At night, I was playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 when she asked if I would listen to her for a second. "Probably not," I thought, knowing what was coming. She mostly spoke in Gujarati, so I didn't understand 100% of what she was saying.
I could keep the locket in my wallet. I didn't have to wear it. I didn't have to believe. But I could keep it in my wallet. It was blessed. It would make my life better. She had paid a lot for it.
I looked at the ceiling and didn't say anything, trying not to let my resolve weaken. I couldn't give in, or they would know that all they had to do was wear me down.
Did I know that my mom cried? She was always crying that I wouldn't listen to her, so she asked my grandmother to try to get through to me; maybe I would listen to her. Just keep the locket with me and make her happy.
"No," I said. "I get to make my own decisions."
But what kind of decisions was I making! She was my grandmother, my mother's mother, and she knew what she was talking about.
I kept looking at the ceiling, and she told me to get all the stubbornness out of my head. I said that it had been one, two, three months, and I didn't want to talk about the locket anymore. I was done talking about it. I didn't understand why they couldn't take no for an answer.
After all my parents had done for me! They had given me everything! If I asked for money—which I don't—they would send it to me! And this is how I repay them!
I finally lost my cool since she had. "So all of the other things I've done don't mean anything!" I said. "The one time I say no, you can't handle it!"
Then she went off on me for, like, a solid minute in Gujarati, and I didn't catch all of it, but a lot of it was repeating the bits about how much my parents had done for me and how I should just be obedient and respectful of my elders and not have all these independent thoughts. But the very last thing she said, unless I misheard or mistranslated, was something to the extent of "God will show you the error of your ways, mark my words." And then she left and closed the door behind her.
I don't know what came over me, but I began yelling to the empty room. "I'll just fucking die then!" I cried. "Will that make you happy? I'll fucking kill myself tomorrow!" What was I, fifteen? "That will be my fucking punishment! For refusing to wear a fucking locket!"
Then I engaged in stress therapy through killing lots of people and dying a lot. And in bed, just to be dramatic, I thought about telling my parents that I was sick and tired of the fact that they were never proud of or happy for me and they should just get used to the fact that I was a failure and a disappointment and I would never amount to anything and I was not special, and I cried myself to sleep.