One evening a long time ago, as I was getting ready to leave work, I received a frantic phone call.
It was from a friend whom I haven’t heard from for a while.
He was shouting over the phone, clearly upset over something. At first I could not make out what he was saying, then I realized it didn’t matter. He was not angry at me. He just wanted a release.
Are you driving? I asked.
Yes, he said.
Pull over, I told him. Then, get out of the car. You can continue screaming at me. I promise I will stay on the phone for as long as it takes for you to let it all out.
I don’t remember how long we spoke over the phone. But I remember that the battery ran out eventually.
On my way home, I stopped at Sunway Pyramid and bought an empty box. I filled it with paracetamol, bandages, Hershey’s hugs and kisses (forgetting that chocolates give him migraines), face mask, a sad book, DVD of an old funny movie, a packet of tissues, a MAGGI cup noodle, a box of Earl Grey tea, gingerbread biscuits and a small note to say that I can’t help walk him through whatever he was going through, but I hope the contents of the box would help to get him through one night.
The next day I arranged to send him the box.
Later that evening he called me to ask how to put on the face mask.
We never speak about the things that were bothering him the day before, ever again.
Sometimes I talk too much.
Sometimes it is just easier to let things do the talking.
[This, too, is a true story].