I often wonder how people are supposed to accept break-ups. Do you watch a sad soppy story with a big can of ice cream and tissues by your side? Or do you call your best friend and gossip about it over the phone? Would you swear loudly and walk away from the scene with your middle finger held up high? Or rather hold it in till you reach your vehicle and cry over your steering wheel? I chose the more tasty option.
“So how do you wanna go about it?” my colleague N asked me. An Emirati with lots of pride, confidence and the best sense of humor, she is as terribly single as I am. She prides herself over being “a party on my own” and has the most amazing ability of talking her way out of things. And I’m the short Indian who can hover between being the sweetest stranger you know to the scary acquaintance you want to avoid. But we complete each other as friends. We do. And I keep going back to how I could handle the break up simply because my colleague-cum-amigo was right beside me. One look at her and my eyes swallowed back their tears. We could NOT break down in front of him.
There we were, at Cold Stone creamery with two love-it size portions of food that would help us with the awful terrible execution we faced just thirty minutes ago. We began to reminisce our sweet journey and the making of our organization. How it had changed lives and the reality of the situation: it wasn’t going to last. We were fresh graduates out to literally change the world. But the world had smacked us hard in the faces, and kicked us on the stomach. Real hard. It was like raising a baby in a medieval century and having it slaughtered by the authorities. What could you do? Moses’ mother smuggled her baby in a basket and let it float across the river. Our baby was…let’s just say larger-than-life-size so transporting it would be out of the question. The authorities had declared their decision and made it clear no solution was going to work. So there we were, fresh graduates, recently bosses-of-our-own-organization-turned-unemployed-in-thirty-minutes. My tall friend N watched me tear up and I forced down some sweet scoops of chocolate down my throat hoping it would help.
N held in her emotions, told me she was more furious than sad. The worst part was that the authorities justified their reasons for kicking us out. And their arguments were perfectly rational, so we couldn’t hate them, but we could curse their sense of timing. We had been contacting them for weeks for a meeting, and had it not been for the one that broke our hearts thirty minutes ago, we would have continued with our long-term plans.
We decided to nurse our wounds before making any decision so our emotions don’t interfere with our profession. It was too late to ask for that since our organization was literally OUR baby, but we had to. Whoever said, “failure is the stepping stone to success” should have been executed.
So in the course of nursing our wounds, we took a few days off and I chose a non-consequential quiet option. Something I had never done in my life before.
I bought a bowl of ice cream, took the ticket for the movie playing next and waltzed my way solo to the cinema for 30 minutes of One Day. I would explain the thirty minutes to you, except I prize my pride of having recently turned twenty-one.
It was a beautiful day, so I walked to the nearest mall and headed towards my favorite Marble Slab creamery. I demanded for a value size of Chocolate Swiss with some Nestle crunchers. While the Filipino lady beat the scoop of chocolate against the marble slab, I decided to pull a stack of tissues set-aside neatly at the cashier desk and shove them inside my bag without drawing attention. I paid my bill like a diligent customer and neatly placed the ice cream cup inside my bag so I could sneak it into the theatre.
So plan lets-buy-movie ticket-with-ice cream-and-cry-in-dark didn’t work as I had planned, especially with the appealing visuals that distracted me away from my own pain and misery. Maybe I should have rather called up my friends and cried over the phone? So I pulled out my Blackberry and skimmed through the zillion contacts wondering “whom should I call?” But I guess I knew the answer to that already. There was no friend I could talk to.
Sad as the situation was, I wallowed my fears in the darkness with the bowl of my favorite ice cream.