In Focus 28th September, 2016
He Did Not Cry.

He did not cry.

This is a story about a man. A young man who has not cried for so long, that he questions whether he can even cry or not. When he was a child, he used to cry a lot. Each time he did, his parents said boys don’t cry and called him a cry-baby. They said “stop crying like a girl”. His peers would laugh at him for crying. He was always shy and socially anxious and feared being shamed so much, that their laughter hurt him even more. All he wanted was to be recognised, to have some attention and so he stopped crying soon.

When his knees were scraped, he did not cry.
When his scalp was scratched in an accident involving a mis-aimed duster [the one to clean blackboards], he did not cry.
When he was hit for misbehaving, he did not cry.
When he broke his shoulder, he did not cry.
When he watched sad movies and read sad books, he did not cry.
When his parents would fight he did not cry.
When his maternal grandparents died of cancer when he was older, he did not cry.
When his parents separated, he did not cry.
All of it hurt so much, but he did not cry.

When his parents disapproved of his relationship with a beautiful young woman who needed him because she herself was depressed and told him to break it off, he instead chose to emotionally break off all contact with his parents and even then he did not cry. It hurt so much later on when he thought about it, but he did not cry.

One day, when he had grown to be a young man of 19, he started questioning himself as to when he last cried. He realised that not only did he not remember when he last did but he had long forgotten the relief one gets after crying. He felt empty inside and it hurt so much but not a tear fell.

In a year’s time, when his relationship with his mother grew strained and finally escalated into a fight ending up with a long separation, he did not cry. The fight itself was terrifying and traumatic, with him escaping home in an Uber and his mother following his taxi halfway to college trying to get him to stop and force him to come back home; any tears he felt out of strain were bitten back with a weird feeling of shame that the taxi driver would see him crying.

He feels empty, this young man. He feels lost. He questions himself. He does not know what it will take for him to feel again, to cry properly and freely. He longs to cry but he can’t. His friend still by his side, for how long he does not know. His graduation nears. He fears losing the one pillar he has, the beautiful mind who supports him as he supports her.His whole life stretches ahead. He is scared and confused, lost and afraid of loneliness, confused about what work interests him, whether she will stay with him. He feels empty and longs to cry. He just can’t…

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