The darkness that I had within did the fueling for my self-destruction. By “darkness” I don’t mean the urge to kill someone, but the accumulated dirt that I vacuumed in, from the small remarks of people that didn’t matter. People who stare at you and gasp as you pass by them at the railway station platform because you are fat. People who randomly come up to you in a supermarket offering you help to get a clearer and fairer skin. The girls in school assembly whispering from behind how inappropriate and ugly your body hair looks, while boys just chuckling at your changing body making you more self-conscious than a teenager is supposed to be. But the worst were the kind I called friends who never talked about the real problems. Who laughed at my self-assuring sarcasm mechanism and thought I was “funny”. The ones who said I was the energy of the party because I could keep them entertained and loved how confident I was in spite of being fat, loved the idiotic optimism I still had for ‘love’, although my idea of love was only build by the unrealistic unrequited love stories of Bollywood. They did such a great job that I almost believed in those things about myself. I started trying to make a point, because of the love my friends showered upon me. I gained weight and became so good at pretending that the sore knees didn’t bother me. I loved to dance for myself and on a stage until they started appreciating it but adding at the end “ In spite of being fat” , and the love slowly confined into them as audience and the stage into the hall of my home. I turned a deaf ear to every advice of my mother to build a livable body and concentrated on polishing and decorating the castle of artificiality and attitudinizing ignorance. I overcompensated by empathizing to problems of others and making others realize the beauty of life while never realizing the hypocrisy of that. I hoped that a touch of fingers with a boy would lead to instant fireworks of an epic love story, with songs playing in every situation out of the jukebox of pretentious films, cold shouldering the emptiness I felt and failing to treasure the reality. I rolled my eyes whenever someone pointed out my smugness and labeled them as “blocked” on my friends’ list. But one day, I stopped pretending, exhausted by the weight of mask I weaved and thought to myself how liberating is this to cry for the heap of insecurities and shuttered feelings I kept stacked in the backyard of my heart. But something unusual happened that day. My friends noticed I wasn’t playing anymore and came asking if something was wrong with me. I knew something has always been wrong but I kept weeping for all the pain crammed up till that day. It was like waking up from a trance where the hallucinations had just vanished and the reality was too much to take surfacing only tears. These friends started shaking and squeezing me expecting the tears to soak back in but I couldn’t control it. When that didn’t help resurrect the stuffed-bear-pal they had, they started badgering and beating me up with the acquisitions of wanting the life they were comfortably living. Overwhelmed with the process of self-recognizing and trusting the instincts of my “friends” hoping they knew me better I lauded myself with all the acquisitions and the coward in me who ran away from arguments reassured my image of making them look good, still hoping they would be pleased by my worship and I would restore their friendship. I was so confused with the two images, one that was buried inside and the other that I had pretended to be so long that it became hard to keep up anymore. But they now thought I was toxic, and eulogized me with being self-absorbent , rude, disloyal and whatnot. So I isolated myself in confinement for a while analyzing these whatnots , still not blaming them for not understanding my pain and crying over not being able to live up to the pleasing buddy they signed up for, rehearsing my explanation to offer my allegiance back for feeding their ego in return for being wanted and I noticed I wasn’t required in their balcony sessions or instagram posts. I realized my absence has not made any difference in the way they live their life. Realized all the people I ran to, to get validation for being who I was not were just helping me stack dirt on top of real me and mould it. I found “myself” on my mother’s lap, the very place I was trying to escape calling these “friends: the family I never had”. That was true though. The faux family helped me in the process of self destruction. I am now closer to my real family whittling the shattered glasses into the diamond I was meant to be.