Today in my time of lonely introspection, I wondered if I handled the issue about a friend come out as an atheist in the right way. I absolutely went berserk that day when she started gloating about this new change in her. And I couldn’t even look at her when she started bashing something that is very close to my heart – my God.
It’s been 2 years since she’s said those hurtful things and it stills haunts me. It was on a day right before the weekends. I remember because I found those two days to be absolutely horrific. I’ve never felt so down as I’ve felt then. My cruel words felt like they deflected her and hit me.
Later, I recall how much I regretted wasting those two days on her when she just made me hate her again. She doesn’t learn from her mistakes and latches onto the wrong thing and tells me she “forgives me” for calling her a bad person. She doesn’t care that I basically called her a fake atheist. She doesn’t care how much she hurt me and my God. I didn’t accept her forgiveness though, because there was nothing to forgive. We were even.
So there we were in our 11th grade Maths class; there was another half an hour on the clock before school ended. It was just me and Latifa, sitting together and trying to focus on the monotonous voice of our middle aged sir. Amita was running late from the farewell decoration committee, but finally she came to class and sat on the desk behind us. We three were the best of friends then, but that all changed as we got to each other a little better.
Latifa and I used to discuss our concerns about Amita ditching her classes so frequently for the decoration committee. But later we realized it wasn’t JUST to bunk classes, but rather she was trying to get into the popular clique in our school, who incidentally were all part of the decoration committee. And we knew EXACTLY what they were talking about there, because I was a part of the decoration committee too. Except I didn’t go there every chance I got like Amita. I hated the atmosphere there. They were mean and they talked about taboo topics without any sort of thought.
So I stopped going completely. But I knew what damage they had already done to Amita. She took everything like it was the truth and in turn got despised on by the rest of them for being so desperate to join their clique.
So she sat behind us and started spewing nonsense in the middle of the class.
“I’m an atheist now!” she said in a cheerful whisper. Latifa and I had no words.
The reason I call bullshit on this is because this is coming from a person who hasn’t even had a day’s thought on this important decision. She’s had three hours, THREE HOURS to let go of something that can affect her life forever. If I had such an important decision to make, I would put at least a week’s thought into it. I would’ve asked friends, I would’ve done some research, I would’ve asked my parents, anyone trustworthy, ANYONE.
This whole ‘atheist talk’ is coming from a person who will do anything, ANYTHING, to get popular. ‘Follow the trends’ as you call it. I know she can lie with a straight face too. She’s got an impressionable mind and doesn’t realize what an idiot she is.
I have nothing against atheists. This is a progressive world and everyone’s got their own opinion to voice and I like it like that. People shouldn’t be classified according to their religion, they should be classified by the goodness of their hearts.
But what she did was wrong on so many levels. I would not stand to see a friend do something so rash based on a whim.
While I kept my mouth shut like I usually do when I’m angry and seethe in my rage, Latifa tried talking her out of it. Latifa told Amita in a calm tone that God is real and lists off all the miracles of the world. She asks why she doesn’t believe in her religion and Amita simply states that it’s because religion was about a few rituals and mundane poojas that she’s forced to do because her parents told her to. She then proceeds to tell us what the ‘popular kids’ were talking about and how she believes that everything can be explained by science. But I can bet that SHE couldn’t prove anything then.
Yet she Amita proceeded to tell us that all religion is stupid. And it is at this point where my tolerance broke.
Finally our Maths sir sees Latifa talking and makes her sit far away from us and I panicked slightly. This means that I would have to be alone with Amita. I would have to face her. I wasn’t scared for myself, I felt scared for her. I could almost punch her, that’s how much ignorance she’d shown that day.
She started to pester me with anti religious questions and I bit my teeth very hard. I knew if I started talking to her everything would go to shit very soon. So I held on till the very end, until Latifa came back and the school bell had rung. Everyone started to leave then.
Then Amita started talking about this very sensitive topic AGAIN and I finally blew my top. I told her words that I had been holding in for so long, and I shouted it out-
“Don’t you DARE question my religion or hers or any one elses. You have your opinion and so do we. Respect that! If you dare insult my God again, don’t expect me to be friends with you, a Godless person.” I felt really bad about the ‘Godless person’ comment immediately and it also haunts me to this very day.
She was finally dumbfounded and I was closed to kicking something down. Latifa tried to calm us both down but it was too late. I was leaving.
But Amita had to have the last word and said,”It’s because I’m atheist, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s because you’re a bad person.”and I keep walking.