FRENEMY

It kills!

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“Aah! It’s too tight, Lily”, I cried                                                                                           

“And so is our bond Alora”, said Lily squeezing my wrist with the friendship band. “Promise to stay with me forever,” she asked. “Till my last breath and ever after”, I told, tying a band to her.

In the entire universe and the space beyond, the only person who matters to me is Lily. We work in the same office, we are roommates too, we spend all the time we have with each other, we have become so thick friends that even if the entire humanity conspired to separate us, they would fail.

We would eagerly wait for weekends to come so that we can enjoy ‘our’ time. The wait was over, it was the second Saturday and I as usual woke up long after the sun rose and went to the table to accompany Lily for our brunch. As I sat, Lily said, “The coworkers always get under my skin, Alora”, “What’s the matter, Lily?” I asked worriedly. “They can’t stand our friendship and give me free advice” she told showing all her anger on the poor pancakes.

“The pancakes are perfectly cooked, round and stacked one upon the other, with a drizzle of maple syrup, so aesthetic that it would make a person with OCD go merry. But you scrambled it, missed its best taste by not dipping it in the syrup, spoiled the tower, as anyways it has to end up in your tummy.”                                                                                               

“Don’t change the subject Alora.”    

“I certainly ain’t. Listen, Lily, it’s up to you on how you should enjoy the taste of your life, it’s presented to you as it is to anyone else save some customizations, don’t spoil it as if you will have to end it anyways. It will definitely end as the pancakes in your tummy, but the choices, combinations, and the way you have it, will give an adventure to your tastebuds and make you decide if it’s nice or not. Dont give others the right over your privilege to live your life.”

“You are right”, she said resuming back to her normal.                                                                      “ As I always am”, I smirked.                                                                                                            After which I whispered in her ear making a hissing sound almost saying nothing making others think a conspiration is being planned, which is our usually unusual way to comfort each other. She was back to life again. We went on to our work after spending the weekend together.

I noticed something not right with Lily. She was away from group discussions and meetings, it seems she took my words too seriously to differentiate its need in work and life. She had been warned by the CEO himself for not doing her part and not attending the meetings which were least expected from her.

Whenever I would speak of it, she would change the subject. I saw her not responding to her own name when called by our landlady on whom she held no grudge. She would yell out “Alora” if I didn’t respond to her just for a second after being called like a little child in the washroom checking on her mom outside. This unusual behavior of Lily started bothering me. She slowly started receding from public gatherings and wanted to be accompanied only by me. I am always happy to spend my time with her but this change will cost her a lot.

This is only the second time I have seen her in such a fit, the first being those initial days of our meeting, the reason for which, I learned was that she lost her mom, her only guardian before I arrived. This worried me if she fell into depression thinking of her mom or was afflicted with some mental illness.

I discussed about her sudden change in behavior with her and urged her to visit a psychiatrist. She resisted at first but on insisting on the topic and its severe circumstances, she finally agreed.

She started taking her therapy and told me it made no difference in her and didn’t even remember what she was diagnosed with. She only attended it for my sake. After a few sessions, I felt she was getting better and was happy for her.

I couldn’t meet her for a couple of days. When I reunited with her just after a few days which made me feel like centuries after, I found her mental health deteriorating again. But Lily hardly paid heed to it.

I was so worried for her that it started eating me. I was glad that I was away from her when I was ill else it would affect her healing process.

She seemed to be better now, but I couldn’t make it to meet her that day as she was busy with her counseling and office and it was the last phase of her therapy. She seemed to be too tired to listen to me speak to her or angry at me for being away from her. She went to bed without greeting me.

“It’s ok” I thought, “I will talk to her in the morning.” I saw her medical reports on the table and decided to have a look at them, as I knew Lily wouldn’t mind.

As I opened it, I saw the graph of her healing, once to the peak and once to the valley. As I glanced through the words, I found the details of what she was diagnosed with and her entire process of healing and therapy. I was baffled, I counted my breath, my heartbeat, I wasn’t perspiring even at this situation.

It read” SCHIZOPHRENIA”.

I felt as if I was dragged into a black hole, being pulled on both sides. I felt a vacuum from within me. I wondered if it was her or me who had schizophrenia. I read the file again, rewound the time, and found that it was, fortunately, her who had it.

I felt myself broken into a million pieces and fading away but I didn’t lose the sight of my completely cured bosom buddy. I whispered, not making a hiss this time, “cheerio” into her ears, she chuckled and cuddled her blanket and slept. I was happy to see her happy and for that to last, I must fade away. My thoughts started to disappear and so did I. I was only Lilys Alora!

PS: Alora means “ MY DREAM”.

By: LIKITHA V

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