And a time called soon.
This story is part fiction and part reality. Born out of boredom, a whirlpool of my thoughts and experiences intervened with imagination for convenience and sake of privacy. Any resemblance to people or events is quite possible, and I don’t really care.
Good job I would say. Especially when it was done on the eve of an examination for which zero preparation has taken place and the only thing that keeps me awake is smoking. I hope someone reads this. Thanks to any who does.
My sincere thanks go to the MG University for creating the right environment for developing my writing skills. To the Photostat shop who helped me in printing out this document. For the people who inspired me into writing this. To bombs for helping me with this endeavour. And to God for not existing.
Let me tell you a story. Like every story worth telling, this is about a girl. And a boy who meets her. But they don’t blindly fall in love head over heels in this one. That’s clichéd. That’s so the movies. No. This one is different. This is not a love story. This is something else. It’s just a story, about a guy, who met a girl, went to a place and so on. What happened to them then? I will tell you. Soon.
It all started in a monsoon season. But owing to global warming, it was not raining. The guy, let’s call him, well, the guy, was a stranger to the city. It was a new beginning for him, a chance to start over new. Lost in a world that was bizarrely intimidating and dull at the same time, he was cursing every minute for the decision he had made to come to this place, which we will call “the school”. He didn’t want to make new acquaintances. He didn’t want to blend in. He just wanted to go back to familiarity. This baffled him, because he was the one to ram into any group of people and stake claim to acceptance. Nevertheless it wasn’t to be so here. Not yet.
His haphazard attempts failing, he continued to be a spectator of a life where everyone was having a ball, everyone knew everyone else and no one knew about his existence. It was like sitting through a trigonometry class full of math geeks where you are the only one who is going insane and think this is injustice. Ah! The pains of growing up as a student of math. He stayed in the hostel with other familiar strangers, sharing the room with a rather nice fellow, whom we will call “roomie”. Slowly like everyone else he started hanging out with a group of people who became his friends by the mere coincidence of seating arrangements. The group, bunch of friends, were unlike him in thought and action, but he settled for it. Changes would happen. Soon.
One of those days, he walked into the school cafeteria, to make up for a missed breakfast caused by a late waking up in turn caused by a late night of mindless internet browsing. He saw his bunch of friends going about greeting other people and sharing laughs. He stood there in the middle of the cafeteria, drowned in his uneasiness of not belonging there, looking around for anything that might keep his mind occupied. There, across the table, he saw her. A pretty sight made up of a cute face, a disarming smile and very feminine features. His mind searched for a suitable adjective, for future reference. Cute? More than that. Pretty? Not enough. Angel? A little too much. Finally he settled for sexy, because in the end, you don’t have to worry about being politically correct inside your mind. No one is going to sue you for disrespectful behaviour for your dirty thoughts and wild fantasies.
She was talking to some guy (not our guy) while scanning the crowd, probably looking for something more interesting. She saw him. For reasons unknown to mankind, she smiled at him, with her eyes blinking, like she was telling him that she was looking for him. The moment passed and she continued her 180 degree environment scan, smiling at others, mouthing hi hellos and finally settled for the person she was standing with. He was happy that day. Later that evening he went drinking, with his bunch of friends and roomie and the familiar strangers of hostel and told them about the girl he saw. Things changed from that day onwards. A new purpose filled him as he moved around talking, making friends, cracking jokes and being noticed. It is safe to say that he was sort of popular, in no time at all.
Then on a day of spring, while it was raining (global warming again), the guy walked into the auditorium actively scanning for an ideal place to sit, which by definition is in the midst of girls. He saw her again, and as luck would have it, sitting with one of his friends, with a seat right behind her vacant. He could almost read a ‘reserved for’ sign with his name hanging on that chair. He sat down like it was normal, greeting those around him. He spoke to her that day. He made her laugh that day. He liked her even more that day.
Like every guy true to his heart will tell you, friends from the other gender increases your self respect and social acceptance among other fellow guys. The guy soon had his gang of friends, dominated in numbers by females, notorious for their irreverence and lively for a dull school. Days passed, months passed and eventually a year passed. Days of ups and downs, glory and shame, victories and failures, love and heartbreaks, drunkenness and sobriety. He earned his fame with great friends. On the other hand, the girl was always popular. She had famous and in demand written on all about her. Influenced by the presence of other attractive girls, and lack of attention from the girl, he started forgetting about her. Or rather, not actively thinking about her. But somewhere inside him, in the dark corridors of fantasies and day dreams, she poked her head now and then, pleasantly reminding him of that smile in the cafeteria. But first impressions not withstanding, he thought of her as a spoilt rich kid with an attitude of a snob to go along. She was rich, she seemed to have very cool friends and she was always the well dressed and well to do kind. They kept their distances with each other, nothing more than acquaintances. His attempts at flirting with her never really took off. They shared a good vibe, but remained friends who hang out but don’t know anything about each other.
After summer break, school was back to being dull. Too many things changed. Too many friends committed, busy with other things, everyone by now used to being away from each other. Classes became much more than just boring. On one such day the guy walked into the class, a few minutes late and instantly spotted the girl and a vacant spot next to hers. For the first time they sat together and spent the three hours of that class talking endlessly, about things ranging from public news to private thoughts. The guy told her about the crush he used to nurse for her. He expected the girl to react like it happens every day with her. But instead the girl was surprised and in a way glad to find out that the guy would like someone like her. Mutual praising followed with promises of to make up lost time, to get to know each other more and have all the fun they missed. At the end of that class for the first time in his life the guy wanted to scream, “once more”, to the faculty.
Lunch dates and outings followed. Birthday gifts and late night phone calls happened. The girl found him to be really sweet. The guy found her to be irresistible. For him, she was the one of the prettiest, sweetest and most interesting girl he had ever met. Shopping was never his hobby, but it soon became his hot favourite. He wanted to impress her. She didn’t have to. They shared the loudest laughs and wildest dreams. After a few weeks he asked her, if she wanted to come with him to a place, which we will call the place, to just hang out and have fun. After a million changes she finally said yes. And they went. The beach, the coffee shop over looking it, the home made cocktails, the vast starry ceiling, the groovy black music and the two of them. It was the best few hours he ever had in his entire life. It was magical. The girl and the guy could never stop talking about it. They couldn’t stop reminiscing and smiling about it. Their conversations on the phone became longer. They just couldn’t get enough of it. They couldn’t resist holding hands, blowing kisses and looking at each other.
They stopped and asked themselves and each other, what’s going on. After much deliberation they accepted that they are not in love. It was a special place that was in between love and friendship. The grey area of uncertainty that brought both the warmth of friendship and the feeling of belonging. Something special, something undefined. Bad? They didn’t know. Good? Definitely.
The guy was in a selfish way overwhelmed with all of these. He couldn’t believe his luck. She was awesome, in the true awe inspiring sense of the word. And she wanted to be around him. She would call him, tell him she misses him, laugh at his jokes, and say he is special. He never expected her to like him, leave alone like him so much. One day she said to him, “I hereby declare you as the best thing that has ever happened to me”. That was the single greatest thing he had ever heard about himself. Anything that made her happy, he took a note of and tried to do it again. Things went on like that for a few weeks, with a plan to visit the place once more. He learned a song to sing for her while holding her hand at the beach, waves caressing their feet. He made plans on what to do, where to go, how to spend each minute of it, in detail. She was excited too. They would go there again. Soon.
One day, in summer, when it was hot and sunny, as it should be, although we can still blame the global warming for it, he came back home from a busy day. He called her up to catch up on things, but she didn’t pick up. Thinking she must have slept off, he let it be. He called her again the next day, no answer. He continued doing it with the same result. He sent messages and mails, all of which were ignored. He went crazy. After a week he met her in school, ready to get angry if she had no reason for such behavior, ready to forgive her if she did have a reason and ready to apologize if the reason was he. She looked a mess, red eyed, stain of tears that ran down her cheeks still visible. He wasn’t ready for that. The next few days were hell for both in different ways. She had lost a friend to a fight, which broke her heart and opened her flood gates. She couldn’t believe he would do something like that and blamed herself for the misery that had befallen on her. He wasn’t sure what he should do. He tried to be around her, comfort her, make her feel better, by talking to her, taking her out and being with her. All of which failed as she went into a shell of self defence to pain. The guy would have done anything to make her happy, but she didn’t want to be happy. “I am not the girl you knew before”, she said. He didn’t know the consequences of this statement then. But he would learn. Soon.
He tried to tell her the friend wasn’t worth it. He tried telling her that she was more valuable than she thought. Her self respect went down the drain. He wished she could see herself through his eyes. Wished she could see how good she was. Every attempt he made to get her out of that self imposed sole imprisonment met with utter failure. Some cold responses began to get him scared whether she would think of him as just some one after her for selfish reasons. He kept his distance because she asked for it. A distance that only got wider with time. His ego got better of him at times, only to give in a little while later. She is in pain; give her the support she wants, your ego is not worth it, he kept telling himself. He was angry at her friend who would, for whatever reason walk away from a girl like her. She was too precious for that. Ironically, the friend who walked away got all her attention. The guy who was with her was practically non-existent. The girl was ready to do anything for that friend, to make him happy and bring him back to her life. The guy was ready to do anything for that girl, to make her happy and bring her back to her cheery self. Only, the guy didn’t know where he went wrong. He hoped things would be normal again. Soon.
As time went on things got better for her, she began to smile genuinely again. Her friend came back to her life, her happiness along with him. But the guy was stuck in the same place. Not knowing what his next step his, unaware of his current position and with no idea of what his role in the picture is. He couldn’t help but think that she had forgotten all about him. Every time he went closer to her, she went farther away. He was turned down again and again for previously cherished meetings. His phone calls were answered with lesser frequency, call backs even lesser than that. Messages were unread or unanswered. Every call, every message he got was answered and checked with a hope it was her. Was he imagining it all up? The guy confronted her and asked her. She denied. She gave umpteen reasons for everything that he thought was going wrong. But it was a tedious loop which kept on repeating for him. The magical time was never mentioned again, the sweet flying kisses and winks never came.
He felt like it was a sweet dream, with a bad ending. Was good while it lasted, maybe too good for it to have lasted any longer. Things could have gotten worse. But then again things could have gotten better. Or remained the same. The guy always wondered; how is that he will make her see, what she means to him. How is that he will let her know that he doesn’t have any other intentions? That he is not in love with her, but he does love her. That she was indeed the best thing that ever happened to him. That he does not want any favours from her. That there is no hidden agenda. That there is no hope of benefit. But that he only wants that place in her heart, for that special friend, which belonged to him, the loss of which keeps bothering and haunting him. Every fucking day. Every fucking hour.
Then one day, of some unknown season, he walked into his mind. He looked around him at a crowd of known strangers and lost friends. Alone in company, drowned in his uneasiness of not belonging there, looking around for anything that might keep his mind occupied. There, across the path he saw her. She was looking around, assured of her bearings, passively observing the sea of people around her. The moment her eyes met his she smiled. The disarming, seductive smile. The moment passed, and with a slight wink of her eyes and a sigh she looked away, at other things to smile at. But the guy would bet on his life, that the smile she had for him was different from all of the others. That the wink meant much more. That the sigh implied something. He couldn’t prove it, not even to her. But was it that easy for her to look away. Didn’t that smile and wink they shared, though only for a short moment mean anything to her? Was the guy so easy to be erased? Sigh! The dream was over; good while it lasted, too good to have lasted any longer. Would things get better? He hoped it would. Soon.