Monday, December 26, 2005

Sad Story

Last year the world had to deal with a tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The relief effort is ongoing, but rebuilding the shattered lives may take more than just a lifetime.

That tsunami wiped slates clean all over the world. In my mind's eye I can see families rent apart or decimated.

But the sad story I am about to tell is not of this tsunami --- it's this small thing, when you look at it. But it's a life forever changed.

Last year my uncle introduced me to this nurse from one of the hospitals over here. She was a nice girl, really, and she did a whole lot for my boss while he was confined in their hospital for a few days. As I was just new to my job and my colleague had gone for vacation the pressure was mounting.

I was hoping that something may come out from my few phone calls and text messages. While I was normally a penny-pincher, I was willing to plunk down a month's worth of airtime on my mobile just to talk to her. And I actually did. Two months' worth, actually.

For some reason or other, we just didn't connect. I first saw her during my boss's confinement...and then later she admitted to my uncle she didn't like me because I was ...FAT.

Her words, not mine. Anyway, they're true. No mincing words about it.

For the longest time, I took my weight problems in stride and I accepted that some people would never be attracted to me because of it. What surprised and hurt me at the same time was that I didn't know that she would be THAT kind of person. I tried to forget about it, and eventually I forgot all about her. My uncle told me to try again, but then I said to myself and to him, why try? She has already dismissed whatever good points she may find when she chose form over substance.

Comes now he with the latest news: she found the boyfriend she apparently wanted. And now she is bearing within her, if she hasn't given birth by now, his child. The problem: he was already married. (Did she know? It does matter if she did or did not, but nevertheless...) The second problem: she lost her job. The third problem: I don't think he will support her through this situation.

When I heard the news, I didn't know whether to gloat or to commiserate. After all, I could have prevented something from happening had I persisted. But heck, my pride was hurt and I wanted to get back some measure of self-respect. She didn't want me! There are so many other people out there who would appreciate me for who I am.

On the other hand, I could have tried, and taken away with me the satisfaction that I did my best to let her know how I felt. Of course, I could have hurt myself even further had I taken some risks and still she chose some other guy.

It may be nothing in the tapestry of humanity, but this is a sad story which has impacted so strongly upon her universe. Another sad thing is that this kind of thing happens every day. Somewhere out there a girl struggling with her prospects is betrayed by the man to whom she gave her heart and with whom she shared her body. Somewhere out there some girl is a hapless thrall who has no control over her reproductive rights.

This girl's problem is not unique. Yet I can't help but feel sad. She made some wrong choices I wish I could have helped her avoid. (Yes, to my benefit, but I would like to believe that I am an honorable man and will do the right thing).

I can only pray for her and hope that she comes out a winner in the end.

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