Just when you think someone can’t surprise you, life puts a twist in the road causing certain people to contradict your expectations.
Everyone has them: that person in the family that demeanours you into feeling worthless when compared to their ingenious. Mine just happens to be a cousin older than me by only two years. Not only does her model figure and bodily perfections make me feel like a reject from the Barbie factory but she also manages to make me feel sloppy with her incredible sense of taste. Five minutes with her and you’ll feel only half a woman wondering why you hadn’t taken more care with your make-up or worn something a little more in style. Tall, thin, wide hips and ample chest, her dark eyes and black hair guarantees her a place among any beauty pageant contestants.
If her Miss Universe Venezuelan looks don’t intimidate you, then her attitude will. Born to be a bitch, my cousin is ambitious and determined to the point where she’ll do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Labelled as arrogant by some and cold by others, she has almost zero tolerance and her in-your-face attitude repels the weak and doubtful. Knowing her for as long as I do, I wouldn’t call her evil because to my knowledge, she’s never purposefully rode over anyone whom she felt didn’t deserve it and her intentions aren’t to demeanour those around her, even if she does manage to make you feel like shit.
However, even though I understand her, our differences are simply too big for us to be friends. I suppose I could blame it on the fact that she hates animals and throws a tantrum each time my grandmother’s dog comes close to her. But the real reason is that our outlooks on life are simply too different.
I live by feeling, she lives by ambition and the night where she practically tore me apart for being heartbroken over a guy settled our current association. Trying to help by removing all feeling she showed her cruel side by refusing to acknowledge any good in the person that had broken my heart… that’s when I realised, we’d simply never see eye to eye.
The tough nut to crack is what most people saw her as, the cousin that would probably get the best marriage considering she’d never settle for second best (if she could only quit chasing soccer players!). She once told me that all men were alike so you might as well go for a wealthy and good-looking one. She can get any man she wants and in her viewpoint, all it takes is to pick something physically to die for and turn him into something you can bring to grandmas for dinner. I had no doubt in my mind that she was the next Victoria Adams to land herself a David Beckham.
Arriving only after we’d already sang happy birthday, it didn’t surprise me that she’d rather be next door with my other cousin who hadn’t bothered to pitch either rather than stick around for my little brother’s twelfth birthday. What did shock me was that she walked in only half the person I once knew. If I had seen her body on the cover of a magazine I would’ve immediately named her anorexic… my cousin has faded away. Her beautiful body is almost non existent; her arms look like match sticks and her face looks at least five years older. Trying to lighten the atmosphere I told her I preferred her with the huge ass she kept complaining about.
She almost growled at Snoopy when my grandmother gave her the slice of cake kept for her and I immediately decided that I didn’t even want to know her reasons for becoming that thin… however, I couldn’t avoid her when she grabbed my arm and dragged me to a more private spot.
Here we go, I thought… being the shrink in the family, I’m usually the first person my cousins run to when requiring advice and the last person they remember when having a party or a night out.
So my suspicions were right on the money! My cousin had finally met the soccer player that was different from all the others. Different because this one didn’t just take her for rides in his car or out to clubs, this one had taken her to meet his family and play with his little sister. He’d said words to her without her having to ask him to and he’d touched her far deeper than her Barbie Doll body. My cousin met a non-superficial male that had made her feel like a woman rather than a piece of meat. However, before my cousin had come in the picture there had been a girlfriend before her who now wanted her man back and whom he himself wanted back.
“She’s not even beautiful!” wailed my cousin showing me a picture of a girl that could easily have been mistaken for the girl next door or your average waitress. However, this girl that had nothing special on my cousin had won the heart of the man my cousin had fallen in love with.
I swallowed deep, regretting all the times when I’d whispered “What goes around comes around” each time I’d heard of another guy my cousin had gone through or each time she made fun of my emotional weaknesses. Instead I held back the “I told you so” I had reserved for this moment and tried to remind her of all the female power she’d lived on before that moment.
I felt sorry for her as I watched the tears fall down her face. I recognised her pain and I knew that it wouldn’t leave her that easily. You can’t unscramble an egg and I know she’ll never truly go back to being the person she was before this man. Even if she came back the full blown bitch, her heart wouldn’t work the same way because it would know what it is to be loved, to love… to feel.
What advice did I give her?... None!
What for? Nothing I say will diminish the hurt she feels. If I told her that the pain would eventually numb, she’d probably think I was demeaning her feelings. If I told her that she’d find better than him, I would be as big as bitch as she was when I got my heart broken. So I simply sat at listened.
Eventually she looked at me apologetically, silently apologising for all the times she’d under estimated my words, ideas and feelings. She asked me what I would do in her situation
(Right! Like she’s going to take advice from her average looking, single cousin!).
I smiled and told her we are simply too different for my opinions or viewpoints to matter but that in her place I would most probably phone him, thank him for enriching my life with his love and put down the phone. Then taking one day at a time, I’d find myself slowly again, rediscover the taste of food and focus on the colours of the world until one day I woke up and felt whole again, ready for another love.
My cousin looked at me as if I were insane; I didn’t bother to explain myself further. I’ve realised that certain things, people just have to find out on their own.
What goes around comes around? Yes I believe that it does. I believe that if you play with someone’s feelings or refuse to acknowledge their existence, eventually someone may treat you the same way. However for those of you that aren’t superstitious remember this: Play with fire long enough and you’re bound to get burnt. Even the strongest of souls aren’t immune to heartbreak.
Be careful whose heart you break – For God counts every tear and charges you double.