by: Naseehaa Bacchus
It’s cold, it’s raining and I’m incredibly tired. As I contemplate going to my evening accounting class, I admire my luminous dorm room lights as they hang over my Palm Beach tapestry. It’s only five in the afternoon, but the dreary weather makes it look like midnight. I’m in absolutely no frame of mind to go to class. I don’t want to hear about shareholder’s equity. Nor do I want to hear about investors doing business with a shady company that doesn’t follow the generally accepted accounting principles. I eventually admit to myself that I’m not as rebellious as I thought, and reluctantly grab my laptop before I head out the door.
I still had some time before class started, so I figured I could finish up some assignments beforehand in the student lounge. There was a girl sitting a few seats away from me who was on the phone. At first I didn’t think to pay her any mind. Then I heard a sudden and very heated conversation fill the empty air.
I was caught off guard by the sound of yelling from a distant voice. I looked up and scanned my surroundings. I was expecting to see some kind of fiasco unraveling in front of me. Other than the girl, there was no one else in my line of vision. Then I realized the yelling was coming from whoever the girl was talking to on the phone. I could hear his words clearly. Almost more than the girl who was sitting less than four feet away from me.
“All of this is your fault!”
I easily detected a masculine voice full of anger. The girl’s replies were nothing more than whispers as if she was the one needing to adjust her volume.
“I’m so sorry. Please…don’t be upset. I didn’t mean to…”
I could hear her faint sobs between her broken words. With only a few words and an enraged voice he was ripping her apart. I felt like a witness to heartbreak. I couldn’t do anything about it.
I have no idea who that girl was or who she was arguing with, but in that moment those details were irrelevant; I didn’t need to know their situation. All I know is that whoever she was talking to had no right to yell and undervalue her the way he did.
I can vividly remember her continuously wiping the flooding tears that ran down her face, and the distress in her voice as she struggled to keep her composure. If it hurt me so much to watch, I could only imagine the emotional turmoil she was experiencing. Before the conversation ended she said she had to go to class, and I could only hear a grumble from his end. She replied “I love…” until the phone line went dead. He couldn’t even wait for her to say I love you. She slipped her phone in her backpack, wiped away her remaining tears and left the lounge.
I was speechless. I felt obligated to chase after her to tell her I’m sorry for what happened. To see an argument like that, even if it was over the phone, changed me more than I ever thought it would. I hate the idea of people being in a relationship where they are not valued the way they deserve to be. In the modern dating realm, we play this sick game of “who could care less,” in hopes that someone swallows their pride first to initiate a relationship.
We let the fear of rejection get the best of us as we withhold from expressing our true feelings. We shouldn’t have to subject ourselves to living this way. We deserve the same love that we know we’re capable of giving.
We can’t settle for anything less than our standards just for the sake of having company. When we settle, we give leeway to people who are indecisive about when they want us and when they don’t. A build-up of such actions is emotional abuse. It’s draining to continue to give and get nothing from your partner in return.
We have to learn to appreciate, and more importantly, notice the effort others invest in us. Whether it’s in terms of a relationship or just a friendship. We don’t need excessive amounts of praise, but we have to make sure we are not guilty of underappreciating the most important people in our lives. An unrequited love forces us to put on a facade to pretend we’re okay and that’s exactly what the girl on the phone did. At the moment, she didn’t have a choice but to pick herself up and carry on with the rest of her day.
I hope her situation changes. I hope a simple phone conversation with the one she loves won’t leave her in tears. We have to make it our goal to learn from our pain and mistakes because without question, she deserves better, and so do you.