Give and take.

​She grew up watching her parents put everyone first. They’d always put their parents first, their children first, each other first. And they had always been happy. Watching this, she too taught herself to put someone else first. Her parents first, her family first and whoever she would end up with first. He, on the other hand, grew up watching his mother suffer as she put others first; how she would be the last one to go to the bed at night and the first one to wake up when the stars were still up in the morning. And how no matter what she did and how she managed, she would end up getting blamed anyway. He, therefore, taught himself to put himself first. It was always his dreams, his wants, and his needs before his family, friends and whoever he would end up with.

So when they met and fell in love, it was a heartbreaking story. She would always end up giving and he would always end up taking. Sometimes she wished for him to put her first, just as she had watched her father do with her mother but only got disappointed and hurt. But she couldn’t take the step back because the only thing she knew was to put others first – not her dreams, wants or needs. He at times wished that he too could put her first, for her love melted his ice cold heart slowly. But because he never knew how to do it, he’d only end up hurting her more every time he tried.  Thus, he’d only feel guilty and angry from this.

I grew up watching this mismatch couple trying to understand and make it work as much as they could. But because they came from extremely opposite backgrounds they failed. They looked fine from the outside but from the insides they both died, bit by bit, not being able to love and be loved in the only way they knew. I grew up watching her being heartbroken and him being angry every other day. They blamed themselves for expecting, and not being able to match the other’s expectation. And that’s what made me decide – that I would neither put someone else first, nor would I put myself first; I would be neutral; would live my life as it should be – without expectations. Warn everyone who wants to enter that I don’t entertain expectations. But with a twist of fate, I too ended up falling victim to my own upbringing. For the girl who refused to do the transaction of give and take, I ended up giving too much and taking too much. I ended up putting someone else first when I had to put myself first and putting myself first when I had to put someone else.

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