(143): On Connection Regrets: My Excruciating Experience
On Connection Regrets: My Excruciating Experience
By Muhsin Ibrahim
Khadija, nicknamed Kashe-Kala, who I ‘re-nicknamed’ KKK, was one of my dearest classmates during our undergrad at Bayero University, Kano. Honestly, KKK, a sickle cell patient, was pretty, posh, and from a wealthy family. Hence that sobriquet. So, admittedly, I believed she was out of my league. However, we became so close. Despite our closeness, we disagreed pretty often.
About a year after graduation, I met the lady I later married. The day I told KKK about my newfound love, she jokingly bragged that I chose this girlfriend because she’s her namesake: Khadija. On hearing this, some friends thought she loved me. It’s not true; our relationship was platonic.
I had visited KKK’s house countless times. I barely missed seeing her at the hospital. Her relatives know me. I can’t forget the day I was riding my motorbike to their house when I stopped by the roadside to answer her call. From nowhere, someone snatched my phone. She bought me a new one.
As I mentioned earlier, we fought over little things. We sometimes spent days or a week or even more without talking. There was a time we deleted each other’s phone numbers, but only to reconcile days later! They say adolescence now lasts from 10 to 24. Thus, blame that, not us.
Tragically, KKK died in January 2013, a few months after our NYSC service. A few days before her death, we talked on the phone for over an hour. But unfortunately, we had yet another quarrel soon after that long call. I couldn’t visit or call her until she died; that hurts me daily.
Daniel H. Pink, the author of The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, calls what I experience “Connection Regrets”. These regrets are further divided into two: Closed Doors and Open Doors. Unfortunately, what I am going through falls under the former – closed-door regrets as KKK is no more. Thus, there is no room to fix the issue.
As Pink correctly titled his book, looking backwards at how KKK and I unceremoniously parted helps me move forward today. He finally suggests that “the lesson of closed doors [regret] is to do better next time.” (p. 146). I will indeed do that.
May Allah forgive KKK’s shortcomings and that of our departed loved ones, amin.