Yesterday evening, I had several incoming calls while I was on an important oversea call. I glanced quickly at the caller ID and saw my friend's name but decided to ignore it. I always end up losing both calls if I try to swap calls. It was a long conversation which started while I was driving back to the office.
When I finally hung up, I was famished and weak from all the running around. I checked my phone. There were 4 missed calls. Just when I got into the office and was about to sit down, the phone rang. It was her. I apologised that I couldn't take her call earlier.
I had a million things running through my head. It was almost 5.30pm and I wanted to finish my work before I leave the office. My friend, who was on her way home, was using her drive time to catch up. I was distracted and hungry, and she could sense it.
She asked if I wanted to do something this weekend, like go cycling. I answered weakly, "I don't think so, you guys go ahead." Then she asked if I was alright.
I assured her everything is fine and then we hung up. I have always enjoyed a good chat with her and felt bad that I wasn't my scintillating self yesterday. I started to analyse the reason behind the lackluster conversation.
It is always great fun chatting with her but I realise that the conversations always center around her, from start to finish. It is always about her wonderful performance and achievements at work, her kids' perfect scores, her husband's accomplishments, their perfect holiday and so forth.
As a friend, I'm always very happy to congratulate her on their achievements, encourage her or commiserate with her. I usually hang up the phone with a smile but lately I realise that our conversations are becoming a one-way-street.
She calls me whenever she's free but she never answers my call or reads my emails. When we're on the phone, she does most of the talking. It's not that I have nothing to say but it's hard to slot in anything while she's happily talking away. Even if I do, the conversation always veers back to her and about her. Then, just as suddenly as she calls up, she hangs up because she has to answer an important call, leaving me feeling unsatiated.
When I do manage to tell her about my life, she expresses shock saying "You must keep me informed you know, or else even if you've migrated to another country, I won't even know!"
Well, my friend, I know everything about you but you know almost nothing about me.