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Special

Shriya Joshi

25th May 2012

Dear Diary,

Today is a very very special day.
Because, today I learnt that I’m not special.

Just like that. Exactly like that! “You’re not special.”
I sat there, dumbstruck. In his room, on his bed. The same bed we listened to countless songs together, the same bed I cried on and the same bed he tried to make me laugh and I did. The same bed we talked about our dreams and failed crushes and embarrassing stories, well, maybe that was mostly me, haha. The same bed we kissed for the first time and I felt, for once I felt something good is going to happen for me. Even the sheets were the same!

He looked me square in the eye when those words came out of his mouth. His beautiful face never looked that ugly, complete with a malicious smirk and to my horror, pity. I felt small and insignificant, I kept getting smaller and he kept staring at me. And you know what? I felt I genuinely deserved his pity. After all, he was the tall, good looking jock who was the star footballer of the college team and there was no dearth of girls who would die to be sat right at the same spot as I was. And I was a girl who collected leaves to keep in her favourite books, listened to ghazals and stood hidden in a corner at every party.

But I’m sure not like today.
Never like today.

I’m not sure if I even blinked as I slowly, what seemed like a decade carefully looked at him, noticing every tiny detail to remember knowing full well I’m never going to sit on his bed again. His slightly shaggy hair, his long but dainty fingers, his arms that don’t look strong but you know they’re when you’re held in them, his legs carelessly splayed as he sat uncomfortably in front of me on his small bed waiting for me to either say something or simply leave. I guess he is used to a situation like this because curiously he was only amused and his tone remained quite matter of fact. Like he didn’t expect a turbulent reaction at all and it was all perfectly normal.

I slowly got up and left without a word or taking a last look at him in his slightly large sports jersey lopsided on his shoulder and his glasses slightly askew, as they do in the movies. It didn’t feel wrong, should it have? I simply got up and left. I didn’t even cry.

Should I have?


25th May 2020,
Dear Diary,

It’s been a while. Hasn’t it?
Such a 13-year-old thing to talk to you again.
I’m sorry if you felt a bit neglected. And also, I’m almost 28 now. I’m much closer to 30 than I’m to 20, haha.

But you know what?
I just went through a few of your pages, I stumbled upon exactly this date of eight years ago and to be honest, there’s not a day goes past that I don't think about those words. Worse things have happened but for some reason, those words wormed their way into my brain deep and made a nest. I questioned my every questionable habit and choice and realised how hard I try to take as little space as possible in people’s lives, literally. I questioned how miserly I'm with trust, even with people I call my bestest friends. Hell, I don't even trust my sister or mum. I questioned my retreat from every possible relationship and the way I seemingly almost sabotage my job interviews.

What if they find out I’m not special?
What if they realise that there are special people out there who deserve their attention more than me?
What if they realise I’m indeed just another body, just another insignificant body that is to be used only at convenience and discarded otherwise?
What if my mind is simply spirally under the weight of those words and I’m severing all my ties with sanity?
What if dear diary, I lose everything I have for nothing?

Was it true, diary? Is it still true after eight years?

What do you think?


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