The last time I shared my birthday party was when I was 13. My dad’s friend’s family shifted to our city with their young daughter, Padma. She was enrolled in my school and was made my best friend, on my parent's insistence. That’s the first time I had shared my cake and now I’m sharing my birthday cake with the same Padma again, after fifteen years.
With time, most people change. Also, the old pains subside and capability to induce new ones grows, I think. Like that time, when I made a stranger my best friend and introduced her to all my friends. She then stole them all and I was friendless, a month after our combined birthday party.
Few years later, we joined the same college. It was in a different city, so we were made roommates in the hostel. New place induced loneliness and that made me her only friend present there. Being forgiving, like an idiot, I let her become my friend once again. A few weeks later, she was a part of many groups. With her inclusion in them, I was neglected for a while and then totally cut off. If only feelings could be forced, our friendship could work someday.
Now, she joined the place I work. Being in the same place for years, I had lots of friends here. I was loved and accepted for what I was, by the friends I made. Padma, however, wasn’t let into the inner circle so easily. They rarely cooperated with her and were openly hostile. With no other option left, she turned to me, once again. She confided in me all those worries. I reassured her that slowly they’ll let her be a friend. She apologised for her earlier acts and asked if we could be friends again. Though it was years late, I still did accept her apology. I let her cut the cake with me, to prove that I didn't hate her personally. But being friends with her, I couldn’t live with myself if I did it again. She considered me her friend, the only one there; though I treated her just like she treated me those days back in the school.
When she asked how I got along so well with the same group of people, I mentioned the experiences from my past made me resistant to taking rubbish from others, and care less for their feelings and give more weight to mine. In a way, she taught me, how to deal with her kind of people. She didn’t ask me again and spent a miserable year before shifting the job. She wishes me on birthdays, which I ignore with a satisfied smile. I don’t think she deserves the chance, to know why everyone hated her. It was because they were my friends. Good friends, who obeyed me and became evil once, after I shared the truth about her, right at the beginning of her term there.