I Slept with Depression…

First Person

I Slept with Depression…

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

slept with depression and we didn’t use a condom.

Mother is not going to be happy to hear about this. Again. Sigh.

It’s been than more than 24 hours since he left, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling that something is wrong. I mean, I know that he has a habit of coming and going as he pleases, but still. It’s been ten years, exactly ten years. He’s made a habit out of it.

And why wouldn’t he? I mean, I gave him permission to, right? If only I had opened my mouth a while ago, said something, told him how I was really feeling, maybe he would have understood.

Disgruntled with my own performance, and the fact that I let myself down more than anyone else, I wanted to break something.

But now it feels like it’s too late. Now it’s four in the morning. The wine bottles are lying open, Frank Sinatra is calling me to New York, and I’m curled up in the corner with my high heels still on, mascara spread across my cheeks, feeling like a hot mess. And not even in the sexy Carrie Bradshaw way.

This is all my fault. No, really. It is. And you can’t go telling me otherwise.

Let me give you a quick backstory about him and I. Let’s rewind an entire decade. I was a young ’un, hitting puberty, still had food stuck in my braces, bushy eyebrows. Mother was still debating whether it would be okay for her to let me get my underarm hair waxed. You know. Typical teenage issues. And I wasn’t the most popular kid on the block. But I got along fine.

I remember that fine evening though, when I first saw him. I was out playing good old basketball with the crew. I had my A game on. My team was winning, and I was leading. We tied, and there was a tie breaker. That was it. My moment. It was now or never. Gathering speed, I took control of the ball and headed toward the hoop. The wind and I were one. The hoop was getting closer. I braced myself, pushed my feet off the ground and went in for the shot.

I missed.

That was the first time I saw him. Through the disappointment and judgment of each person around me, I saw him standing there. Across the court, further away from everyone. Alone. And quiet. I avoided everyone’s gaze. But I couldn’t avoid his. I had a rage building up inside of me. Disgruntled with my own performance, and the fact that I let myself down more than anyone else, I wanted to break something. And I remember looking into his eyes, and I felt the same rage staring back at me.

That’s when I realised. He was just like me. A sore thumb. A loner. A recluse.

But he was a rebel. And I wasn’t. He was a non-conformist. I wasn’t. It was the perfect balance. My fourteen-year-old self recognised that. And that was the beginning of our complex relationship.

We went to the same school, so we started sitting with each other during lunch. Most of my friends boycotted me. They felt he was bad for me. They said he would bring out the worst in me. But I didn’t mind. He was my real friend. We never talked much to each other. All our thoughts were understood. It was like telepathy. On most days we would just hang around in my room and stare at the walls. He had a weird way of killing time, but that was fine by me. My parents were always at work, so they never really knew that he existed.

The years went by really fast. I finally said goodbye to my braces. Got my eyebrows threaded. Grew tits. Life was great, and he was by my side all along. We entered university and spent most of our time drinking. He came with a bonus – I could take him with me to Ladies Night where I got free shots and he’d urge me to keep them coming. I have a liver made of fucking metal, and even then I couldn’t keep up with him. He always wanted more.

But then the age-old, shitty, clichéd saying hit me right in my face. You know how they say that a boy and a girl can never really be friends? And one of them is bound to get their heart broken?

Well, guess who got her heart broken. Yep. That would be me.

I guess sleeping with him was the biggest mistake, and also the best decision of my life. I know he’s not in love with me. He’s just using me. I know that. It’s been years since we have graduated from college. We don’t have as many drinking nights anymore. And I know that he has his own life now. He has other girls. Sure, I get that! But that doesn’t mean that I have to stop loving him. What would I be without him? I’ve spent my teenage and adult life with him. I don’t know an existence without him.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m that crazy best friend of yours who keeps sleeping with the guy she’s in love with and then cries about it but then repeats the process again. All while he tramples all over her heart. We all have a best friend like this.

But it’s ok. I know deep down he’ll never give up on me even though I’ve been hitting new lows of self- esteem and I’m having glazed donuts and wine for dinner. I’m going to pick up the phone now and crib and cry to my friend about it. All while keeping the button of my jeans open, because my jeans don’t fit my 32-inch waist anymore.

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