The Wolf Runs out of Tears.

Although most of us could see the potential in you to become a decent human being, it’s a damned shame you never saw that in yourself.
        We were still young when you came into our circle. We shared traumas and self-discovery. Gradually most of us grew out of analysing our own feelings, and found new hobbies. You never did.
        We formed an unspoken roster to be at your beck and call, for whenever the next crisis came hurtling out of your sub-conscious. Your needs were insatiable, extending well beyond the requirement for a friend to listen, to hold your hand. Of course you would be less well resourced, having devoted so much energy into the publication of your thesis on why the world was so unfair, and your doctorate on why everyone was out to get you.
        Once I watched in cold fascination, as you gave birth to another delusion. Converted an innocent intimate liaison into an assassination. Somehow I got the feeling I’d seen it before. Then I remembered I had; yet you told it like it was a revelation.
        And still we carried you through, responding to every late night phone call, every crisis of self-doubt. I’d hear that hidden message in your voice,
        “To hell with your children, I need you to mother me. You absolutely must.”
        To my shame, I would leave them and rush to be by your side. And yet you never even asked if they’d cut a tooth, started school, got a girlfriend. But at least you didn’t kill yourself that day.
        The most frightening thing happened last Tuesday, when I got out of the bath. As I toweled I looked in the mirror, to check for zits and facial hair. And there you were, staring back at me.

Nod Ghosh

Nod Ghosh was born in England, to parents from India. She moved to Christchurch, New Zealand in 2002. She is a medical laboratory scientist, specializing in the diagnosis of certain cancers. Her writing has been accepted by NZ publications Catalyst, Takahe, Express and Christchurch Press, as well the NZ issue of Penduline. “By the Rules” explores hypocrisy in the context of cultural constraints, based on observations of dual standards within migrant Indian society. No apologies to those who inspired this; you know who you are.

Nod Ghosh's website »