Too Much? By Alan Nash (490 Words)

Placing my phone next to me on the settee, I stare into the emptiness of the room as the thoughts begin to maraud through my head. Was it really so long ago that I’d barely had a minute to myself? Had it truly been months instead of weeks or days since this place, my home, had been a hive of activity? Could so much time have passed from the point at which they’d all been calling me to this moment, when my call to them was met with nothing but a hollow, voicemail promise to get back to me when they could?

I think back to those times, to the point when my words were the only thing that mattered. I recall the sadness in the eyes of my friends as, one by one, each of them looked to me for the help I invariably provided without requirement of recompense or reward. For those precious moments, I was all that mattered, I was their world but, as sure as the seasons always change, I knew what was to come.
So, why did I do it? Why will I continue to do it? Is it my purpose? Is it the reason I exist? Deep down I know the answer, yet the question still presents itself with the demand to be considered.

I do it because I can. I do it because I will always be there, no matter when or where. I’m not tied down with commitment and I’m not shackled to any other being that requires my attention. No matter what day of the week or what time of the day, my phone will always be answered, my ears will always be available and my voice will always be ready to offer words of comfort as and when they are needed.

And what happens when the issue is resolved? What happens when the crisis has passed? Am I granted the company that’d been so desperately required of me? Am I afforded the time to air my own concerns and to receive the comfort I’ve so unquestioningly provided?

One by one, they shuffle off as quickly as they arrived. Without ceremony, they return to the lives I’ve done so much to fix and to where, honestly, their hearts had always been. Gradually, with a crash it seems only I can hear, they all slam the door behind them in their haste to get away and leave me here, alone and cold.
Maybe I’m being unreasonable? Maybe I’m expecting more than I deserve? Should I be more grateful for the opportunity to make a difference? Should I be more appreciative of what I do have?
As a tear falls in the silence, I wipe my own cheek and wonder whether it’s me who has to adjust. Having always been needed, just for once to be wanted, maybe I’m asking too much?

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