The first time I met her, I was at the tender age of eight, unaware of the importance of this meeting. I looked up from my book, and saw a dark shadow watching me with her deep brown, beady eyes. Her long black hair, pale skin and ghost-like figure could have sent any child gasping out of this room. But, I sat still as I watched her approach me. She was the child of Saturn and I was just another human on Earth. Together, we would sit in the company of Boredom, Dissatisfaction, and sometimes, Irritation would come to play with us. But, no one wanted to play with Irritation; he never cooperated . We created such an unhappy, pathetic union that other humans could not understand why we were the way we were.
One day, I asked Melancholia what she wanted to be when she grows up.
She said, "I want to be just like Happy, but that is impossible."
"Nothing is impossible," I responded.
"Oh, I like that you try to be positive, but let me tell you that it is impossible. I can't even imagine being like Happy."
Playing with Melancholia was a nightmare. She turned into a puddle of water when things didn't go her way, and always exerted a sense of sadness when it came to our play's plot. If I tried to change our play's ending into a happy one, then she would wail, "That's impossible!" Boredom would stop playing half-way, Dissatisfaction would shake her head in disapproval, and Irritation wasn't allowed to play with us. So, Irritation felt irritated that he wasn't invited to play with us.
With time, I learned to tolerate Melancholia and her view on life. I even embraced certain traits of hers, and her presence was always so comfortable. She insisted to follow me everywhere I went, and accompanied me to college as well.
During a rainy summer day, a few months after turning twenty-one, Melancholia snapped, "I am leaving!"
"Yes, you heard me. I am leaving you, because you don't listen to me anymore. No one listens to me ever. No one cares about me. I am so alone. I will always be alone. This is horrible. I knew this would happen. How can I stay here? I am so sad! And you are so ------ normal."
"Yes, NORMAL. I am always sad. I always turn into a puddle of water, and you have to mop parts of me. "
"You are exaggerating......"
"No, I am not. You don't need me anymore. You don't even notice me anymore. You are changing, and I cannot change with you. I am this horrible emotion forever. Why am I this emotion? Why am I not another emotion? Why can't I be a good emotion? Why can't I..."
"To me, you were a good emotion. If I had not been in your company, then I would not have learned as much as I did. So, it's ok to be who you are. You are special to me. You need to exist for humans to know how beautiful this life can be as it is filled with important emotions like you."
"Oh, that's so nice! But, I am terribly sad. Oh, I am always so terribly sad..."
"Yes, you can say that again....."
"Ok, dear Shikha, I cannot stop crying. I am leaving you now. I do not think we will cross paths again, but I will miss you a lot."
Melancholia mourned my loss as she gathered all of her remaining strength to depart from me, her childhood friend. Just like that, she disappeared into her shadow, and who knows where she went. I am sure she found someone who would gladly mop her obnoxious puddle of water, and hear her depressing outlook on everything. As for me, I felt like a burden was lifted off my chest, and I wished she had left my life a long time ago.