You decide to stray
You make me stay
I freak out
You relax, I want to hurry
You reason with me
‘Shades of life, don’t worry!’
By the way I carry on
I tell you I am back
But you know I was never gone.
Confused. Scared. Still trying.
You know I’ll be giving reasons
But you have to agree
You will smile at me
Be proud, probably
Be ready for the next turn
Just dark and grey like an ending.
This is a poem I wrote in 2006.
And the entire Fifty Shades of Grey
debate reminded me of the times when grey meant something else.
It was a
different time, I was a different person and I wrote this for a class mate who was going through a tough time. She went into a
deep depression that changed things, changed her. Before the incident, she was all about colors. She painted a lot, and her hands were always stained with acrylics or spray paint. Afterwards, she gave up.
I see her life in shades. Depression
is still a taboo in our country today, carrying the same amount of stigma as
Domestic Violence, and the same fear as AIDS – so she didn’t get or take
any help. I didn’t know any better either, I was young and
self-obsessed and I missed the signs.
Which is what haunts me. I should have known better
though. I should have.
One day I had casually asked her if she’s okay, knowing perfectly well that she wasn’t. She shrugged and said ‘I’m okay. I’m fine. I just wish people would stop asking me. ” I nodded, made a silly joke and changed the subject. She dropped out of the class a month later.
Now, whenever she comes up in a conversation or in my mind, I feel a lump of guilt throbbing inside me, but there’s no
redemption here. Other than writing about it. Which I did later that
year, when I heard she was cutting herself. Words cannot explain how
much it broke my heart. I haven’t seen her since January 2007. She is
not on any social network. I didn’t know her well enough to know about her
family or even her address. Common friends we had, are of little help. What would I do now even if I did find her? So now I just remember her at random
moments, in shades. And I hope she’s okay.