- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
- 25 Nov - 01 Dec, 2017
Both Saima and I liked keeping ‘online’ lives as we put it. We tried to keep it real, not too exaggerated by sharing a few pictures of different events in our lives, the occasional, intellectual status update or quote that we found somewhere. Most times just reading and sharing relevant articles and stories.
She loved tagging me in memes; that has always been her favourite. She would leave me a good supply late at night on my wall that I loved looking at first thing in the morning… and I loved her for that.
So you can tell that Saima was definitely more active. She had pictures with her students, and of course, farewell parties. The farewell party pictures surely came out quickly. As far as I could see, these farewells were happening maybe twice a year and she was putting up the pictures quite frequently. So, I made a mental note to ask her about that.
At times I also enjoyed the online banter that we would indulge in; maybe leave a few comments and maybe reply too at times. At first it irked her. She often said how much she despised families that did that. “They live in the same house and they have online conversations as if they are in different continents.”
I tell her that at least children are communicating with their parents and vice versa.
“You always have an answer for everything now do you? And what’s worse, you’re usually right! Ugh… it’s exasperating!!” I could hear her loud voice in my ears. She was a sore loser.
I chuckled thinking about it.
So since we really didn’t have plans of going out and we were just lazing in front of the TV, I began to scroll through my Facebook.
After going through a few pages and reading, plus sharing some stuff, I thought I would look at Saima’s new picture entries. Didn’t she look good on Facebook? I was looking forward to admiring the woman sitting next to me, online. I clicked to go to her wall.
Just about then the world around me crashed. The world as I knew it was no more. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could this happen? What was she thinking? I was so distraught I actually gave out a painful cry.
Saima turned around and asked, “What’s wrong?”
I was speechless. I didn’t even know what to say. She looked at my face and turned back to her hypnotic surfing.
You all must be thinking what happened and I will tell you. I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t access her wall nor her pictures or albums.
It was because she had ‘unfriended me’ and worse blocked me too!
Music was playing in the background; horror music; the theme song to which was JAWS. My ears were ringing and I couldn’t hear, think or say anything.
This was bad, honestly. It was really bad. Why? After all those years of happiness and marital bliss she unfriended me! ME? Her soul mate, her first and only love as she put it!
I began to panic. I could feel the sweat breaking out on my forehead. Should I ask? Or should I act nonchalant?
How can you be nonchalant man? She hurt you. She went behind your back and removed you from her Facebook? Are you going to take that lightly? The voice in my head was not taking this lying down.
I glanced at her furtively. She seemed pretty normal. She was playing with her hair loosely draped around her shoulders.
I liked her with her hair down, curly and wildish; it represented her soul, wild and free.
So wild and free that she deletes her husband only from her Facebook account.
“What’s wrong Fawad? What has disturbed you so much on Facebook today?” she asked innocently.
I just glared at her. Oh, now you’ll act all blameless? After putting me through so much emotional torture?
I didn’t expect this from you Saima. I did not. After all my love and caring? I was hurt.
I began to approach this logically. Maybe I did something wrong to upset her. Yes, that could be it. I must have. That’s normally the reason for all our disagreements.
Hmm. Let’s see.
Did I forget something that I was supposed to do? I couldn’t think of anything. But then again I must have forgotten that’s why she has ‘unfriended’ me; that seemed logical.
I thought of asking her.
“Ahem, Saima?” I started off gingerly.
That smile. I never thought that smile would be a cover for so much deviousness, and yet be so pure. How did she do it? Why did she do this to me? ME?
“Umm, Saima? Is there something that you need to tell me?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you can talk to me about anything you know. You can tell me anything. We are friends. The best of friends.” We used to be Facebook friends or so I thought.
We expect everything to stay the same but only with time do we actually realise that permanency, which is a myth.
“No, Fawad. Not anything in particular. I mean, we talked about almost everything. I liked this weekend. Just you and me and lots of laziness.”
She smiled her warm, endearing smile. I was in love with it. But now… I couldn’t even think about it. It was so painful.
I thought I would change my strategy and ask about her life. Her life and my life which until recently used to be ‘our’ life.
I have heard that Facebook is responsible for doing more harm than good but I feel that it reveals the flaws in any relationship and that’s a good thing. If it wasn’t for Facebook how would I know that Saima wanted to unfriend me?
“Hey you!” She brought me out of my reverie.
“You’re awfully quiet. What’s on your mind?”
There’s so much on my mind. There is hurt and pain. There are sweet past memories with all the time spent together. How did I let it come to this? It must be my fault; I was to blame.
“Nothing,” I said gloomily.
“I’m worried about you. You work too hard and one Sunday is not enough to rest you out. What can I do for you to make the days easier?”
She seemed so genuine. But then again she was a pro at it. She had worked up this entire plan so carefully, but maybe she didn’t realise that I would find out. That I would discover that she had removed me from her Facebook.
Right about this time the adrenaline began to subside and I was completely spent. My emotional roller coaster was reaching its finish line. I began to look at it objectively. I would just take it as it comes. Today it’s probably this, maybe tomorrow will bring with it something else. I did not have the guns to fight a battle.
She was messing with my mind and she won. I give you all the credit my dear wife. I do.
How sorry those words sound now. There was a time when I would have said them so proudly.
She began getting up.
“I think I will freshen up a bit. Been such a lazy evening I feel like a homeless drab. Maybe you should wash up too. It will make you feel better.”
I just sat there dumfounded. All the water on the planet will not wash away this pain, I thought to myself.
“Oh, and I completely forgot to tell you,” she said as she entered our room and switched on the light. “I deactivated my Facebook account for a while. It’s a major distraction and I want to focus on other things.”
The bedroom door closed shut.
All kinds of happy bells began ringing. Door bells and cow bells and church bells and sleigh bells and chime bells…
My crumbled world is suddenly restored. I love life! •