I have always been the second option in the lives of people I’ve known so far. Apparently, it has started bugging me now. Twenty years ago, my mom had been expecting a baby boy. But to her surprise, or rather shock, I came in. She had to love me – her girl, for I was a part of her own entity. I wasn’t her first choice; I was the second option.
On my first birthday, my grandma paid us a visit. Reluctantly, she gifted me the things she would have willingly bestowed if it were for her grandson. She had to accept me for I was the only option. I vividly remember the first week in my kindergarten school when I was yet to make new friends. However, a girl my age had reached out to me and asked if I could sit with her. Grinning already, I was about to speak when she had added, “My best friend is absent and I don’t want to sit alone. Will you join me?” I nodded in response. I knew I was going to be someone’s second option again.
A few years hence, it was a friend’s birthday and spoiling my excitement she had called out on me, telling me that she’d be spending the day with her boyfriend. I was happy for her until she had called me again; saying that the guy was somehow busy and she’d like to treat me. I knew it was her futile attempt at hiding her lonely self. Well, I did not refuse. I was just a second option anyway.
A few days back, my colleague had merrily cried, “There’s a sale at Da Milano’s.” And before I could respond, she had added, “I’ll ask my friends if they’d want to join, else you’ll have to accompany me. Will you?”
“Umhmm,” I pasted a smile on my disappointed face.
However, I’ve been thinking for far too long now. Why am I the second option always? My insides churn when that happens, I let it be nevertheless.
Perhaps I deliberately allow people to do so.
Perhaps that’s my vague attempt so as to let people stay close, since I’ve been left by everyone who I have ever been close to.
Perhaps I need to amend my temperament; a refined outlook is the need of the hour.
However, as I sit here and look out of my window, Belladonna Lilies smile back at me, twirling due to the gusty winds. I smile back, knowing that I am not the second option for someone (something!), for a change.
Picking up my coffee mug, I walk towards the kitchen; I needed a refill. I turn my laptop on and play the first season of my favourite TV series, yet again.
However, after letting my thoughts wander around for a protracted period, I have somehow realized that people would come and go, yet the one who’d certainly stand by my side for eternity, is none but me.
Frankly, I cannot let people treat me like they wish to; I ought to be treated like I deserve to.
I don’t need to degrade myself to make someone stay, because if someone would want to, they would treat me as their priority, and not a mere option.
Until then, I should be waiting.
Because, honestly, if I won’t respect and love myself enough, who else will?