“Manya, get out of my way or else I’ll have to get harsh now”. He hated people stopping him.
“Listen…you…”, she started, but before she could complete the statement, he shoved her aside and left.
This is something that happens every day; she tries to get involved in her brother’s life but, then, he doesn’t even let her complete her sentence.
He comes home once every two to three days, spends a night in his room, locking himself inside and finds a reason to leave the house immediately the next morning.
She stays waiting for him all day with some hope that he would at the least hear her, if not listen.
The first few months, she sat tight to tell him that leaving the house and roaming around driving and drinking will not help him get over his ex-girlfriend, but, sitting down and sharing the pain he is putting up with is the best way to let things out.
I understand. I’m sorry. I feel what you’re going through, you are broken and I really want to fix you up like you did for me – by making a hand-made tiara when I broke my favorite one, by lending me your friend’s skateboard when I broke mine, by explaining it to momma when I broke her trust.
You’ve been healing me for the past twenty years, but why is it that you don’t even let me touch to heal you. I know you need me, bhai, please come home.” she texted him.
He did come home with tears but also intoxicated due to the alcohol. As soon as he entered the house she was happy that she could solve the issue now, but he dozed off immediately.
He woke up after 28 hours. “Manya, I need to leave, it’s suffocating here. Why the hell did you lock me up?” he started to scream as she had locked him inside so that he didn’t run away again.
She stubbornly decided that she wouldn’t open the door until he calmed down. He did calm down after screaming continuously for 17 minutes. Then, she slowly opened the door scanning the room.
“Move, I told you not to stop me”, he hit right on her shoulder with a cricket bat, threw it away, and walked out with tears flowing from his eyes.
She was badly hurt, not because he hit her, but, because he didn’t turn back to see her. Yet, she got up, treated the physical wounds and started biding her time for him again with a hope that he would come back with guilt.
“Maneesh, sorry I can’t call you Bhai, because the brother that I knew seems to have disappeared now… I don’t see him at home. I don’t hear him anywhere around me. I don’t share with him anymore. I don’t find the protection he used to provide. I don’t feel the care he had for his sister. Maybe, he cut ties with everybody who loved him when his girlfriend broke up with him. Please convey this to him.
I am leaving the house now so that he doesn’t need to deal with the person who annoys him by locking him up or blocking his way whenever he is here. I need to shift to the hospital; I have been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Bye.”
She typed this after a long wait of six months, after facing all the hurdles caused by her disease, alone.
He ignored the message when he got the notification; waited for a few minutes and, then, picked up the phone. As he scrolled through the message, he couldn’t react. He read the entire message and drove home in a heartbeat.
“Manya, where are you?” he yelled, bursting into the house.
“Yes”, she appeared, seemingly strong.
“What happened to you?” he asked in an interrogative tone.
“I guess you read the message”, she said, composed.
“I am sorry you had to face all of this alone.” He fell to his knees feeling the pain of guilt.
“It’s all right. You’re here, now”, she said as she hugged him.
“We’ll fix everything up.” He hugged her back, promising himself he would never let her suffer again.