By: Bethelhem Teame
It was like seeing ‘The Hulk’ all over again- live, unabridged and R-rated. I didn’t know till that evening that a person’s face could display this much emotion and color all at once. The last color I noticed was dark green. After he knocked or rather banged at the door, he got past me into the house without saying a word. I stood on the threshold not sure of what to do next.
He searched his backpack for a while and handed me some papers. I accepted the papers warily; still searching his darkened face. It was a print out of a long history of conversations between two people- wait a minute, don’t I recognize both the usernames on the conversation log- his younger sister’s and a mutual friend’s; wow now I see where this is going….
But why is he fuming with anger like this? His sister is mature enough to date and see whomever she wants. The guy she is talking to is quite a fellow…. I looked up from the endless pages of the compiled papers he gave me and studied my friend, he was closing his eyes, his hands curled to fists on his side. As his friend I rarely get to see this side of him, but he is quite scary and unapproachable in this state. Someone must have ruffled his feathers…
I bit my lips and kept on reading as the deafening silence hovered over the room. He was still as a statues, his eyes still closed as if he is trying to shut out the world and its messiness outside his sphere. The conversations at first were witty and innocent, followed by witty, double-meaning, flirtatious comments from both sides..this continued for pages and pages that made me smile and let me see the other side of both parties involved. My evening just got better. What could be more interesting and juicy than going through chitchats of two unsuspecting people?
It was a page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. There is something strangely and darkly delicious about reading through others’ conversation, specially when it is real- the kind of pleasure you don’t get from fictions. I was playing God as I envisioned both of them flirting and playing on each other’s heart strings. But unlike God, I was pretty much judgmental and calculating. And for the first time in my life, I realized the omnipresence of God’s nature in every single step of our life and pictured him and his watchful eyes on each of our lives. It’s deep and unfathomable to my tiny mind.
Back to the nitty-gritty, my friend is fuming with barely controlled anger because his sister was talking with a friend and he didn’t like the train of their conversation and where it is heading..in the last part of the compiled pages, the guy was pushing so hard as the girl tried to convince him that there are some borders that shouldn’t be crossed between two people. My friend must be joking right? This realization got me madder by the minute..I really wanted to throw something at him. He has done this a million times and more with other girls but is pitching a fit because now it involves his sister?
Time to choose my next words carefully, “What’s the big deal?” I tried to ask the question carelessly but it was hard to swallow the lump in my throat. I prayed he wouldn’t notice.
“What?!” he screamed, I could see all the colors flicker by on his face.
“What?!” he pounded his fist at the table. “This is wrong at all levels. It is a taboo in our culture.”
Time to muster all my courage and face the friend who was turning into the Hulk in front of me..his eyes have turned into a reddish hue. “You do it all the time..didn’t it occur to you that all those girls have brothers who care about them and would act just the way you are doing right now? If they knew or see your conversations with them, there will be a hell to pay..” I stopped to take a deep breathe to calm my nerves. It didn’t help at all. I could feel the heat rising to my face.. “I have brothers too so does the next girl. Why do you choose to silence the voice within when it voices its concerns and warnings? You knew it was wrong somehow and yet you have been saying that to other girls..”
“You know my brothers, however pacifist they are, would have hunted you down for your misconducts?” I asked in a low but sure voice-remembering the time we fought because he decided to take his Don Juan’s role even with me- his friend of many years. We were on non-speaking term for long till we mended the broken pieces and start afresh. I didn’t mean to preheat his sins again, but he needs to know how it hurts. Tough love- right?
He cornered me with his cold look. It was murderous. If looks could kill, this one would have been the deadliest. He stood up and took the papers from my hands, picked up his backpack from the ground he tossed on earlier and turned to leave without a word.
I was shaking, this is no way to treat a friend who came in looking for companionship and trust. But it has to be done. I closed my eyes with the click on the door. But did he really think that all the girls out there are not precious sisters and daughters to others? If he is fuming with anger like this, which makes him condemn the act the man his sister is talking to, does this mean that he condemns his own actions too? Guys often forget that what goes around comes back around to haunt and hunt them..
A message popped on my phone jolting me back to reality, “I am sorry. Forgive me?”- it read.
“Forgiven.” I wrote back..followed by, “But next time you want to follow your instincts and urges..remember that some other guy is also talking to your sister in that manner.”