I met him on my first day in school.
I was new to the place, he was not. He knew the place in and out, having lived there most of his life.
I was new to the city, and I had moved from a little hilly town in the north-east to the bustling city of dreams with my own dreams nested safely on top of my teen-heart. Little did I know, the plans that I had for myself was to go off the rocker as life had its own plans for me.
He was the perfect guy in every sense – Funny, Handsome, Respectful, Well-Brought Up, Cultured and really Mischievous. I almost felt an instant connection with him right from the first day. His eyes were a dark shade of brown and the smile that lingered at the corner of his mouth had a really magical thing to it. We became friends almost immediately.
The first year was slow, yet was essential to our friendship. We began talking in between classes, sharing notes, and getting to know each other. I was always the studious types, and while I put all my energies to stay top of class, he was laidback. He was laidback but always managed to get good grades. I was slightly jealous of him though – He had it all, his perfect home, his perfect family and his well-balanced life. Whenever I spoke to him, I would have my A-game on, always trying to match up to his levels.
Little did I know that he was doing the same for me. By the time it was our second year of friendship, we had swapped numbers (landline numbers, in those days) and if one would walk into my room at three in the morning, they would have surely found me with the receiver of the landline stuck to my ears, the wires slightly tangled in my fingers, and the blush on my cheeks radiant even in the dark. And by the time, we had our brand new cell-phones (a luxury for sixteen year olds back then), we were already in a state where we were way too entangled in each other’s lives. We were still in school, and I would leave my cell-phone at home, safely hidden in my drawer. But by the time I returned home, changed out of my school uniform and took my phone out of my drawer, there would already be five to six missed calls.
I fell in love with his impatience.
I fell in love with the fact that he was impatient enough to talk to me, that he ignored his lunch without notice.
I fell in love hard, but didn’t admit.
Our phone conversations were deep, meaningful, flirtatious and silly and way beyond our years. We had a ritual of talking for hours at end before falling asleep. And we both did not realize when this ritual changed into habit, and then into obsession.
Very soon, it became apparent to both of us that these conversations over phone needed something more. And that’s when we started meeting.
We would go out for long walks in the evenings, never knowing where we were going, never realizing where we wanted to go, never caring enough what time it was. We were just consumed in each other’s company. It would drizzle, and I would clutch onto his white windcheater.
I still hadn’t said yes.
This wasn’t my plan for myself, was it? – But despite the way my brain called out to me from time to time, I learnt to mute its noise with the beautiful feeling that was growing in my heart.
One evening, I sat in the neighborhood coffee shop, listening to the splattering of rain against the windows, sipping some hot coffee, as I waited for him. There was no one at his place, and he wanted me to come over.
He asked me to wait in the coffee shop, as he fetched a forlorn rickshaw to take us home on that rainy evening.
I was wearing faded blue jeans, and a black top. I remember it well.
We went to his place – The house was quiet, as if awaiting our arrival. It had started to pour harder.
We went to his room. I had been there earlier, but this time it was different.
Our chemistry was tangible and our breathing was intense. I was so in love.
He had already told me he loved me. He had already promised me his life.
But he was just a boy, wasn’t he? – What are promises of a sixteen-year old boy in front my whole life that was ahead of me?
But there was something in his words, in his intentions and in his promises, that I believed him.
He dropped me home later that evening.
“Bye.” – He said, waving from the rickshaw, as I smiled.
“I am going to call you as soon as I reach home.” – He said, as if talking for the last five hours wasn’t enough.
He wanted more of me, never satisfied, always persistent, and always pursuing.
That rainy night, as I lay in bed, wrapped in old blankets, warped with thoughts of him, I said yes.
I said yes to myself to love him back with as much energy as he loved me with.
I said yes to myself to love his soul, and be a part of his life henceforth.
I said yes to myself to embrace him with all his flaws, to flirt with him for life, to romanticize his antics, to stand with him and to stand by him.
I said yes to his boyish charm, which I so deeply obsess over and his humor, which has the power to knock the biggest melancholies off my heart.
That rainy night, as I lay in bed amidst the soothing noise of wind, and the squeaking sound of my ceiling fan, I said yes the moment I picked up his call.