Change is inevitable. It happens every second of every day. The sky doesn’t stay the same, the clouds change with the wind, the temperature changes, our heart rate changes, our breathing changes. In fact, the cells in our body change, older ones dying and new ones regenerating. The time changes, the date changes, we live in a constant state of change, of alteration, yet we’re still so opposed to change.
It’s true that some changes are subtle, these are the ones we miss or we accept with little resistance. Big changes, we hate. No one likes change. When you’re used to being in a particular groove, change is off putting.
No one likes a change of home, a change of car or a change of job even. You know why? Because of comfort. Change is uncomfortable, it’s new and unfamiliar. I said ‘change’ at least 50 times already, I think you get my point. No one likes the damn thing.
What we’re most opposed to is a change of self. Who even really takes the time to truly know themself? Can you say confidently, ‘Yes, I know me’. You’d probably say yes but I can tell you, you’re as wrong as I was when someone asked me the same question. We barely know ourselves, which is ironic because we spend the most time with ourselves, yet we barely take the time to acknowledge or pay attention to the person we see in the mirror.
Often times we get lost in our careers, our spouses, our friends, in material things and we never stop to think, “Who am I? What do I really need?”
It’s not until someone else points out our flaws do we realize what we need to change about ourselves. The things we overlook as ‘normal’ may be as disastrous to ourselves and others.
Change is a funny thing and people perceive it so humorously to me. They always say, ‘people never change’, ‘people can’t change’ when it’s best to suit their needs. When something goes wrong, and we hear it all the time about relationships, ‘he/she changed so much’. Isn’t it funny how we adapt everything to our advantage?
Do I believe people can change? Yes and no. I think people become the most true versions of themself, experiences and the shit the world throws at you moulds you into someone new. Am I the same person that I was, say, a year ago? In some ways, yes but in most, hell to the fuck no. Did I change? Yes. But I also awakened a part of me that had been sleeping and suppressed, so was it a change or a reawakening? I don’t know. But it can happen and it does happen.
* * * *
Mr A’s and my first fight in public opened the hugest can of worms for our relationship. I still remember it so vividly because it was one of the most humiliating experiences in my life (and that says a lot ‘cuz I’m a walking humiliation). It was our first Christmas together. I was so excited, I got him the gift he was hinting to me that he wanted and I could not wait to give it to him.
He worked on the night of Christmas Eve, so as per our usual routine, he left work and headed straight to my house. I was so happy to see him.
He gave me a 3 page letter professing his love to me and apologizing for all of our hiccups thus far. No, I’m not going to post the actual letter because you’d cry too. It was the first time I ever read anything and was so deeply touched that I cried.“In this short space of time I have fallen madly and deeply in love with you. It wasn’t planned. Everything just quite literally speaking “MAGICALLY” fell into place. I fall more and more in love with you each passing moment. I have never been more certain about anything in my life than knowing you are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. You know all the growing old and sentimental shit. You are that constant variable I want in my life. To come home to. To go to sleep next to. To wake up next to.”
“I don’t know how else to put it. But I love you. I know I push you over the limit at times…”
“I want you to be happy. I want to make you happy ALL THE TIME…”
“I don’t want you. I NEED you. I love you, Nerala. I’m sorry for whatever I have done to hurt you however minute or large. Once it has brought your mood down, even if I’m not the cause, and I’m around, I should be able to elevate you. Mumma I will do whatever it takes to see US till the end (and that takes us beyond this lifetime). I have found you now. And if I lose you, I will find you again. In this lifetime or the next. Even those to come thereafter…”
* * * *
Yeah, he’s a good writer and bullshitter…
* * * *
I was on cloud nine. I gave him the present I had gotten for him which he loved. I was as pleased as punch. We then had Christmas breakfast, which is a tradition at my house. He was the first and only person out of the family to ever have breakfast with us. It sounds simple but to me, it was a huge deal. Too bad it only happened once…
* * * *
We then went to his house, where we went Christmas hopping to all of his relatives’ houses. Our first Christmas was going so smoothly. For a while anyway…
I was talking to his relatives when I suddenly heard him shouting at me, “NERALA! You not hearing the song I’m playing?! I’m playing this for you! Why are you ignoring me?!” Everyone was stunned. He played a song he knew was my favorite, but first of all, I had no idea he was DJing, he hated Indian music and he made no dedication to me for me to know that the song was in fact for me.
I smiled at him and said thanks, mid-conversation with two of his relatives, then he lost it. He started shouting loudly and in front of all his relatives about how I didn’t care about him. I was out of my mind shocked. Everyone turned to stare at us, him a few feet away from me.
* * * *
That blurred alcohol line between fun Mr A and insecure Mr A, was crossed. I just stared at him, not wanting to further aggravate him or cause more of a scene and he continued on about how I didn’t care about him or his feelings.
Luckily, his friends were there, and I was able to talk to them and tell them what happened. They tried to calm him down. He suddenly stormed off and left. I had no idea what to do. How was I going home? I’m in HIS family’s home. They’re all looking at me like I did something. WTAF!
I heard his car a couple minutes later and he pulled me outside. He told me to call my parents to come for me, which I did and then I turned to the side and to my horror, saw all the gifts I’d ever given him, along with my handbag on the side of the road. Lemme tell you, the gifts I got him, were not cheap. I wasn’t working at the time and I scraped up ALL of my savings to get them for him. It broke me to see them neatly placed on the side of the road. It’s not even the material things that upset me, but the fact that he had such little regard for the thought and effort placed into those gifts. I think that hurt me more than anything else. He appreciated nothing and trivialized everything.
He was the worst kind of entitled because he didn’t even know he was entitled. I was so embarrassed. What was I going to do with those huge boxes of things?
His best friend came outside in time to see him getting into his car and me trying to pick the stuff up from the side of the road. He felt sorry for me and told me to put the things in his trunk and when my parents came, we’d transfer it quietly. He was always a sweetheart to me and still is, God bless his soul.
* * * *
His entire family now witnessed one of our shitty fights and of course, even though they all saw it, I was still ‘you don’t see how she have him behaving? Drama follows her wherever she goes.’ Firstly, you saw what happened but I get family will take for family and secondly, the only drama I’ve ever had in my life started after meeting Mr A… but I’m jumping the gun again.
* * * *
* * * *
We spent our first New Year together which went on without a hitch. The holiday season was a good one for us minus our Christmas incident. Then Carnival rolled around.
We went to almost every fete that year. And in almost every fete, he found a reason to fight. We got a label that I hated, ‘the couple that always fought’. We went from the #PowerCouple #Conjoined to #TheCoupleThatAlwaysFought. Great.
Maybe my reaction to things he said exacerbated the situation but I definitely think most, if not all, of our fights were unwarranted. He would accuse me of looking at other boys, tell me how much I didn’t love him and I started threatening to call my parents to take me home. Our fights were such bullshit that always spiraled. I don’t even know why we did it. I, sometimes caught myself also accusing him of being with other girls irrationally too. (At that time it was irrational but now I know I was accurate. Who’s always right? This girl!)
I remember one of his friends telling me if we were always going to fight like that, that it made no sense for us to be together. That stung. The feeling that little phrase gave to me was upsetting to say the least. He had no idea what we were fighting about and he had no idea that three out of four of our very serious fights would be about me not loving him enough. Which was the problem in itself.
There was too much love…
* * * *
It was my first year ever playing ‘mas’. I was so excited! Especially since my first time would be with him. “This is the first time I’m playing ‘mas’ with a girlfriend”, he’d keep preaching.
I was beyond ecstatic. I love everything about mas’. The colors, the music, the costumes, getting on stink and dutty all over the place. It was truly AH-MAZING! My first experience was even better because the section we played with had a truck. My feet, it’s safe to say, were not murdered that year.
True to his word, Mr A stayed with me all day, he was so protective of me. Always had his eye on me and pretty much sent me back on the truck whenever I stepped down. It was like my own personal security guard. That was said with sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch on.
Mr A may have had his moods but he was always extremely protective of me. He was convinced I was way too sheltered and clueless, and he was right.
As evening dawned closer, I was given strict instructions not to get off the truck. He was very stern. One of their friends was MIA (no surprise there if you only knew who it was)so Mr A decided to be the hero that he was and to go look for him.
Lemme just tell you, the hour or so he was gone, was the best Carnival experience I’d ever had. I followed my instructions and didn’t get off the truck, I was surrounded by his friends and one of my cousins. I don’t know what hit me but it was SO much fun! It was like a pure euphoria had taken over. It didn’t even matter that he was gone. I did worry if something had happened to him but that was short lived. His sister and I had a time when the truck pulled up in an empty lot for what was our version of a Monday night after party.
I had no way to contact Mr A to tell him the truck went off route. I never took my phone on the road. At that point I thought, you know what, it’s Carnival, I told him he could do what he wanted anyway but now I’m going to enjoy myself. He was the one that chose to go off looking for a friend that probably wouldn’t have done the same for him and leave me so why not enjoy myself?
* * * *
We got back to his friend’s house where we were staying. Mr A suddenly appeared. Anger across his face. Uh oh…
Everyone had been anticipating us to be that couple on the road that fought. We weren’t. For the most part, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were, however, that couple who fought after the road.
* * * *
Mr A stomped up to me, “So you didn’t care to tell me where y’all went?! I was worried sick looking for you, I got lost and couldn’t find you!”
“I didn’t have my phone, you know this, why didn’t you call one of your friends?”
“Oh, so my woman can’t ask to borrow a phone to tell me where they went?!”
I was floored. WTF?
“Well, YOU disappeared so I figured you’d know your way around.”
I knew this was super bitchy but hey, I wasn’t about to be a pushover. He was infuriated. He started arguing about how much I didn’t care and I got so frustrated that I called my daddy to pick me up. I didn’t care anymore, I needed to be away from him, I didn’t care that I wasn’t going to get to play Tuesday mas. I just needed to get away. My solution to all of our fights was to get away.
When he found out that I called my dad, he freaked out.
* * * *
He called me into the bathroom(his friends were everywhere else) where we continued arguing and then he stopped. “Are you really going?”
“Yeah, daddy is coming.”
“Please don’t go.”
He dropped to his knees (he’s tall so his head reached my chest), he started apologizing and begging me not to leave. He started crying, I mean tears rolling down his face crying and he grabbed me around my waist into a tight embrace. “I’m so sorry. I was just so worried about you. Please don’t go and please don’t break up with me. I love you. I don’t want you. I NEED you.”
I tried to push him off but he held on to me crying. “Please, please, please…”
I melted. I wiped his tears and threw my arms around him.
* * * *
We went on to have an amazing Carnival Tuesday and Ash Wednesday which of course, was short lived. Our petty ass fights continued until one of my friends intervened and called my mom…Yes, you read that right. My mom. As if we didn’t have enough problems of our own…
* * * *
Remember that change thing I was talking about? Well I experienced it first hand…