It's a balmy night outside. Actually, the night can be any kind. Having downed a few drinks, heard a few trans-inducing songs, you pick up the phone, searching for a contact to message, someone to talk to. Is there someone worth reaching out to at 3 a.m. in the night?
There is, actually. The one you love and hate in equal measure. The one who's good on some days and completely acidic on the other. The one you want to leave for good but somehow, can't. The one who's made your life the mess that it is. The reason for drinking; the reason behind your emotional abuse.
Why can't you call 'em up and call it quits? You know you want to. You've been wanting to end it for a while now. Get rid of that one person who's ruining your life, one agitated conversation after another. Why can't you cut out the strings?
You just can't. You're afraid of what'll come next. If something will come or not. If someone will come along or not. It's a latent fear that's eating you from the inside.
So what do you do? You pick up the phone. It starts the usual way. You know, checking on each other, asking what they're up to, sorts. But soon, it's back to square one. Nagging, fighting, screaming, howling, breaking down.
This is the standard template. You can change the names and it still won't make a difference. It's the story of every other person.
The ones in toxic relationships they can't let go off. Is it because they're too deeply invested in something and coming out of it ain't easy? Or, is it that they're scared they'll be left alone?
In the fast-paced city lives we're all leading, there's only one thing that somewhat calms us down. Love, you'd think? The word you're actually looking for is companionship.
We all need that one person. Someone to come home to. Someone to go for a movie with. Someone to call, even if it is 3 a.m. A friend, lover, family, all rolled into one. And once we find that one person, we never, ever want to let 'em go.
Unfortunately, people don't stay in our lives for as long as we want them to. But even though they don't want to stay, we try and hold on to them.
It's sad how the possibility of loneliness can make even the strongest of us self-destructive. We'll tolerate emotional abuse. We'll have multiple meltdowns. We'll fight and shed tears.
We'll do anything it takes to not let go of someone. Because when that someone goes, we'll be alone. All alone. And that's something we just can't handle.
Ever since we first understand the world around us, everything seems to be in twos.
The books we read, the movies we watch and the songs we hear, they're all love stories, fulfilled or otherwise. We're taught that a major task ahead of us is to find that 'one' and never let them go. Settle down. Because life is a journey best lived along with someone.
Everyone from Miss Havisham to the neighborhood's old auntie is secretly urging us to find a partner before it's too late. Therefore, when we find someone we think is the 'one', we don't want to ruin it for anything.
Girlfriends keep up with jealous, possessive boyfriends. Wives tolerate domestic abuse and marital rape. Boyfriends are running after girls who don't care for them. And husbands are drowning themselves in work because they don't want to deal with the eventuality of a loveless marriage back home.
It's a world full of scared people. Scared to lose. Scared of heartbreak. Scared of coming back to no one and nothing in particular. Scared of being alone.
Scared. Really, really scared.
Why can't we muster up the courage to walk out of toxic relationships and emotionally deprecating equations? Why can't we get ourselves to leave people who've long left us in their hearts and minds?
Do we not realise the kind of harm these toxic relationships are causing?
Forget getting us that dreamy life we've so badly wanted, they're destroying our self-worth, ruining our present and making us cynical about the future. We're forgetting to love ourselves, respect ourselves and are getting through lives with huge emotional baggage that's constantly weighing us down.
It's unfortunate but that's just how the world operates, I suppose. As long as we know what we're doing, there's some sort of cryptic justification maybe.
But then, have we ever stopped to see if all this is worth it?