Once upon a time, in a faraway land lived a young girl with her parents. She was quite the queer sort, had trouble fitting in with her peers, couldn’t read or write and had a terrible time at school. The toddler faced a lot of ridicule and humiliation at the hands of her teachers, had basically no friends. The only friends she had were two bullies, on was a liar and a thief, and the other had a hidden cruelty in her. They kept her around so they could brow-beat the girl for fun…children are cruel. At home, the parents always fought. Screaming, shouting and more…the parents didn’t have enough money, had a lot of debt and they were extremely incompatible. The mother was insensitive who always remained drowned in her own sorrows: She was an orphan, had a brother with down’s syndrome and it was through a lot of toil and trouble she pursued her education and became a teacher. The father was an oversensitive man: He was neglected as a child, never loved by his mother and the woman he loved married someone else. The only reason these two ended up together is because the wife looked like his lost-love, and the reason she married him was because she needed a safe haven for herself and her retarded brother. Until they started living together, the young couple didn’t realize how utterly destructive they were together. All the did was fight…to add to this uncomfortable situation, the woman was pregnant. She gave birth to a beautiful little baby-girl, and then ignored her for the rest of childhood. The girl grew up unloved and neglected, prone to anxiety and mockery…no one would help, they wouldn’t teach her anything. But she was an intelligent child, she learnt how to get their attention, since crying didn’t work she developed her listening skills. She became her mother’s confidante, her mother told her every minute, miserable detail of her painful past, her disadvantageous present and that is how the mother slowly started noticing her. To be quite honest, the woman hadn’t thought of her as a blessing before this.
Young Galilea Warren came to the town of Hemlock with her parents when she was seven. She had heard wonderful stories of her father’s childhood. She had noticed the soft hint of nostalgia on his face, his bittersweet countenance when he talked about how life had changed. Twenty seven years ago on New Year’s Eve, when Galilea was busy playing with her dolls and the parents were having tea, the phone rang twice. And with that call Galilea’s wonderful childhood came to cease.
It was her grandmother, something bad had happened to her. She was in the hospital, and when Paul heard, he fell into a silence. The phone hit the floor, a devastated look on his face. Gilly watched her dad, she knew something bad had happened.
It was meant to be a small visit, her grandma had stage four Cancer and it was too late for the doctors to save her. It was her last wish to see her children live together, for them to take care if her husband. So with grandma’s passing, Hemlock became the new home of Galilea Warren.
Paul Warren, Galilea’s father, was a self-made man: who after bearing a lot of hardships became the highly successful owner of Warren Hardware Industries. He married his college crush, Ms. Amelia Greer. After three years of marriage, they welcomed a daughter into their lives and became a complete family.
Relating to the characteristics of the nouveau riche: they lived a life extravagant, almost royal. A lifestyle suited to the elite but much too ostentatious for small town folks of Hemlock. Their extravagance became the hot gossip of the poisonous dwellers of Hemlock.
Her parents moved her grandfather to a mansion that Paul bought. And with her grandfather, came her uncle, aunt and cousin. All the Warrens under one roof just like her grandmother wanted. The people of Hemlock had never seen such money.
Galilea’s parents changed. They were no longer the happy couple they once used to be. Her Grandfather didn’t like her uncle Nate, Aunt Vi or her cousin Gemma. However he respected Paul for making something of himself but couldn’t care less about Amelia and Gilly.
Her mother became busy living the life of a socialite, busy competing with Victoria. Uncle Nate was an alcoholic. He’d always be in the garden sipping his whisky from a silver-crested navy blue flask. He was a jolly drunk, a happy man who loved playing with Gem and Gilly. He was a useless schmuck, but somehow he was the only member of the family that Gilly didn’t despise.
Earl Warren, an old man who hated everyone he knew. He didn’t want to live with his sons but even after his wife’s death, she had a penchant for making him do things he didn’t want, from beyond the grave.
Gemma Warren lived a lonely life. Her father spent most of his time with his flask and her mother ignored her. Victoria told Gemma that she was a needy rat and that she had ruined her mother’s life. When she was eight, they moved into the new mansion. To her it was a huge palace which came with a companion. Gemma loved Gilly, she saw how different Gilly was. They looked nothing alike and they had starkly contrasting personalities. But being stuck in the same dysfunctional situation, they found common ground.
Gilly had only one person in that town, Gemma. The girls and boys in school teased her because she was chubby and had rich parents, they often threw tomatoes or other squishy things at her. Gemma tried to protect her. They stayed side-by-side like neighbours in their corresponding bedrooms. They’d talk about their lives and gossip about school. Both of them felt content, at least this was okay. At least, they had each other.
Victoria and Amelia detested each other. Victoria often openly wished Amelia dead. Amelia couldn’t be bothered by Vi’s stupid theatrics. Nobody made anything of their feud, i.e, until Amelia died.
Let’s begin at the beginning. It was a quiet evening when I pulled up outside the Warrens’ front porch. It didn’t bother me that even after the passage of Ten Years; their house had not changed a bit. The place looked as ugly as always. I never would come here, not if I had my way. But when your grandfather makes you the executor of his will, you have no choice but to visit this hell hole where you were, unfortunately, born.
My name is Galilea Warren. Yes, derived from the great astronomer’s name. Let’s just say growing up with that name was not an easy thing. Gillian, Jill, Gale, Galileo, Lea, Lily…were the names preferred by my peers and teachers. I hate this town, I hate the people who live here and I hate that I had to come down here for this stupid funeral.
I stared at the door, the leaves scattered hither-thither. The door opened and I saw a distraught looking woman calling me over. At first glance, something about her lanky, malnourished appearance would make you pity her but that would be a rookie mistake, under that fragile yet effective guise was a heathen. Behind the posh, Botox-ed exterior lied a cruel, manipulative and money-grubbing bitch. Oh, and she’s not malnourished, just bulimic. She was dressed in half-mourning clothes and had fabulously covered up her bald spot with a brown weave.
Victoria welcomed Gilly inside, as always, she had a bit of an air which never sat well with Gilly. Victoria said, “Hi, you’re here. Didn’t think we’d see you…last time I saw you, it was on Gemma’s wedding night. Which was about two years ago.” She followed that with a coy smile, a smile so fake that it made Gilly want to jump back onto the porch and howl for a Taxi at this godforsaken hour. But as disturbed as she felt, over the years she had learnt how to deal with dimwits such as most of her relatives. Gilly smiled, she replied, “Yeah, sorry aunt Vi. I was just busy with my job and life. All of us can’t sit around with a Marie Claire in one hand and Margherita in the other.” Gilly smirked while Victoria gave her a steely smile and staggered away into the living room.
The living room was full of people, people I did not know. I just smiled politely to avoid the possibility of having to engage in tedious small talk. I navigated through the crowd and tried to find a familiar face. And I stumbled upon my married cousin Gemma making out with what’s-his-face in the Coat room. I would have just slipped out but Gem stopped me. She pushed away that guy who couldn’t stop slobbering all over her and made her way to me.
Gemma was feeling unhappy; she saw gloom everywhere. She watched everyone being busy in their small groups, just like high school. All alone since birth, until her last breath. Amidst all the thoughts she looked at the young guy checking her out. She saw the signs of trouble but it was either a tall drink of blonde boy or a shot of vodka in a pre-funeral party with no alcohol. She went over to him, the boy flirted with her a little and then they went over to the Coat room, or the room which used to be her bedroom. Proximity, a tinge of desperation with the heady intoxication of overflowing serotonin and adrenaline. Yes, that is the novice’s guide on how to complicate your love life. A five-minute tongue-fest later, Gemma noticed a figure trying to slip away. She wouldn’t have bothered to stop till she saw that it was her best friend, Gilly.
Gemma pounced on me, she planted kisses on my cheeks and it did make me smile. Gemma grabbed my hand and led me to the attic. The attic was the only place where we could be ourselves: Our secret paradise in the woeful era of our teen years. I looked at her, she had changed. Her eyes seemed sad, and she looked like a lost puppy. Like a very attractive, rose-blonde puppy.
Gemma couldn’t keep her excitement in check, she had to hold Gilly. It had been so long since she had seen her. Gilly had long black hair, she looked small and all that baby fat seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Gemma had this stingy feeling prodding her mind. She felt jealous.
I asked her how she was doing; she said that Doug, her husband, was too busy working to ever be seen with her. She said that the boy was just a way to get her away from this boring situation. She said that she didn’t expect to see me here.
I didn’t know why but I felt no curiosity about her. I actually did not care what was happening in her life, how different she had become. I just didn’t care. She went on about her boring bullshit, whined about some picket-fence family problems. Something about wanting to get pregnant, all of it: dull, useless conversation. I gave her a small smile, said a few cliché things about how I’m happy for her and how I hope she gets all the happiness in the world.
Gemma could see that Gilly was indifferent to her, she poured out all her thoughts in front of Gilly. But Gilly wasn’t interested. She saw her trying to feign interest but she couldn’t hide how bored she felt with this conversation.
I spoke up; I told her that I was now a tenured professor of Biochemistry. She grinned and congratulated me. She asked me why I came, I told her about the will. I said that I’d leave right after the wake was over, just after announcing his last thoughts. Gemma asked, “Why did he make you the executor of his will?” I said, “Probably because he knew that this was the only way I’d come to this town.” We laughed over the weird antics of that deluded old man. God, he was an old-fashioned bore who had nothing in common with either of us.
I did feel a bit of nostalgia but my memories were mostly a composite of bad events, worse people and unnecessary drama.
Don’t want to start with the conclusion? Here are links for you: The Friend List: Introduction,The Friend List: Episode One,The Friend List: Episode Two,The Friend List: Episode Three,The Friend List: Episode Four,The Friend List: Episode Five,The Friend List: Episode Six and The Friend List: Episode Seven. Have fun reading!
I want to thank you for patiently reading my posts. And I hope you liked them, this is the last post that I’ll write about The Friend List. I am a very unsocial person and it is nothing less than a miracle that I’ve still got people to write about. Friends are the family we get to choose. A friend is the personification of serendipity in one’s life. Some of them are permanent and those who are transient…well they’re no less important.
Think of your life as a book. You’re the protagonist and everyone else is a character in it. Some friends are meant to be your companions throughout your journey and the others are there to make the plot more interesting. Mostly placed in those pages for the sake of character development. The important thing for us is to realize this.
Friends are important, but it’s necessary to know where you stand in their book. Don’t spread yourself too thin or sell yourself short. You too are your friend, maybe the most nagging and persistent one…but the one who cares the most about you. So spend time with this friend, learn to enjoy her company. Even if she mostly nitpicks your flaws and says hurtful stuff. She wants you to be the best you can be and that is why you need to befriend her.
Now I’ll be bidding adieu. I hope you liked what you read and enjoyed it. I’ll write something new soon, but until then.
Read and meet my friends, here’s the link for you: The Friend List: Episode Six. Hope you like what you read.
You know how people say that they’ve got a mom friend? I’ve got a friend who also happens to be a mom. My mom.
Brace yourself for the most tragic backstory of all time: I can’t tell you that. But it’s pretty sad. I met her on 24th June, 1998 at precisely 14:14. Before that I’d spent some time stealing her food and using her as a cushion. My mother is beautiful, and people say I look like her Xerox version. But she’s vintage, and obviously cuter. My mother didn’t like me much when we first met, she thought I looked like a doll but didn’t like how clingy I was. I liked her better than everyone, and I hated how she left me at home with strangers when she went to work. I’ve been an introvert from birth, never liked people…still don’t like most of them. And the feeling is always mutual.
As I grew up, she started liking me more. Probably because I was finally speaking like a normal human instead of that dreadful baby talk. My mom started to have conversations with me, and slowly I became her confidant. Then I became her therapist. She’d pay me for my sessions in hugs, kisses and detective stories. I love detective stories and guessing games.
Weird thing about my mom: she’s very funny but she’ll never repeat a joke, especially if you ask her to. You can’t force her to do anything, if you do force her…she’ll do the exact opposite. Another weird thing, she likes mocking people and often gets on my nerves with her snarky comments. This is an unintentional thing she does, without realizing how rude it comes off. Even more so because she looks like an adorable cuddly mother figure with loads of warmth and love.
If you look at my mother, you’ll see a huggable teddy bear, more adorable than Whinny the Pooh. But at the same time, you’d see a beautiful woman with a perfect face. A face with flawless features, only humanized by the freckles that adorn it.
Our family has a long line of odd people, my mother’s father, my mother and myself. My mother finds my appearance similar to her mom’s and my personality akin to her dad’s. My mother and I have no secrets. All of my friends know that whatever massive secret they share with me is going to end up inside my mom’s head. Same thing applies for me when it comes to her friends.
Like mother like daughter, she too is lazy and loves food. Is a high-key bookworm and an English teacher. So you get why I like writing and stuff. I make her read my posts, while I’m writing them. And she remains forever quiet when I ask her to analyse and critique my writing. Doesn’t say anything bad about it, she is a mom after all.
She has a magnet that attracts stalkers, let me elaborate on that. She has a friend(?) who is the self-proclaimed daughter to my mother. Don’t ask me why she doesn’t leave or why my mom never gets rid of her. That is best left for another day. This stalker and I don’t see eye to eye. I hate her guts and she hates the fact that I exist. And this leech has got her teeth so deep into our skins, that she’s almost become a part of our family. Ugh, I hate her.
If you’re wondering why I’m ruining this post with the mention of her stalker, that’s because I want you give you more insight into our relationship.The unwillingness my mother displays to cut her off is one of the things I dislike about her most. I feel she doesn’t support me enough, has a lot of doubts about me. Now with that said, she is also the only person who cares about me. The only person I somewhat love and I don’t like sharing her, at all.Oh god, this sounds sappy.
My mom is wonderful, cool and extremely lovable. People literally want her instead of their original mothers. She’s rude, complicated and brilliant. She’s a paradox, a contradiction. She’s a witty weirdo.
She teases me about my crushes, watches movies with me. Sometimes freaks out when I obsess about the perfection that is Sophie Turner. We have the best time together. Our relation is great, and I hope that writing this doesn’t jinx it. That’s all for now.
Have you ever felt extremely blank? I feel that way right now. Anyways, here’s the link to the previous post, in case you wanted to catch up: The Friend List: Episode Five. Enjoy!
Lately my posts have been a bit too positive for my taste but unfortunately, this post is also going to be full of rainbows and glitter. A post about the three guy friends that I have. All of them are like the three legs of a stool. They balance each other out. While the three of them are very good friends to me, I don’t know them well enough to write up individual posts about them. So here’s a combined one for you to read.
The first friend that I’m going to talk about is one of my most favourite people in the world. He’s funny, nice and is similar to a kitten in many respects. He’s like adorable and compact, and his presence has a default effect of calming me down. My exams go better if he’s around, he sort of suspends this sense of impending doom that I have. Makes me panic less. He’s got a knack in making dull topics and boring conversations into a laughing fest, you’ll never get bored with him. He’s great to be around.
The second friend is someone I’ve known since elementary school Didn’t really like him at first, but he grew on me. He’s a modern day Casanova who is like kryptonite to the ladies. Thankfully, I’m immune to his charms. If you can get past all the looks and the fanciness…there is a very generous person hidden underneath. The proverb: A friend in need is a friend indeed, is most apt for him. While he maybe a bit out there with his actions, he has the makings of an exceptional friend.
My third friend can be described as a recurring character in my life. He’s a very polite person, nicer than it should be allowed for one to be. Someone who has a very strong moral compass and has wisdom way beyond his age. He’s a sage, and he’s obviously making me more of a glass-half-full kind of human. He says stuff that I don’t understand and half the time what he says is like a tangent over my circular head. But his confusing company is still invigorating and enjoyable.
Boys and girls can be friends. By that I mean, just friends and nothing more. I just gave you three examples of opposite genders being friends. Let’s just agree to disagree, in case you don’t believe that. These three people are very different from one-another, but they’re all equally amazing friends to me.
My first friend sees the best in me, the second friend gives me company and the third friend is my spirit guide. All of them have very important roles in my life, roles that in some indirect manner help in harmonizing my emotions and sense of self. All my friends do.
I know that two of them will soon be reading this, and I’m still trying to get the other one to read. So when you do read this, I hope you realize that I’m being good to you and this is not a sentimental post, at all. It’s clean, hard facts in precise wording…so enjoy it!
And reader, I hope you liked this post. Just two more left for the series to end. Bye!
Okay, so my friend from The Friend List: Episode Four doesn’t hate me, in case you were wondering. She’s okay with what I wrote. Now moving on to the next person on the list.
So you’ve met my tiniest friend, now it’s time for you to meet my namesake with an extra K. She’s a make up wiz and can magically turn a hideous troll, like me, into the Queen of bad-assery. She’s always been my companion, at first reluctantly and then after a few years, willingly. Yes, I know that my childhood self sounds like a beyotch who was hated by everyone. Anyway, she’s a nice person, my friend I mean.
We’ve literally been together since kindergarten, because of our names. And then onwards, we were each other’s permanent classmates. Often mistaken as twins, because of our names (again). Appearance wise both us are polar opposites. I look like a fashionable vagabond and she’s basically a make-up clad pixie. I’m tall and she’s less so. I’m a broad Broad and she’s a petite person who looks younger than she really is. I’ve even pretended to be her elder sister in order to get her inside the movie theaters. She’s cute AF.
So, as I was saying that apart from being my namesake, she’s also the namesake of the “Traces of You” singer and Grammy award winner, without the O ( Anoushka Shankar, ya’ll). We have a lot of history, she and I. A few controversies, some jealousy on both sides but also an unbreakable bond. We have always shared everything with each other and even though she left the school I went to , our friendship remained intact.
Here’s a story: She and I used to carpool together. This happened when we were four or five years old. The bus driver stopped at the gates of my home and as I was about to get off from the bus, he slammed the door on my face. He chided me and interrogated me about why was I about to climb out of the bus, into an unknown neighbourhood. I was flabbergasted, befuddled, extremely confused etc. My mother came out and stood on the parapet, waiting for her daughter.
Suddenly, I noticed my mother leaving without me! And, guess what…another girl was by her side. My mother didn’t even realize, that that wasn’t even her own off-spring. Off-topic: This isn’t the first time she’s done something like that. Once, she crossed the road with her mother. Only it wasn’t her mother, it was a crazy homeless lady. So you see that this is a pretty ordinary mistake for her.
The girl was my friend. She didn’t say anything either…but how could you expect a toddler would be the one to point out the grown-up’s mistake? I, for once in my life, made a scene. Yes, I did. I screamed and called my mom. I started beating against the window. My mother turned her head back to see what was the chaos about. And it was then she realized, that I wasn’t the little girl holding her hand. Hilarious, I know.
We have many adventures together, accumulated enough to last a lifetime. A lifetime of tears, tales and laughs. But this story is my favourite one. We’re still very good friends and I even went out with her and had Ethiopian Coffee two days ago.
You might be wondering why I wrote that. The reason behind is that I hate going out. On the rare occasions I do feel like going out, they’re mostly a spur-of -the-moment decision…people often RSVP ‘no’ to such outings. But she didn’t because she’s awesome.
The only friend that I know will always be my friend. That’s her. Keep rocking, you amazing lady!
Bye for now.