It’s not really fair that I credit (or blame) particular individuals for the chain reaction set in motion back then. It was an accumulation of factors, going back long before I even met them.
I was already in a bad state of mind when our paths crossed. Indeed, that frame of mind itself was likely the cause of my demise. What then happened simply accelerated my collision with reality. It simply moved everything along.
To me, it was a catastrophe, but as I have learnt, it meant nothing at all to anyone else whatsoever. And why should it? I was an extremely shy weirdo to whom everyone took an instant disliking. In the natural order, I should rightfully have been easily forgotten.
And so it came to be. They disappeared off into their worlds, back into the obscurity from which they had emerged, memories of those moments never recalled. Only I would carry my broken heart on with me, still reeling from those festering wounds, long after we parted company.
The chain reaction was real, but it didn’t start with them. Those events were simply an accelerant, speeding everything up. To me, so significant. To others, mere jest and banter, light relief, a joke amongst friends. Two different perspectives, both of them valid.
And yet, perhaps some good came out of it, for through this month of fasting, I have been remembering every one of those folk in my evening prayers, just before sunset. They are not forgotten to me, but they are certainly now forgiven.
It does not matter that I am forgotten, forever unknown, lost in the mists of time. Our paths crossed all those years ago for no other reason than that in the month of Ramadan 1443AH / 2022CE, a stranger might remember them in heartfelt prayers. And this they will never know.
What a peculiar chain reaction is that.