I am a very shy person. I usually never initiate a conversation. Even when I’m at a restaurant I would rather die thirsty but not ask for a glass of water until someone offers. So one day I came across a movie on wallflowers. Yes, that’s what they call people like me. And that movie made me think. Think a lot. It felt as if I’m the only one struggling with people. You know, there are days when even a sight of a human hurts my eyes. I hate humans. I just don’t want anyone around me. I want to sink into the darkness and just be with myself. I don’t attend parties, I hardly have any friends. You know some people who stick around no matter how you are or where you are. Now even they are getting sick of me. They find me tough to live with. So basically, now I don’t have any friends.
I feel that this loneliness would kill me one day; A little every day. I have missed a lot in my life because of this. There’s a strong wish deep inside to go and hang out with a bunch of people, get drunk and roam in the roads like other kids of my age. But never had the courage to go and do that. I don’t know why I was like that? I was sick of myself. I didn’t see a point in living a lifeless life. So I decided to do something about that myself. Can’t wait for angels to come down and help me get through this you know. Well, my parents even took me to a counsellor but even he was not able to get words out of my mouth and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel he asked me to stop coming after a few sessions.
I know it was going to be tough. Very tough. But I have to do it. Because YOLO. I learnt it a few days back when I stumbled upon my sister’s phone. My parents bought me a mobile phone on my sixteenth birthday thinking that this might help me socialise a bit. Three years to it and it still lies there in the darkness of my closet, just like I do. So the first thing I did was to get it out from there. I didn’t have to struggle much since I have a really clean and well-maintained cupboard unlike the other kids of my age. Not that I am a cleanliness freak but when you don’t have anywhere to go or anyone to talk, you need to spend your time somewhere.
Anyway, so I found that old but new piece of socialising shit. I tried to start it, but that damn thing won’t. I remembered that I need to charge it. So found its charger in that box from where it came and put it on charge. While it was feeding itself alive I was dealing with cold feet. Just like to-be brides have but not for the same reason as theirs. It was like, shall I do it or not? I was nervous as hell. I have never done this before. I had seen my younger sister using Facebook. So I thought to start from it. As soon as the phone had charged a bit the first thing I did was to go to my mom and ask for our Wi-Fi’s password. She was happy to see me finally using the phone and see me try to socialise. So with her help I set my phone and opened a facebook account. And a few minutes later I received a friend request from someone named Marley Tarantino.
Whoa, first request, that too from a guy I didn’t know. That account had no profile picture. It seemed new. But since I had to start from somewhere I accepted it. I thought that Marley would message me to know who I was and maybe that would get me going. I waited for three days for her to message me. I hadn’t received any requests except that. The only friend in my friend list was Marley. It felt so good to know that I finally have a friend. So gathering up a lot of courage I decided to initiate a conversation. So I texted “Hello” After waiting for two hours and seventeen minutes I finally saw my phone beep. It was a short crisp Hey from the other side. I got happy as well as jittery. I had to keep the conversation going but I don’t know what to say next. I had never done this before. Even online conversations are intimidating. But then I bucked myself up because if not now, then never. I had to come out of this shell. I asked him about his schooling and education. And after a wait of another few hours I got a reply. And again it ended. It was a bit weird. I thought I must have said something wrong, maybe that’s not how people talk. So I thought to end it there.
A few minutes later I got a text, it was Marley asking me the same question as I did, about my schooling and stuff. Luckily this time I managed to not end it abruptly. Wow, I pulled out a conversation for the first time in my life. I couldn’t get that out of my head, it was the first legit conversation of my life. It was tough, but I did it. I felt proud of myself. And since then we chatted regularly. We both lived in the same city and the same area, just a few blocks away. And then Marley asked if we can catch up. And I don’t know how I texted a “yes” out of nervousness. I was stuck. I couldn’t deny now.
Okay, so now this was the real challenge. I hadn’t gone out since years. First school and then college to home it was; for me. I couldn’t sleep a night before thinking about how I am going to face a real human and have an actual conversation face to face. We had decided to meet at a nearby coffee shop. Tomorrow is going to be an adventurous day for me. Meeting a stranger that too at a public place was too much for an introvert like me. But I had to face it, since I invited it. So gathering up a mountain of a courage I got ready the other day and walked up to the door. Mom was shocked to see me all dressed up and going out. But she didn’t say anything.
Well that was good, if she had stopped me I would have lost all that courage I had gathered up. I went out and let the morning sun touch me. It felt warm and refreshing. I walked up to the cafe that was just a few minutes away from my place. As I entered the cafe I saw people, there were a few, but that made me nervous. I walked up to a table where a human was sitting in a red cardigan and black pants. I recognized that human was none other than Marley. I was dressed in my green sweater and blue denims. We had discussed what we were going to wear to identify each other. I walked up to the table and sat next to her. She gave me a faint nervous smile. Yes, Marley is a girl. Marley being a unisex name even I confused her to be a guy. But a few conversations later I came to know that she was a girl.
We spent the first ten minutes in silence. The waiter kept coming to ask our order but I was too nervous to even look up at him. But I don’t know why Marley didn’t say anything. After a few minutes, she looked at me and said
“You know…umm…this is the first time I’m meeting an actual person. I have always been an introvert. I made a social media account and thought that before facing humans in real let me try meeting them in chat rooms. You are my only friend.”
Today, we are best friends. I’ll leave the story here for you to decide what would have happened when I came to know that even Marley was an introvert like me.