I guess I must’ve been too blind to even notice that she still cares.
I hardened my heart so that no one could hurt me again. I assumed- how presumptuous I was- that she didn’t care anymore. I was spiteful. Terribly spiteful. I reserved much of my anger and directed it at them quietly. I thought they were all the same- cold, cruel and heartless- that they didn’t really care about my wellbeing.
I thought it was as good as gone- the amicable relationship which was built on trust and interaction. It was still fairly amiable after the ‘betrayal’, and I heard of everything she’s done for me. I wanted to go back to her. But I felt like I was rejected through the words and actions. It was like an ice-cold splash right into my face.
And I thought, since they were that cruel and heartless, I wouldn’t spare them. Whatever I said about them still holds truth till now, at least in my opinion.
They didn’t deserve to have me fight for the medal. I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was- like garbage and thrown away into the sewer and left to rot. I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was by my partner. She was nothing. Not even a grit of sand on the ground.
I definitely deserved better for the amount of hard work and commitment I invested in it. I deserved to be treated with respect and humility. I was giving my 200% in spite of the illnesses I had. But obviously they couldn’t appreciate it.
Now that they’ve got what they wanted, there is no glory in their victory because they trampled all over me in the process. I look at how far they’ve come, and I heave a sigh of relief that I got my ass out of there. They would’ve shredded me into infinitesimal pieces had I stayed on.
It came as a huge surprise, hearing that she still cared. It didn’t matter that the others didn’t. But it mattered that she cared. I was convinced that she wasn’t, judging by the words she’d use. I was convinced that she was like them- ruthless and inherently cold-blooded. And it broke my heart to have to come to a conclusion that she was like them. I never would’ve believed that she was like them.
I guess I was wrong. Awfully wrong. She cared about me then. And she still cares about me now. I want to tell her how much of a difference she’s made on me. I want to tell her that I still respect her. That she inspires me. That I’m always in awe.
I want to tell her that although I resented her for betraying our confidance, I understood her intentions. I am only human, and I had every right to be angry. But all was forgiven when Teacher’s Day arrived. After that, I longed to walk past her office, peering through the window to see if she was in, knocking on the door, and spending hours on intellectual conversations and our daily ramblings. But I thought all of that has changed. I thought she abandoned me. I didn’t dare to peer through the window anymore. I didn’t even dare to wish to be able to talk to her. Hatred tore through my guts again and again. And I wondered why they didn’t care anymore.
She’s right. If I stayed on to fight till the very end, I know I would fight with all my might. Give me any partner and I would make it work. Throw me any scenario and I would take it on with fervour. And best of all, I would be committed and disciplined. I will be what every teacher wants- an eager student who is a fast learner.
I am not tooting my horn- this is self-awareness. And i know I will be so, because that is what I expect of myself. I expect myself to give my best for myself, and for people who have invested time in me. And she got it spot on.
I hate for things to turn out like it did. I really hate it. But shit happens. What I can do now is to do my best for my patients, and treat them with utmost respect and with empathy. And I will apologise because it was a mistake on my part to be so blind to see that she still cares.
Ms Doreen, if you are reading this, this is for you. Know that you’ve made a huge difference in many of our lives. Know that you inspire so many of us in so many ways. Know that I’m in awe, always. And know that I never meant to shut you out the way I did. You are, and you will still be one of the best teachers I’ve had. It was really such an honor and pleasure to be your student. Really.
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