I had thought but never said out loud. Quickly I had moved into the kitchen, creating as much space possible between me and her. Natalia could never understand how the frequent trips Maira would make to Swettenham were because of Gia and me threatening her to come over at mummy’s when her mask of smiles would crack and reveal her sadness. Maira would spend nights crying her eyes out, resting her head on my shoulders and carrying the weight of the world. Her mornings would pass by gazing at mum when she cooked and in the afternoons, Gia would take her around town. We used to try everything we could to put her mind off things that haunted her.

Regardless it was the charm of Zaahid Noori that always had her in a trance and could always cure her pain. Therefore, their sudden overnight marriage news hadn’t been a surprise. Sometimes, I could hear it in Maira’s voice how much she loves him. I can hear how much she loves him more than me. Natalia would never believe when I could’t be at her shows because I would be at mummy’s supporting Maira. She would say that Maira was doing her regular rounds of “emotional drama” and that I shouldn’t be fooled by it.

Then for about a year and a half, every night on the dining table, Natalia would bring her up again. “You have written a song about her, right?” “Are you obsessed with Starbucks because of her?” “Did you go on a dinner with her?” “Do you sing her songs?” Natalia couldn’t see her happy. Seeing her despair somehow made her own more bearable. On the Big Heated Argument Day the discussion soon formed into an argument and then we were two hot headed married couple fighting over a third. It led me to smash the plate and eventually sleeping on the couch. Natalia thought she had won the argument because she saw the paper airplane necklaces Maira and I shared but it would have taken only one look at my face to know that she had lost me.

Today, I see her and my insides curdle like milk with lemon. Her thoughts are acidic—scarring and timelessly life altering in the wrong way. She revolts me. I can’t bear to look at her again. I can’t ever whisper words of love to her ever again. We’re done. Done. Done.

The morning after Big Heated Argument Day I was so sure to tell her the truth. I had rehearsed the words over and over again, I had checked my gait, my posture and chose the most subtle way (if there is one that can lessen the pain that would follow, if not eliminating it entirely) to say, “Natalia, I think we need a break.” It was not selfish of me to break things off. In valuing Natalia, our relationship, our soon-to-be three year old daughter, I had forgotten that I was special too and nothing could be more painful than losing my self worth.

That morning, Denise was asleep; I had woken up two hours earlier than routine and had paced the living room while waiting for Natalia to wake up so we could have our Big Talk. About an hour later she came downstairs with gleaming eyes and swinging her tight fists. She had walked towards me with a bounce in her steps. I hadn’t made eye contact with her. I had opened my mouth to speak but the words I heard next didn’t come out of my mouth. “Harry! I am pregnant.”

I had stood there aghast. My body stiff and my feelings numb. Natalia had hugged me and had jumped around; happy that we were going to be parents again. It was as if the impact had knocked every wisp of air from my lungs, and I stood there struggling to inhale, to exhale, to do anything, to trying to remember how to breathe, unable to speak, totally stunned as the word “pregnant” bounced around inside my skull. That morning I couldn’t say a word, and even today, eight months since that morning, I haven’t said a word.

Happiness is not the final goal, living and being present is. Being with Maira has taught me that happiness is a glorified destination—for most it is just another emotion out of a spectrum of plenty others. I should be able to feel the grief, the rage, the terror and make mistakes that take me a step closer to being more human. Her Swettenham visits also taught me that survival is subjective—some people talk about it, some create, some overwork, some isolate themselves and everyone deals with indescribable pains in their own way, and everyone is entitled to that, without judgment.

I chose silence. Exactly how I chose silence when my father came to pick his things from our house after his marriage. Exactly how I reacted to their divorce papers delivery at our house. I had been so furious and violent I could punch a hole through the wall. Instead I had stomped my way to school and beat up a kid. In the principal’s office mummy couldn’t develop a coherent understanding of my actions. It was my first visit to the principal’s office out of many others that followed soon. In the play grounds of the school, we had sat and had my tiffin, then she had repeatedly said, “Relationships should help you Harry, not hurt you. Spend time with people who reflect the kind of person you want to be.” So, for the years that followed, I chose friends, who were proud to know me, people I admired, who loved and respected me—people who made my day a little brighter simply by being in it because being with people who suck the life out of me, is a life wasted.

//

I walk on tip toes in Denise ’s room as she snuggles in closer to her duvet. I cover her up in another warm blanket and close the windows tightly. The air is colder than yesterdays, winter is coming. Standing at the edge of her bed, gazing at her first birthday picture above the bed, I wonder where time flew by. Today, my princess turns three. I have planned a surprise birthday party for her which she won’t remember in the coming years but my joy will remain. After a week long planning, sending invites, getting RSVP’s and today’s early morning haul of reminders the only big task left for today is to keep Denise in her room as the decorators and caterers pour in and we shift furniture around to make room.

Birthdays aren’t joyous for everyone. For some—me—they are tinged with heaviness, a bitter flavour one don’t want to taste. At mummy’s bakery my father would come up early from work and choose our cakes on our birthdays. He would get some really bad gifts (he gifted Gia a dictionary on her thirteenth) and write cheesy notes on the cakes. After him, the tradition was carried forward by mummy—she tried to mask the absence and we played along ever-since. I don’t want to ever be like my father.

Maira and I are a whole lot similar in a multitude of ways, one of them being: hating our birthdays. It was a day after Gia had invited her over summer after their first meeting, at Swettenham. The sun was about to set and we had taken a trip down to the River Dane. We stood on the hilly banks, casually uprooting grass and throwing pebbles into the water as Gia roamed the woodlands with her new camera. Maira had been upset about something and I had stood there besides her trying to make her talk.

My sister has the worst timings of “inspirations”, when she could draw seemingly better than a five year old, all she wanted to be was an artist, when she could ice the cupcake, all she ever dreamt of was being a baker, when she did her hair perfectly for the school prom, she had decided to be a hair-stylist and when I was sitting on the banks of River Dane comforting Maira, she had clicked a perfect picture of us and claimed her choice of career to be a photographer.

Her composed and poised self had destroyed itself with a thought at a time to leave her like a broken pile of rubble. The greys and yellows of the sky closely had resembled the whirlwinds in her eyes. She had slammed down on the ground. She hadn’t cared who saw, she just broke down. I had held her shoulders gently as her sobs knocked way too hard through her guts, muscles and bones and made her re-evaluate her self worth. She was hollow. Her life had crumpled overnight in her fingertips. She had pressed her head in my chest and allowed her heart to yank in and out of her rib cage. In that moment, I imagined mummy and me, at the kitchen tables, on the school ground, crying together and saying the right things, letting all our doubts shine through. “Promise yourself, love, that that you’ll never end up with a life that isn’t you, that isn’t how you knew it could be.” I could hear my mother’s voice in my words.

“There is no better day, or mood, or time to change your life—to fight for a Maira you always intended to be, to start living the life you had always dreamed of. There is NO better day.” Pressed together, I could hear the howls of her heart. The forceful breaths she had to take to keep from disintegrating into a million ions. I know I had sounded irrational and unreasonable and probably a lot of other things I shouldn’t be but I—we (none of us)—had no cure for her pain and this was something we couldn’t fight with another person about. You can’t persuade them to forget and forgive and heal.

When her tears were drying up with just an occasional tear every now and then, Gia had jumped from behind the bushes and presented her with a flower braid. Maira had at once wiped her face with dirty hands and smiled a little, looking at me—a smile with a twist to it, like the smile of a child who was determined not to weep. We had crashed into a big family hug and Maira had whispered a thank you. I had held her a little longer, tightened the hug and whisper-hissed like I just had to let her know, “Be invested in falling in love with you. Create the life you dream about and chase a passion that makes you want to wake up to every single morning. Treasure your victories—small as they might be and always celebrate yourself. You are enough. You always have been.”

Up until that moment I never knew how much I needed my own words than Maira. I never knew how much more I had been hurting than Gia and mummy could ever evaluate. That night we spent collecting more jasmines that Gia had used to make more bracelets and braids.

//

I trip on Denise's Barbie’s makeup kits, today. Go figure. If I look around the room, there’s powder, soil, flowers and leaves all over the “kitchen” of Anastasia. Ken has had an existential crisis and has decided to deal with it clothes-less. Skipper has lost a limb and Todd is tossed on the rug. If you know, you know. A smile escapes from the corners of my mouth and I bend to pick up the dolls and clean. Memories of an exuberant past, flood my mind. Following that summer and so many more after that, Maira and I successfully walked into siblinghood holding hands.

Gia and Maira’s encounter had been such a coincidence. I had been down in Birmingham after Zaahid’s urgent last minute invite to Maira’s first birthday party in London and Gia (a literature student, then) was my plus one who had insisted to tag along to see old Victorian sites in England. I till this day believe, Gia had no project to work upon or submit; she just wanted to mess around with me because I HATED historical sites. At the City Hall, Delnaz (who was showing Maira around, probably) had bumped into Gia and recognition had dawned. Greetings changed to small talks to promises to visit.

Following that encounter, the next summer she was at mummy’s. Denise’s second Christmas in which Natalia took off to her mummy’s place after Colour Run Drama is my favourite memory of Maira and mine. On Christmas Eve Eve, we had played in the snow. Our Swettenham backyard had become a winter wonderland and by looking up crazy DIY’s we had built our own winter slides and skiing hills. With mulled wine and guilt free sweet treats we had spent the holidays—bloating, laughing, dancing, singing, drinking and sleeping. On repeat. In that order.

Gia and her family had come over for Christmas lunch. Watching Home Alone and comparing it with Home Alone with Google Assistant I had dozed off on the couch. When I had woken up and went inside the kitchen to grab a glass of water, mum was at the stove. I had greeted her, “good afternoon mummy,” walking towards her, to hug her and kiss her cheek and all I received in a response was a shrill scream.

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR FACE HARRY!” she had screamed at me, eyes wide in horror, hands clasping her face.

I had run to the washroom but the door wouldn’t open as if someone had locked it from the inside. I ran to the other one which was again locked. Finally I saw my refection in mummy’s compact make-up mirror. I had been “styled”—to rig up an expression. I was wearing those Kylie Jenner lipstick kits, I think, eyes coal black—I think they call that “smoky eyes”, my face was whiter than Olivia, the cat my mum and sister co-owned, my eye lashes seemed to bigger and shinier, my cheeks were glowing under the diffuse lamp light and on my jaw line were the words in red lipstick, “creation by—MAGS.”

I laugh softly at Maira’s and Gia’s co-created and trademarked—no less—company, today. At dinner Maira wouldn’t stop laughing. Her eyes had twinkled with the mischief. She looked so pretty with that genuine smile. I had never seen her happier. I was certain she will never be that happy again but I was wrong, the next Christmas dinner I was clicking pictures of her laughter with Zaahid. I catch the strong hints of pumpkin spice in the air and the occasional fleeting memories of her kiss me.

Enchanted. That was what Maira was when I had taken her to mummy’s bakery. She kept saying ‘this is Charlie’s Chocolate Factory’ when she saw Barbara, my ex-colleague and head baker at the Bakery, ice the chocolate cake. I had also picked up the icing bag and showed off my skills from time to time. She had pouted and reached for a bag when I had slapped her hand down. “Please, I want to try too. I have never baked a cake,” she had begged making a puppy eyed face and I had taken it upon myself to ‘teach’ her. Brace thyself. Barbara (bless thy soul) had given me the responsibility of the bakery when she went for her lunch break and on her return, she had witnessed her worst nightmare.

Maira was worse than my Denise’s colouring skills. It was like she was tone-deaf in icing on lines. An hour later, from the seating area up to the oven of the kitchen, the bakery was bathed in white flour and egg yolks. Icing had decorated the walls instead of cakes, the creams were spread on tables instead of cake breads, and the refrigerator was down on the ground spilling all its contents on the floor to be coated with the milk Olivia was slurping. And standing in the middle of this newly decorated bakery was Maira and I, drenched to the core in milk, cream, baking soda, flour, eggs and pumpkin spice.

“Who did this?” Barbara had asked in a surprisingly calm tone and I could smell the rat there, so I had peeked up at her. Maira and my eyes were downcast and we had tried to stifle the grin that was threatening to spill out. At once we had pointed at each other and before we could argue Barbara had screamed, “GET OUT OF MY BAKERY!" We—I—have never ran that fast ever-since.

*

I brush off the powder from my hands from Darcy’s tea plates and move outside the door. Leaning against the wall, I look over it all. To be honest with you, I was never afraid of an argument with Natalia. I was not afraid of getting emotional, getting angry, spiting language venom, being unrelenting and cruel with my words if I had to because above all, I was terrified of the silence—of things becoming so bad between us that there is no longer anything left worth fighting over. My mother and father made that mistake and I don’t want to repeat it.

//

“Harry did you hear they are again talking about Zaahid leaving the band?” Natalia walks down the stairs coming to the leaving room I sat in, a hand supporting her belly while the other held the newspaper tightly. I saunter over her, wrapping a hand around her waist and grabbing her hand.

“How many times have I told you not to come down without me?” I hiss, and see her surprise reflected in her eyes before acceptance registers.

“Sorry,” she whispers, closing her eyes tightly as she slowly sat on the couch.

“Look here! They have put such a bad picture of you!” Natalia cries out pointing to the third page of the entertainment leaflet. Her German ascent seeps into words.

“Natalia please calm down! Do you need cushions, water, tea or anything?” I quiz, running my eyes over her face, trying to gather a mishap.

“Zaahid Noori ex-boy band member of Symphony Thrills is about to release his first single! It is said that the hazel eyed star is on bad terms with ex-band mate Harry Styles. Zaahid was also recently seen in a twitter feud with Logan Thompson who was said to be his closest friend in the band.” Natalia reads out the news dramatically, expressing her surprise, ignoring my question. I huff. Mention of Symphony Thrills and Zaahid Noori in the same sentence doesn’t sit well with me. I drift to Ultimate Sing Off Finale that changed our lives forever.

Cherry Foxes had sung, “Could dress up, to get love, but guess what? I’m never gonna be that girl, who’s living in a Barbie world.” They had lined up the stage wearing turtleneck blouse and leopard printed shorts and were standing on top of the glass boxes that sat in the centre of the stage. Then with each drum beat they had moved there bodies and hands along to Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya, looking super sensuous and sexy. Jane—Natalia’s best friend since Senior Year Prom Organizing Board (yes, another story for another day!) was the sole reason she was attending the show. Jane had strutted like the next Hollywood Diva onto the ramp connecting the Judging Table and the stage. Flipping her hair, she had twisted her leg with the next step.

“Pretending that I need a boy, who’s gonna treat me like a toy.” Lily had covered up for Jane as medic reached out. Penelope had dipped low, jerked her head backwards and twerked with the lyrics. It is a FAMILY show! My subconscious had roared. The note came out flat and Lily had forgotten the dance sequence. It couldn’t get worse for them. They sung, “The only thing a boy’s gonna give a girl for free’s captivity, and I might love me some vanilla but I’m not that sugar sweet” and had grappled at their last chance of attention for the end of the relay round.

My subconscious had peeked out her head from under the covers as the tune of a familiar Zedd and Grey song had begun. “Take a seat right over there, sat on the stairs. Stay or leave, the cabinets are bare and I’m unaware.” Maira had begun, sitting at the end of the stage and dancing with her bare shoulders. With the spot light on her, she had lifted her eyes on cue, “Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle? I’m losing my mind just a little.” She had the biggest, prettiest, shyest eyes I had ever seen and that drew me more towards her—all that caution and mystery.

Mint green has been Maira’s colour since that day. She owns, rules it, and flaunts it. Finale Night she had looked like a pristine doll with lose brunette shiny curls, flawless glowing skin, tinted pink lips and an elegance of a iron winged butterfly. She was a pint of strong whiskey; all heels and hips and hell. Natalia’s boo had been the loudest in the crowd and it made me shut the door on that thought immediately. “Looking at you, I can’t lie, just pouring out admission. Regardless of my objection, and it’s not about my pride, I need you on my skin.” Maira had turned her back to the audience and then had turned around with the dancers after the chorus of the song. Her perfect smile and voice had illuminated the room regardless of her fight with the microphone and the monitor.

By the end, she had knelt in the centre of the stage. Her head had tilted as she sang, hands outstretched as she hit her high notes and eyes closed as the lights above stung and in the blink of an eye the performances had ended and both the finalists’ stood there on either side of Jonathan Keltz on stage.

*

“There she’s again sticking up her body against you!” A voice pulls me out of my trance and I notice its Natalia, talking about a stupid article of Maira and me.

Natalia hated her with a huge passion since Finale Night. Maira’s presence buzzes around her like a fly that she can’t swat. She is spiteful to no end. She goes to extremes by calling her ‘mad’ or ‘attention seeking bitch,’ when she gets to know about her night stays at Gia’s or another summer at mummy’s. I till this day am haunted by Maira’s condition post Finale Night. That day by River Dane she had chanted, rocking her body back and forth, “Don’t you worry pretty little mind, people throw rocks at the things that shine.” I still can’t fathom how one evening—one incident—one sentence could disrupt lives forever, but it did. It changed this light of a person she was on stage to an anxious, panicky and doubtful little soul.

Three months after Ultimate Sing Off, Maira showed signs of an anxiety disorder. It was inevitable and it arrived without warning. After dad, mummy used to spend her evenings with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronically ill patients suffering from Lupus and Hidradenitis Suppurativa and so she knew how anxiety and depression wasn’t a child’s play. She was the first to notice how Maira wasn’t in control of herself, how at random moments she would get this budding fear and stress that something isn’t right and how chills would drown her as she thought out possibilities, switching back and forth between worrying about one thing then about ninety others, till the point she convinced herself that things were way bad than what they really were.

That summer Gia noticed Maira’s crescent moon scars on her arms and legs. The extent of how her depression made her hate herself for being irrational at times, how she created white space between us and her, how she caged herself and dwelled on loneliness and how she was too terrified to talk, to express, to just say, ‘help me.’

Natalia didn’t get any of this. She never understood the vicious cycle Maira was caught up in—depressed day led to sleepless night that led to irritable morning and that made way to another day battling depression and the big stigma of being ‘mentally ill,’ She never believed that Maira can not control it and that it could struck up at the most inconvenient times like on the day of her show and Harry—me—cannot attend it. She would worsen our delicate position in front of Maira by doing the worst thing. She would emphasise issues Maira had previously worried about and that would trigger a chain of another attacks because being a dick was Natalia’s raison d’etre.

In the last six years of knowing Maira the only solution I’ve come to is that sometimes she just wants me to be there for her, to hold her, to listen to her, to leave her alone and that sometimes I can be the trigger as well. Also, to never say ‘calm down’ or ‘stop worrying’ because if she could stop worrying, wouldn’t she have already? Mummy tells from her experience that during most anxiety attacks, the patients know what they need but have no one to ask for. So, if someone you love has an anxiety attack—let them know that you genuinely want to help in any way that you can, and be okay with it if they tell you nothing and to just listen.


NOTE

I don’t know why we all hang on to something we know we’re better off letting go. It’s like we’re scared to lose what we don’t even really have. Some of us say we’d rather have that something than absolutely nothing. But the truth is, to have it halfway is harder than not having it at all.

“I’ve spent a lifetime running, and I always get away, but with you I’m feeling something that makes me want to stay.” “But I feel like a storm is coming, if I’m gonna make it through the day, the there is no more use in running, this is something I got to face.” Song: writings on the wall by Sam Smith.

Please drop me a comment or a vote if you think this deserves it and give me a chance to improve. All the love as always, Mahak xx

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