Dear Naimah

As far as I can remember, I see myself next to you. You can’t be missed: you’re there in every family photo, every baby album my mother owns, in all the pictures ever taken of my friends and in all my memories, like you’ve made it a point to be the validation of my existence.

I never questioned it, because what more does a child want than to have a companion who is willing to sit out play time so they will not feel alone in their punishment? What more does a child want than a person who laughs with abandon and a heart bigger than the entire universe?

But sometimes (often) sometimes, I started to doubt my place in your world. After all, the heart is so small, could you really make enough space to love all these people? And did you ever really need me?

These days, it feels like a constant game of seesaw, every time it tips to one side I panic and try to frantically balance us perfectly once again. What happened to us? What happened to me? When did our careless banter turn into bullets to hurt each other? Every time a new crack forms in the fragile vase that is our friendship, I hold my breath, waiting for the whole thing to fall apart and shatter.

But you don’t seem to notice anything – is this all in my head?

I don’t know anymore.

I remember when we were younger, we dreamt of flying up high, among all the constellations we made up, staring in wonder at the dark, starry sky. But those dreams were just that – dreams. Allah (S.W.T) didn’t give us wings because humans weren’t meant to fly, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder if we had fulfilled our dreams, would everything be different? Would you and I still balance perfectly on that seesaw? Would our silent bonds of trust manage to keep us from shattering?

Alone in my room, I am a black hole of questions I wish you could answer, wishes I used to hope would come true, and the memories that keep me by your side, though I am useless to you.

You were the light in the darkness of middle school, the Beauty to my Beast, the rose to my thorn, and aren’t all those things better off without each other? I know I drive people away; those you befriend so easily don’t dare to even wave a greeting when I am with you.

They know.

And I know. I know all of this, know I should leave you alone, but I am afraid.

I know you will do just fine by yourself, but what happens to me? I don’t know any place other than by your side. So I will stay there, no matter how much I should let you go.

Because I am coward.

Some day, you will figure all this out by yourself. When you do, I will willingly remove myself from you, but until then I shall keep on this cracking veneer of stability and friendship.

I pray that you find it in your heart to forgive me when that day comes.




Image source: shattering vase

All credit for image goes to original photographers.

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