In Order To Live

“Don’t you hate her, the underhand, deceitful back- stabber!”

“Don’t talk of her that way! No, I don’t hate her. Why should I?”

“Do I have to tell you why?! !!”

“Why are you so livid with her?”

“I just don’t understand you! How can you take it so lightly?!”

“I can take it lightly because I know why she did it. She really had no other choice. What else could she do?”

“Oh, I have no patience with you! You must surely be the world’s biggest fool!”

“I am neither a fool nor a saint Roma. I am not saying I wasn’t hurt when I found out. But on mature consideration lasting a restless fortnight, I have come to realize that she is not to blame. Knowing her circumstances and condition, she did the best.”

“Yes, she did her best! And because of her so called best, you are now destitute! What will you do? How will you….?”

“Live? I’ll live. It won’t be easy, but I’ll live. I’m a survivor, you know that!”

“Yeah, you are a survivor indeed. And an emotional fool to boot!”

“Look, let me explain a few things to you. I know you will not see things the way I see them, at least not now. Maybe someday the words I say now will seep into you and connect up. I don’t know. I can only hope they will. Don’t agree with me, but please listen to what I have to say.

“For eight years she worked for me- with me. Eight years Roma! The best, most productive years of your life, dedicated to a cause that can only be called an obscure long shot. You know how difficult it was for me to arrange financial backing for our project, don’t you? I mortgaged my house until no one would give me a single rupee on it. Three years ago, I ran out of money. I had no avenues left open. I gave up on my dream. I begged her to abandon the project. She didn’t leave. She stuck by me, encouraged  and cajoled me to keep trying. After nearly three months, we finally found a sponsor.

“I know all that, but…..”

“Please let me finish. She had to have something to show for her eight years of dedication and labor, can’t you see that? If she took our long awaited  breakthrough and sold it to the highest bidder- if she cut me out of it and claimed the work solely as hers- how can I blame her? The research would have died three years ago if she hadn’t stood by me when I was scrambling for funds.

“It was her grit and tenacity that kept the work alive. It was she who nurtured it, gave it life. Can I- should I- grudge her something she kept alive when I had given up on it? To me it was already dead. I had reneged on it. What right have I to be possessive about it? But for her, there would have been no breakthrough at all. I am only happy that the world will benefit from my work for as long as it exists. The satisfaction of having successfully achieved my dream is more than enough to take me through the rest of my life.”

Even an obvious fabrication is some comfort when you have few others.

~ Margaret Atwood

“And what about the rest of it Avi? Are you going to pretend that your feelings for her were purely professional?”

“My feelings for her were no one’s business but mine. What was never confessed will never attain the flesh and bones of reality. That’s how it will remain. With the right of a friend, I forbid you to refer to it ever again. 

“Now you’ll have to excuse me. I must go and and clean out the offices. A janitor isn’t supposed to hob- nob with the bosses. (smiles) And yes, thank you for getting me this job. You are a good soul. God bless you.”

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. ~Joan Didion

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23 thoughts on “In Order To Live”

  1. Hmmpphh Strange are the ways in which the human mind rationalizes. Well, if it were not for this, we would hold on to every grudge — minor and big — and shrivel up and die well before time. I am not this generous though.

    1. Rachna, I am not this generous either. But there have been times when I’ve realized that hanging on to a grudge is harming no one but me. And that it isn’t solving anything. That’s when I have told myself a fabrication to rationalize- and accept- what was not acceptable. 🙂

  2. A mature way to get over the past. I lack that maturity though. More than the loss of the money/credit what would rankle is the deceit. It is one thing for someone to deserve a thing but quite another to steal it. I’m afraid I am not made of such noble material.

    1. The loss of money/ credit and the loss- not of love- but of the possibility of love, are both difficult to deal with. As you said, the worst is the deceit. It isn’t easy for me either but as I’ve said in another comment, there have been times when I’ve done it for my own peace of mind. Even when you do it- no matter what the reason- a part of you will always accuse you of being a wimp.

  3. All this realization in only one restless night? Quite remarkable. For those of us made of more ordinary stuff, it may take a bit longer but some reconciliation and acceptance has to come so that we may move on to other opportunities and experiences, instead of holding on to a feeling of bitterness about the past.

    1. You point is well taken. One restless night does sound like too short a time. I shall edit the story and make it a little more plausible.

      Thank you for the feedback. My story will be better with your feedback. I appreciate it. 🙂

    1. Oh but Vishal, he had already realized his dream. Perhaps it was time for him to create a new one.
      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  4. Interesting piece of fiction. Theoretically does sound right. Anyways he can’t do anything about it. Why fume over it?

    1. Right you are TF, fuming wouldn’t help anything. All it would do is make a bunch of ulcers sprout in your innards like a bunch of grapes. Unpleasant, so I’ve heard.

      Thank you for coming by…

  5. Just last night I was having a similar discussion with my husband and he said exactly what you did in reply to Rachnas comment above… Rationalize and accept what is unacceptable, I wasn’t convinced then, but today reading this post and the comments I feel I should give it a try, because last night I lost sleep over some behaviors that were not acceptable to me, not those people. Time to learn to leave some baggage behind, for our own good not theirs… Thanks for this Dagny 🙂

    1. I am delighted that I have perhaps helped you find some very essential closure. You will however, have a niggling feeling of annoyance with yourself for letting those people ‘get away with’ things that they should have been punished for. May I suggest that you abandon that thought of retribution? They will be suitably punished… depend upon it. And if God is kind, He will let you see the punishment when it is doled out. Trust in Him. 😀

  6. Pingback: Sunday Brunch #8 | Serenely Rapt

  7. Brings to mind your post on nacre Dagny, that you wrote for the A-Z Challenge. How nacre takes in an irritant, coats it and creates something precious out of it. Looks like the person gave the irritant in his life a coating of his story and stopped it from being an irritant anymore. The Nacre post has seared itself on my soul.:)

    1. I am so happy and humbled that you still remember my Nacre post! Longevity in the memory of a reader is the biggest compliment there can be! Your words give me deep joy! Thank you!

      1. You are very welcome Dagny! Nacre post is something I keep remembering all the time. Brings to mind some people I know, who possess that power to turn irritants to something precious. It truly is a very soothing post. 🙂

        1. Coming from you, this means a lot to me Prathima. But I am beginning to repeat myself, aren’t I? You already know how thrilled I am by your appreciative words. 😛

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