It is the most bizarre feeling in the world.
The clock reads 3:56 a.m. precisely and I’m sitting in a tiny black dress on my bed, half covered by my sheets. I still have socks on and I’m a little chilly but am too lazy to actually put more clothes on.
Across from me, is a wall separating my roommate and I. Her name is A. For the past six months, I’ve gotten to know A as a bright source of sunshine. A comes from the U.S. Virgin Islands, or let’s be real, the Caribbean. Her backyard is the ocean, which to me is paradise. She smiles all the time, she let’s her hair down on the weekends, and is passionate about what she does and what she believes in. Just to top it off for you boys, she’s absolutely gorgeous. Oh you know, island girl, sun-kissed skin with specks of freckles dusting the top of her shoulders. I’m constantly envious.
A became my roommate, senior year of college. We were bonded quickly, over pancakes, flavored rum and of course, boys. We’d watch TV shows together, manage the kitchen together and then gossip, just like any other girl would. It didn’t take long for me to start to love her and when she had to always leave for break, I knew I would miss her. A was like a sister I never had. Finally.
Tonight, in between the thin walls, I can hear A cry. It wasn’t the kind of sniffle you get when you watch a particularly romantic scene in a chick flick. It was a sob after endless scenes of Les Mis. It was the kind of cry that resulted from a deep hurt. A’s hurt was something that came from the core of a person and manifested in endless tears, that forced a body to shake violently.
She’d told me her story one evening, over a greasy dinner at Denny’s on a Friday. We’d decided to ditch the scene and instead splurge on cheeseburgers and milkshakes. What I saw that night was a girl that had gone through a lot and survived, despite carrying scars that would never disappear. I admired her so much for that. She was a strong girl.
Coming out of what was an easily traumatic experience for all of us tonight, I couldn’t help but break down into tears when I saw A hurt like that again. I could never say I was able to fully understand what she had gone through because I’d never had that myself.
But somehow, along the way, I could empathize with her.
I found myself sobbing beside A while we were both curled up under blankets after the awful incidents of the night. While I couldn’t understand it fully, I could however know that beside me was a wonderful and lovely human being who’s hurting and who’s angry. And I couldn’t help but feel that hurt too because I’ve gotten to know and love her that much.
There are some things in this world that happens that I will never understand. Like why good people die. Or how some parents treat their children the way they do. Growing up is a challenge that I face daily and it’s funny to say that everyday is a learning experience, but it is. I may never understand the pain that some girls go through from abuse or the consequences that people suffer from loss, but if there’s one thing I can do, is that I can show a lot of empathy for them.
So we sat there, in between words of frustration and tears, and when fatigue had finally taken over, we said goodnight to each other.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all carry our demons, and we’ve all been hurt, some more than others, some less. But it hurts, regardless. And maybe, sometimes, it wouldn’t hurt if we could just put ourselves in the other person’s shoe and think for a second. Relate as human beings with emotions–– compassion. We could easily be A right now. We could all potentially go through that same hurt.
I’m just asking for maybe a chance to show some form of empathy.
And A, if you ever read this, know that I love you. I may never understand fully the depth of what you’ve gone through, but I will share your pain with you. And obviously be willing to eat so much ice-cream and bacon until I physically am incapable of doing it anymore. We may be hundreds of miles away soon but I hope our friendship will be able to weather the distance. I’ll always be there for you when you need me.