When I was in college, my psychology professor always reminds us that it’s healthy to seek for anyone to share your problems with; that it’s all right to ask for help when you feel like sinking in your problems.
I was travelling up North, only a rucksack filled with two sets of clothes, knickers, basic toiletries, my laptop with its charger, a pad, a pen, and a few bills to make it through everyday. I dropped by without notice, but felt welcomed all the same, in a relative’s house to stay in for a night. There’s no bed that I could sleep in, and the couch was already taken when my cousin made a makeshift bed composed of four chairs slotted together for me to take. I promised that I just need to write a few articles about the town and its festivities, working as a freelance writer and all, so there’s no need to worry on how I’ll poorly lie on a mattress-less pit.
It was two in the morning when my phone started vibrating on my bed. I blindly searched for it and pushed the duvet off my legs as I clutched on my phone tightly and got on my feet. I brushed my finger on the screen open and pressed it against my ear. The person was crying and I had to shake my sleepy state awake as I try to fumble my fingers on the look of the backdoor to get out.
It was Nee, an ol’ friend whom I haven’t spoken to for almost three years. It’s funny how I still remember how her voice sounds despite these years and how I know too well that thick British accent rolls on her tongue. It feels like I’ve been reunited with someone that is almost like home. But instead of a reunion with drinks and trays filled with canapé, we’re reunited by a death of a friend, mourning on the person’s wake.
I figured that there were no times for hi’s and hello’s as she continued to sob on the other line. I never recalled Nee for being a crybaby, nor someone who would feel sad about something. Despite her crazy family background, she’s always smiled. She’s never the sulking type, bawling over messy breakups or crazy hookups. She’s always been strong and confident. That’s why it was quite a surprise to hear her crying, and to hear from her, actually.
She committed an abortion.
Hearing Nee wail on the other line made me want to ask all sorts of questions. All basic Wh- questions are running in my head, eager to know how’d it all happened. But as she continued to narrate how it was her decision to get rid off it, as if it was a thing and not a human being, I couldn’t find my voice to even ask if she’s all right.
I stayed all night listening to her, shifting the phone from one ear to another as she continued telling everything from the start. She sobbed as she told me how he met this guy, and how they made a mistake on a drunken night and when the guy was a dick for leaving her. She couldn’t come back home, couldn’t just barge in and tell her parents that she’s pregnant. She wasn’t ready and she explained that abortion is the only answer she sees that time.
It was three years ago.
When I asked her why she’s telling it just now, she said that she wanted someone to know how she’s been grieving for such stupidity for a long time. I think the reason why she called is because she needed someone to be honest and vulnerable to even just for once. She needed someone’s forgiveness for killing someone as precious as anyone’s life. It could be her first child, but it happened all to fast.
I forgave her of course, and made her promise to come meet soon.
I think we all felt what Nee had experienced when facing through though times. It seems inevitable when you’re alone. It always difficult when there’s no one to lean on, but a simple call, text, a quick chat would have been sufficient, albeit unconventional. No matter the time difference, it’s still benevolent.