Carine held me by the shoulders and said, “Ha Anh, I hope that you can be happy. If you need anyone to listen to you, send me a message, give me a call. Even when I am in Seoul, I’ll try my best to be available.” My tears streamed down the face while we were standing on Line 9’s platform to Montreuil. Yes, I was moved but I was also having a hard time. I kept on telling myself this is only one of those days. This too shall pass. But it came to me as clear as ever the fact that I can’t protect myself. I don’t even know how. The realisation made me both sad and mad at my own self. How can you survive in this world if you are so weak? This vulnerability will kill you first.
I can be fearsome and stand straight to back up for those dear to me, but I’ve always been a clumsy fool when it comes to voicing up for myself. If I think you are annoyed or irritated by my presence, I’d quietly go away. If you hurt me I’d quietly go away. If you hurt me but I love you I’d continue to put up with it until the balloon bursts, and only after carefully wording my reasons, would I tell you the truth, and then I’d quietly go away, forever. Things that I can clearly see, for so long, if I had to utter it out, then that’s the very end of it all. If you question my motives, my goodwills, my heart in everything I say or do, if you use a bit of information I chose to reveal myself to you to slap back at me, you’d be dead. You’d no longer matter. I’d drop you like a hot pan and leave the table immediately. Door slamming is the only defense system that I have. To cut people out of my life without even a single word. Both because I am too tired to even explain and also because you’re no longer worth it.
These days Nat drops in from time to time to ask if I’m doing ok, BB actually has to develop the habit of looking into my eyes and watching my facial expressions instead of only listening to my words.