K had a break up a couple of days ago. I told him it was a "friend break up" no different or less difficult than a romantic break up. He'd been uneasy about the frost that set upon his friendship with who he considered his intellectual peer and friend. There was a tragedy in the friend's life and then the frost set in, suddenly. The tragedy is something I still cannot acknowledge, this friend lost a parent who he was devoted to in a very very tragic way. Understandably there was shock and anger and perhaps a lot of guilt too. K rushed to his friend's side as soon as he found out and spent some time. After which, being someone who does not believe in rituals and symbolism, he checked in on his friend but didn't attend the ceremonies that followed.
I thought they were similar in thought and mind. From where I see it (K's persepective ofcourse) they were friends for every reason and season. Heated debates over philosophy and politics, evenings spent discussing literature and their favourite authors, and staying up all night to watch movies they loved. For over a decade, this friendship was this way.
Life has a way of coming in between. There were weddings and domesticity, milestones, career changes, ups and tumultuous downs. But they never mattered, or so it seemed.
A few weeks ago, K told me he noticed a listless silence from his friend. That a few attempts to connect after work or on the phone were being brushed aside. He paid a visit on my insistence one day only to be treated with utter coldness. We both put it down to the recent tragedy and that it was understandable that this friend was having a tough time dealing with.
Then came the curveball. Odes of friendship and support written to the same people he claimed to despise started pouring out of this friend's social networking page. I kept telling K that his friend, despite saying he didn't care for K's absence at the funeral and ceremonies, was upset and that he should clear it out. A couple of texts and chats later, it was off. The deep friendship of over a decade, shared out of their mutual love for all things cerebral was stripped and buried. This friend made a few accusations that K was never available to him and wanted him selfishly, not realising that he was not speaking to him anymore. That it was a monologue since 4-5 years and not a dialogue.
This has left K very puzzled. The same friend, a few months ago, claimed all forms of love and friendship, naming this friendship as the purest and most objective, whereas all the other people in his life have always wanted something - a contact, a favour or some other kind of help.
To K I told him that he had always invested in the wrong people. That this particular friendship was more convenience (for the other guy) than anything else and the reason I am making this conclusion is that nothing else explains the yo yo-ing statements.
This was a guy who was invested in as a friend. He was a part of our lives for over a decade. He ate in our house, stayed with us endlessly, romanced his girlfriend (now wife) in our house and all of this we did selflessly. Without asking for anything in return, because he was a friend, and because we loved him.
There have been betrayals in the past. Maybe betrayal is too strong a word. Shall I say decisions made based on his convenience, favouring him and with no thought for K's well being. Each time I brought these up, K would simply brush them aside and say that I always doubted people and that this friend would never think that way. But it happened, again and again, until, a few years ago, when K was willing to give up his most successful venture to join hands with this friend to follow a dream. That's when I put my foot down for the first time and said no. I forced K to rethink and that pipe dream fell through.
How convenient it is to live in a bubble where you are the victim. How nice when you insulate your existence with a blanket of lies. How perfectly suitable your talent for storytelling becomes to twist the tale where you are the martyr. I marvel at these instances. I get that K is not blameless. He is not a guy who will call you everyday to check if you are ok. But when you need him, he will be there. But to say the things that have been said to him, is pure calculation.
He spent a day reminiscing their memories. We spoke late into the night and I knew he was trying to figure out where he went wrong, what he didn't do right, why he wasn't cautioned earlier. He hasn't done that for any other relationship. The next morning, he woke up and told me that he had buried it, it was over for him and that he would not be affected anymore. That he spoke about it only so that he could give it its due and then bury his memories. '
I smiled at him gently and said ok. I however took another couple of days to process this. I was angry at the lies and the tales of his now ex-friend, but I also realised that a weak man has nothing but stories to insulate and vindicate him, that these were the straws he was clutching at. One thing that I know about K is that he is a man without fear. He will call a spade a spade and be ready for the consequences of all his actions. It is surprising that the said friend, who is unafraid to speak on any topic has remained silent for all the years he felt the friendship had ceased to exist.
If indeed that was true, how did he manage to feign a freindship and affection for almost 4 years that he said he wasn't feeling the love or closeness? Did he not think that the two of them deserved to sort out these things rather than break up? It is baffling how people will turn around and accuse you of the things that have been contrary to what you have displayed.
While K is going about his life like all of this never happened, I somehow am getting drawn back to the meetings and evening spent and conversations that happened and food that was shared. Either all of what is being said now is false, or what happened over the last decade is false. Or did a convenience just outlive itself and get misunderstood as friendship by K? Answers I may never find. But I guess people are like that....one only has their own conscience to live with.