• Lorna Ilena Bussue

The Value of True Friendship

The light seems brutal on her retina, giving everything a shadowed look. The road rose to meet her feet at every step. This gave Emeralda a very uncomfortable and uncertain feeling. This was her first independent outing since she left the hospital. She had succumbed to her lifelong feelings of loneliness, betrayal and the sadness of a lost love that can never die. This resulted in her spending a month in medical care at the hospital. She has absolutely no memory of what transpired during that period

What Emeralda was experiencing stemmed from her period of inactivity due to her hospital confinement. She was confident in her ability to take care of herself. Therefore, when her friend offered to accompany her on her various errands, she felt insulted. It crossed her mind that the offer was based on the belief that she needed psychological support. Emeralda was conscious of the stigma attached to any one who had suffered from mental health issues. In her case, she knew that she had simply allowed fear of what was happening in her life to overshadow her reality. She had however, recovered from her mental trauma. It did not matter to society though, as she was already stigmatized. Her defensive response to her friend was purely an instinctive reaction towards society's attitude. Unknowing to her, the full brunt of society's reaction would be experienced sooner than she anticipated. However, her mind was already conditioned to its insensitivity so it would be met with indifference.

On hearing her friend's request, Emeralda responded with a blatant "No" and watched her as she left. In her heart though, she knew that what she feared most had nothing to do with society's insensitivity but rather her fear of not knowing what could happen to her. She worried about an illness of which she had no recollection. At that moment she was fearful of suddenly collapsing. She felt faint and wished she had someone near to boost her spirit. She believed that was the most exposed and vulnerable moment of her life

As if in answer to her prayer, her friend walked into the business place. This was a place that was well known to Emeralda yet she had just undergone a primordial sense of fear. She felt an overwhelming sense of relief and gratitude to see her friend. Her friend's presence instilled in her a sense of calm. She learnt at that moment, the true value of having someone who understood your situation even though you have not said a word.


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