“And love. Love is something you cannot control. You fall for bad people, and then you let them go. This is smart. If you hold onto bad people, the love turns black, decays, destroys you, destroys them. It is good when you let go. Are you glad to be free? Free from that sadness?”
Audrey had not told The Old Man much about Rishi, but he was very astute. He picked up a lot with the few words she told him about their demise.
“Yes, I’m happy. It’s weird – you think you’re happy with someone and you’re not. You’re happy with the habit. You’re happy with the familiarity. Of belonging to someone, and of someone belonging to you. You are scared of the unknown, so you convince yourself you are happy. You are happy with someone finding you pretty, finding you satisfactory, happy with someone else being happy.
“Then you realize that after the initial pain, you’re so much happier. I had surgery years ago, and it hurt like crazy, but afterward, I was so much better and all my problems were solved. That’s what it’s like when you’re in a bad relationship. I finally know what it is to be happy. The other day, I was walking to class, and I just suddenly got all excited, and said to myself, ‘I am so happy.’”
“So you are good. You understand that being happy is about being honest with yourself.”
“Yes, and it sometimes it’s hard to be honest like that. It hurt when I was honest, when I saw how awful things were, but the rewards are much better in the end.”
“Now, Audrey, being happy is about staying in the present moment. So I’m glad you let these bad things go, but don’t constantly focus on them, especially things outside your control. Things you can control, good. Like you ended that bad relationship, good. But your sister, let her be free. You tell me your aunt has problems, too, I don’t know them. But she can worry about them. School, you worry about that, but that’s you. When you study, focus, it will go well. It will all work out in the end. Just always remember that: things always work out in the end.”
They were all silent, thinking about what The Old Man had said.