I’m usually the pretty cynical types,looking for proof even when the evidence is right in front of me. Hell, I’d demand proof if God asked me to do Him a favor . But this is one of those instances where I am actually optimistic about this entire love business . The cynical compartment of the train that is mine is left behind at the station that is hope .It is my perception that love is overrated and glorified way too much , maybe because of things that I have seen around me . But still , maybe only a tiny bit , there is hope . Hope of a future, however distant it may be , that I will be a happy man . That is all we crave for anyways right , happiness , pure and simple ?
So , the first time i saw her wasn’t exactly what you would called cinematic perfection of sorts . No magical feelings bubbling at the bottom of the stomach , no romantic music playing in the background . Totally normal setting .
She was giggling on one of those feminine jokes with her girl gang, y’know , one of those jokes which aren’t actually funny but you laugh along just to get along with the social convention. Not exactly a good time to say hello . She wasn’t one of those real hot chicks with the short skirts and tons of arrogance to throw around , more of the cute girl next door with the nice smile . More like the woman with whom you could have a rational conversation with, someone who would talk nice to you , with that beauty of a smile never disappearing off of her high cheekbones .I guess it was the calm and composed demeanor that drew me towards her . But being the shy guy that I was ,it never even crossed my mind that I should go and introduce myself , heck , maybe even hit on her . As it always happens in most of these stories , by a strange quirk of fate , we were made to sit next to each other in class .
There is a story about snake venom. A child is given snake venom in extremely small doses since he is a child . Then a snake bites him when he is in his teens . Nothing happens to him . The point I would like to convey here is that ….familiarity.You give me two months with Justin Beiber , and I might be able to tolerate him (her? ,it ?) . Fast forward a few years , and there wasn’t a day that went by before she made me break into a wide stupid smile with that infectious enthusiasm of hers.I loved her presence , just the fact that she was present in class made my day. And when she didn’t turn up for class , I used to sit around with darting eyes , expecting her to pop up into the class , her black eyes wide with excitement , braided hair swaying with the wind .
I always considered her as a friend , never crossed my mind to consider her as something more.I used to hate myself for thoughts like these crossing my mind. I used to think through it logically , listing all the dung I could fall into if the relationship we had went South . But as time progressed , so did the amount time we spent together . Which was an awful lot . I began to look at her as something more than a friend . I knew it was wrong , she was my best friend and its for the best that it should remain that way , but you cannot control biology now , can you ? .
We used to laugh at all our silly jokes and even the smallest of incidents used to punctuate those giggles. I loved that smile . A genuine one . I liked the way it used to light up when she saw me . I liked the way her birthmark on her forehead used to bob above a few inches whenever she gave me a toothy grin . I liked the way her waist long braided hair swayed hypnotically when she sashayed away . I liked the sweet manner in which she used to reprimand me for even the tiniest mistake I made. I liked the petite wrists , and the black thread she wore around it for luck. I liked the fact that she was ten inches shorter than me . I liked the way she had to jump really high to give me a smack on the cheek . I liked ….her .
Nevertheless , on those rare occasions when I felt really lonely and alcohol took control of me , I used to wonder , “did she think of me as something more than a friend ? Was I someone she wouldn’t mind going out with ? ” . But as maybe years of experience can tell you , alcohol never gives you the answers , it only makes you forget the questions .
One cold December night , we were all alone at her place. I made a cup of coffee and some grilled bread to go along with it for both of us . Some old Hindi number was blaring softly in the distance .Staring at the distance while she babbled on about random things – how her lipstick was too runny , how her internet was slow and how beautiful Neal Caffries was . I wasn’t even listening to what she meant by what she said , I just wanted her to go on and on and never stop talking.I could just go on listening to that voice , a bass overtone , but the essential high pitched feminine portion of it still intact , giving her a husky tone that I was in love with . It didn’t seem like the appropriate thing to ask , nor the place . But I thought , no time like the present brother , ask her . I could tell you how romantic I was the first time I asked her out , those cheesy lines that American sitcom actors are so known for , but I said it out in simple words ” Hey , you want to go out with me ? ” .
She looked at me with those dark eyes , staring right into me , asking me thousands of questions without uttering a single word .I felt powerless , naked when she had that gaze on me . Almost like we had a connection that wasn’t exactly human , almost psychic . I knew her heart was fragile , she had been in love before . The guy didn’t like her , for reasons that fail to make sense even today . I had been to her place countless times during those days , consoling her and telling her that things would be okay . That she would find a better guy , a guy that would be understand her side of the argument and not dump her only because she refused to get physical so early . A guy that would love her for what she was , not the size of her bra or the length of her skirt .
She leaned her head onto my shoulder , gazing into nothingness . One word was all she said , one word was all I needed for the endorphin to flow . Yes , she said simply . No promises extracted that I would guarantee not to get physical , no knee jerk reaction , just a simple word . Yes . That evening , we had our coffee , shared that toast and spent the rest of the evening staring into the distant misty hills , not saying a word , perfectly content in each other’s company . We didn’t need to do anything to prove our trust to each other , I knew her well enough to know what was the first thing she did when she woke up on a Sunday morning .
Thank you for being there for me , she said . All I wanted to do was never to let that woman leave me , for with her , there was happiness . Not the kind that the airhead models on the television showcase , but happiness , clear and simple . I was not the example of emotional stability either , yes , there were issues in my life that I was not entirely happy about . But with her , all those I used to forget . With her in my life , all the negativity that was so prevalent in my life used to be forgotten , only used to look at the future with a sense of optimism that used to shock even me .
I left the next morning , and she gave me a warm hug to bade me goodbye . Although that was the usual routine whenever we bade goodbye , that particular time , it felt deliciously good for some reason .A few days later , she called me , asking me if I had thought about the date that I asked her for . No , I hadn’t . I only knew I wanted to be with her , but I knew I had to still woo her . That was how the process worked , right ? I was , and still am pretty clueless at that . But because having a calm demeanor was something of a natural talent , I calmly expressed my optimism . Then take me out , lets meet up , she said . Now i was getting panicky . Neither did I have a place in mind nor did i have an idea of what the perfect date would be like . I said I would pick her up in half an hour , but that laugh she gave at the end made me hurry .
I’m no good at fashion . My sense of fashion is decided by the “smell test” – smell a piece of clothing lying around . If it smells okay , wear it . If it does not , spray deodorant on it and wear it anyways . A face wash and some calming down later , I was on her front door at 4 in the evening , ready to whisk her away to nothingness on my bike . She was dressed pretty casually , nothing too gaudy or shiny to indicate that this was a date .Just a pair of ancient faded blue jeans and a white shirt with a slightly radical neckline. She gave me that smile of hers when she was about to sit behind me , and I melted away faster than ice cream in the microwave .
She held me tight while I drove the bike , and made involuntary chills run down my spine (okay , maybe that was December responsible for the chills) . I went towards the coast , I had a place in mind that she would love . The shoreline , with a glorious view of the sunset . I knew she loved nature , that was one of the reasons why I loved her , nothing artificial , grounded and real . I stopped the bike at the place , and helped her get down . I shouldn’t have bothered , she was way too independent to let someone else help her . I got down , and we walked towards the shore , her hand in mine . We didn’t talk , the natural ambiance did all the talking . And why talk , when we knew we were happy in each other’s presence ? . We sat down on the cool sand , with only the sound of the waves for company . Silence , as we gazed into the deep waters that lay ahead of us .
They say that we are a superior race because we can communicate with our mouths . But on that evening , our eyes did all the talking . She asked me , what took you so long so come out ? I’ve loved you since a long time . I didn’t respond , just gave her a warm kiss on the forehead . She persisted , you’re the only person who knows me , and i hope , loves me with all my flaws . I knew I aint perfect , hell , maybe that is why the others I dated didn’t find me attractive . Shush , I told her . You’re perfect in my eyes . Don’t change . Just hold my hand .
The sun was a dimming orange ball of fire going down , and the moon was just making its presence known . I didn’t say a lot of words , just three of them strung together . I love you , I said . She gave me her trademark heart breaking smile again , her eyes full of promise and gratitude . Thank you , I love you too , she wanted to say I guess . But we were people who didn’t say a lot . I leaned in , one hand behind her head , and gazed into her eyes , full of promise and hope for the future . A future where we would laugh , smile and stay happy , and even if we did fight , kiss and make up before cuddling together . With the orange sun for company and the rustling of the waves , she turned her head towards me . With one petite hand softly placed on my neck, she brought her lips dangerously close to mine.Her warm breath intoxicating like the wild poppies in the tropics . Sh leaned in , and our lips met for the first time . There it was , my first love and I , happy , alone and in joy to be in each others company . Happy .
Title credit : @ladyraara . Thank you 🙂