When we were little and innocent we used to walk hand in hand, yet the nosy Bengali people wouldn't stare. They would smile and we would smile to each other, and start fighting when you pulled my pig tail or I pinched you unexpectedly. We used to play hide and seek,and I would always follow you, hide with you in the darkness, sit close to you- feel your warm breath. Did we know what love was?
Once there was this guy mocking me and you looked so angry. You asked me to walk away with you, but I stood there, trying to look strong and smart. He hurled at me, " Who's ever going to marry you?" and you answered within a flying second, " I will." I looked into your eyes and there were flames of anger leaping in your eyes, or was it an undefined passion? I didn't know.
We didn't meet for two years. I came to Bangalore because my dad was transferred and your parents sent you to Hyderabad to study. When I saw you after two years I couldn't keep my eyes off you! You had changed so much - physically! Your hair, your build, and the way you walked, you talked.. everything looked so different and charming! 7th std was when I had started crushing on you..
I dont know why, but I felt really shy to talk to you. I used to avoid you, quickly walk away when I spotted you and act silly around you, but I always prayed you never realize. Once I was sitting alone in the park and you came up and sat next to me. It was weird to feel like this when you were just sitting beside me- inches away from me, when we had slapped each other, physically fought rolling over each other and hugged each other tightly a few years back.
There was a power cut- its very common in Calcutta in the summer days, and there was pitch darkness all around with the delighted screams of the children. The stars were twinkling above, bright and blessed. You asked me if I would walk with you. I asked you sheepishly, " in the dark? " We walked and my thoughts grew with every step I took beside you. How did you change so much? Did everything change forever? Why did we have to grow? Do you like someone? Are we never gonna do the things we had before, again? I didn't know the answers to any of those.
You had taken my number. When I came back to Bangalore, I used to wait for your calls. I felt you would call me, how would I know that you're ex best friend wouldn't matter to you at all when you have so many girls who love your company, and you can derive much more than plain friendship with them? You never called. I wondered why you even took my number in that case. Was I just another girl to you now? i felt it was better to feel nothing than feel pain. I decided to not exchange a word with you the next time we meet.
And that's what I did. I used to feel your eyes following me when I ignored you out of everyone and spoke to everyone around you, except for you. I used to watch you flirting with two other girls, and I used to boil with jealousy. How could you abandon me like that? How can you forget how close we were, how inseparable and similar we were? How we understood each other even without words, how we shared solace and comfort in each others presence? But now, all you seemed to want was the attention and smiles of girls with slim waists, and a " hot" body!
I met you on the elevator while going downstairs one evening. We didn't speak. When I went home, I cried. I didn't come down to play or chit chat with the rest of my friends for three more days. The next time I come to Kolkata, he would want me, I told myself. But he wouldn't get me! Self consolation helped me a bit, and even though I seemed not to exist in his world, my day dreams used to offer me some unexplainable strength.
It was magic the next summer I saw you. I dont know how that had happened. You had starting taking drugs along with the packs of tobacco you consumed everyday. Your diluted eyes had the tenderness of being unloved and misunderstood, your confident gait was now marked by disappointment in life. The first time we spoke after almost two years, you were sitting on a bench inhaling solvents. Your speech was slurred, and you looked dreamily into my eyes.
My heart broke everytime I saw you like that. It hurt me to think I could do nothing but watch you drown in your sorrow. Your best friend, a Korean guy liked me. One evening, we were sitting together- you, me and your korean friend and talking just like we always did. I had returned from the swimming pool after a lousy swim, and my wet hair was flying in the Kal Baisakhi breeze. I sensed something wrong was going to happen. Your eyes were downcast filled with mounds of unspoken pain. I wondered what had broken you down in a year, who had hurt you so much, and I felt angry on the inside.Blood was angrily rushing through my veins.
Your Korean friend, lets call him "TE" was busy throwing numerous compliments to me which astonished me.We went to TE's place for the band practice. There was a lot of booze and drugs in his apartments. He lived alone with his darling drum set and " hawth" girls who frequently visited him in his apartments. Generally, you and me would always walk out of his apartment together, but this time you left me alone. You said you have tutions and you didn't wait for me despite all my requests. I had never realized till then how much I trusted you, how much I depended on you and how completely safe and secure I felt when you were around me!
Your friend asked me out that day. I trembled and shivered and did not know how to escape the situation. I came out of his apartment after an hour, still shivering and feeling used and guilty. I went home and called you. I couldn't tell you everything because my mom was around. You kept asking me repeatedly, with nervousness if he's hurt me. I told you that he didn't. I couldn't sleep the whole night because you were calling on the intercom to know if i was fine and my mom made a scene and broke the phone and horrid nightmares invaded my mind and sleep for the rest of the night.
When we met the next evening, you were so concerned about me. I could see it in your eyes. Eyes are very brutal in revealing the truth, and the way you looked at me gave me the feeling of being loved, the feeling I'd never felt just by simply staring into someone's eyes before. Your eyes twinkled when you looked at me, and I felt that it sparkled only for me and noone else. I felt like I had started loving you, did you ever feel like you were in love?
When the boys were talking to each other, dressed in their baggy shorts and sleeveless tees, I could feel your eyes looking at me. Of course, I pretended to not notice. When they hobbled along kicking the ball and cheering as the wind danced around us, you sat with me. Only you and me, and we didn't speak . But this silence did not make me cry. It made me feel that we'd bonded once again, the connection was still alive, and even in the numb silence I could feel your emotions gnawing through my skin and speaking to my heart. No, I didn't tell you that I loved you, because I thought you already knew..
I was somehow lucky to not wait for a whole year to meet you again. We had decided to spend the Christmas in Kolkata. I had confessed to my little nine year old brother about how I like you, and innocent that he is, he went and told you all about it, exaggerating even more to make me more uncomfortable. Then it all started. The phone calls, the messages, the flirting, and everything else that generally comes with the package. We even managed to make some terrific unforgettable memories!
One evening when my parents were away, you decided to pay me a visit. Nervously I chewed on my addicting polo and turned on the volume of the television high just to sound busy when you ring the bell. My hands were sweating, because I knew as a matter of fact, that you would finally express your feelings for me. I knew you were shy and scared of relationships, just as I was. But I also knew that you trusted me more than any other girl in this planet.
We sat on the bed, my heart pounding with excitement as your eyes bore into mine and I got lost in them. I still remember the blue jacket that you wore over the white tee.
" Your hands are so thin now," you said, looking serious like an examiner.
" When did you ever look at my hands before? " I giggled.
" Arre.. you were so fat na before," and you clicked your tongue guiltily. " Fat maane, plump. You used to look cute that time, with those two pig tails , " you giggled. I giggled along.
We seemed to absorb some silence again.
" I had a major crush on you, you know? " you said, looking up at me. I saw the honesty in your eyes.
" Really? But YoU were the one who hooked me up with your best friend !! " I screamed. He was used to my fits. Any other guy would have been shaken a bit out of their place, but you remained calm.
" You guys had the same tastes in music. You like all those metal bands, and you used to talk about all that. I thought you like him!, " he said casually, but disappointment strained his voice.
" I liked you all the time. " I said softly. He came closer, to take a closer look at me. " I like you from eighth standard, " I practically whispered.
Unfortunately, God has made my life extremely entertaining, that it stupifies myself! I wonder if He has scripted such a creative, and happening drama only for my life or everyone else's. Anyways, to break the ice, the bell rang. It was 11 PM. No, it was not my fault. My parents said they would come back after midnight!
To make this infinitely long story a little shorter, I suggested you to hide in the toilet, while I kept visiting it by giving the excuse of having loose motions to my parents. When fear was knocking on my rib cage, my heart loudly thumping, I asked you to climb down the pipes to your floor. We used to try that when we were young, but we always tried climbing up, never climbing down. I hugged you tight before I opened the window, and we felt each others warm comforting touch after five long years. The moment was so magical and uplifting that I wished it always remained still, but panic was gripping me .
You said you cant climb down from the 8th floor of my apartments to yours on the 5th because the view looked scary, but you did remain outside in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes- only your hind resting on the railings that were an extension to the toilet, a mere architectural design in basicality. When I opened the window to let you in, I was praying that you dont slip, because then .. I rather not say it. Your hands were numb and icy cold and I realized how much you loved me and to what extent you could go to protect me. That night I felt I finally found my soul mate- the love of my life.The night brought happy dreams of us after the frightful event.
We drank from goblets of precious everlasting love for the one week that I stayed there. But, yes, a but again! I was wrong, it probably wasn't everlasting. You broke up with me within three weeks and I found out you were in a relationship with someone for the past seven months. It must be hard to believe, but forgiving you was easier than even what I'd expected. Was it because I was loving you unconditionally? I dont know, but I knew with all my heart that you loved me, whoever you were with, and you would for the rest of your life, just as I would!
So even though I didn't speak to you for two months because I'd promised to stay out of your life in my insane anger, I cried myself to sleep thinking about you, and dreamt about you every single night. Inspite of all the faults in you, I felt were you were so perfect for me. You always understood me, protected me, made me feel secure and made me smile. Every moment spent with you would count as something I'd want to cherish forever.
Your love for children and animals, your respect for elders, your deep husky voice, your philosophical thoughts and views which very few are aware of, your firing wild imagination and creativity, your intellect and personality, your immaturity and adorable side of your character drew me more and more towards you. I basked in heaven just by thinking about you, how your eyes shone when you looked at me, how perfectly our hands clasped one anothers in the heavenly bond of love.
I knew I couldn't stay without you, but when you called me up one night past 1 AM, I realized that you were having a hard time without me too. Did you know you were in love? I didn't. I wanted to shove it aside thinking that I'm simply attracted to you, which was probably stronger because of the lovely unforgettable times we had in our childhood. Not once did it strike me that it really was love, even though we frequently expressed our love for each other.
Then when did I realize that I really love you?
About two months back.
December 7th, 2009 was the last time we spoke. You were high again, and I tried supporting you to the best of my ability, and it only resulted in tears being shed from my side. You have no idea how much it hurts when I hear you like that , your words incoherent and mixing with the others, along with the huffing noise I can hear of you inhaling the drug. I'd begged you so many times with tears draining from my eyes, as I frantically pleaded you to stop. You always promised me that you would, but by the next hour, you would forget it all.
This 7th of December was very similar to those episodes, but different enough to make me write this which I had never done for the past years. It was the first time I lost my temper with you, and the first time you hung up on me. With the sinful ego that I have, I waited for you to call me for weeks and I didn't want to give in and call you myself. After a few weeks, I receive a message from ex girlfriend, the one you had two timed me with ,(and dumped because you realized you love me? - at least that's what you told me) asking if I know anything about your whereabouts!
That's when I broke down. That's when I started counting days, and giving you endless missed calls, sending numerous messages each day, and emails trying to tell you how sorry I was for the fight, for mis understanding and giving up on you. On December 31st, I gave you the most number of missed calls. I thought you would be allowed to go home from the rehab for celebrating the new years eve, but I guess there are no holidays in rehabs, just like there are no cell phones, TV, telephones and computers there.
One month passed by. I started remembering how anxious I had grown the last time you had gone to the rehab. As usual you didn't tell me in advance because you thought it would hurt me, but you had returned within a week. I thought this time, it would probably take a month. But it took more. Another month passed by. I started growing impatient and frustrated. I knew you needed help, and I knew it was very fortunate of you to get treated, but I wanted you, I needed you so badly. I always thought I gave you hope and strength, I wonder how I failed to see how much of strength and courage you gave me.
My friend told me that rehab terms are generally for three months, six or one whole year. I waited for another month to pass by, expecting to hear your voice, to share my thoughts with you, to tell you those things I can never tell anyone else, to hear you crack your silly jokes, hear you strum your guitar and sing for me, and to hear you say that you love me, you need me, and you want to live your life with me... But no, March 7th, I called you without any success. I was hoping to talk to you before my Boards, but ..
You had told me once, " Remember how I was shit scared for Computer exams and I called you up? I'll call you up before every exam so that you dont get scared. "
" I'll fail in every subject then!" I had laughed.
" No," you said in that cute adamant tone, " Why will you? If you have doubts, I can help you also na! I wont let anything bad happen to you, I love you the most!"
Sometimes you asked me if I believed you when you say that you love me. I never replied to your question, but I did believe you. Now I wish I could answer you, hear you. I always find silence very uncomfortable when I'm present with others, but with you, silence was so precious and beautiful. We used to paint a picture of our hidden thoughts and secrets and transform it into silence, which only we could understand and translate, because it touched us so deep. Its you who has taught me that silence is a language of its own in love..
This might sound strange and I never told you this, but I believed that I'm connected to you telepathically. Everytime I thought about you, you called me or sent me a message at least. I used it to my advantage to start getting you to call me, and not waste my balance. Once I was lying down on my bed, my phone beside my pillow as always, as I imagined your face before mine and muttered your name repeatedly. Sleep overtook me for a few minutes, and my sleepy eyes awakened to the sound of ringing of my phone. The screen of my phone lighted up with your name, and you usually didn't call me two days in a row because of the STD costs. But that day, you did.
But now, even though I think of you day and night, even though I cant sleep at all at nights and lay awake staring at the ceilings with memories of us projected on the roof, you never call. I dream of our future, our love blooming into something the world has never known, and I imagine your voice in my head, your face before my eyes, the way you looked at me, smiled at me, held me.. but I dont hear, see, feel any of it for real. It turns me depressed. I feel like I'm distorting reality, and I'm scared if it starts producing negative side effects on me!
I dream of you so often now. I dreamed of holding your hands once, and that is a dream I'd remember throughout my life time. I dont remember touching objects or people in my dreams before, and that touch, your touch felt mystical. I nearly shook with ecastacy when I touched your hand and there was a chill down by spine because it felt so unrealistically startling. Maybe it was just an expression of the thoughts bolted up within my head, or maybe it was God's way of telling me that you're special to me. Dreams of you still provide me with some comfort, it seems real for the few minutes and I wake up in the morning feeling I'd been with you for a few minutes at least.
For these past two months, I reminiscent how our 4th grade friendship had turned to attraction, and then to love. I dont know when it turned to love. It didn't come knocking on my door, it merely slipped in like a tip toeing thief and now, I'm imprisoned in this world of love. I dont know how to get out of it, but frankly, I dont even want to. I know I had hated love at one point of time which had my scarred my being, but I was hasty to term those relationships as love! They were infatuations, attraction, lust, but definitely not.. love ! Love is eternal , love is mystical, love is God's miracle!
I want to be in your arms forever, listening to your voice telling me stories, your wonderful thoughts and ideas. I want to rest on your chest and hear you breathe, feel your moist breath on my neck. I want to hold your stubby brown hands and kiss your fingers. I want to cuddle you before I sleep and tell you how much you mean to me. I want to look at your eyes - the stars studded in the charcoal black night sky, I want to see you smile which mechanically makes me smile and my heart flutter. I want to be alive with you, because otherwise life seems so hollow and empty. I want to live with you, in your charming presence forever!
My clock shows 5:38 AM now. I'm residing in your thoughts with drops of tears on my eye lashes. I wonder if you're missing me too, if you can sleep tight every night without hearing my voice. If you miss me at all. Four months without any word from you to me. It's been driving me insane. I want you desperately, I need you !! But I also want you to get better, to get well, to live in a world of reality by facing it and not running away from it, to overcome and defend the challenges of life with bravery and courage, to seek truth and success instead of drowning in timeless pleasure.
But you had told me once , " You say the same things as my therapist."
I replied, satisfied, " that's because I'll be a psychologist in a few years. "
" You're better than my therapist actually. I listen to you more than her," he said cutely.
" Like? " I asked, smile escaping my lips.
" You told me not to do that thing no? I haven't done it in months!"
" Really? I love you now!, " I said, excitement bubbling in my voice.
" Accha, so only now you love me? If I do it, you wont?"
" Baby.. I'll always love you no matter what! But I dont want you to do stupid things okay? That's why I'll love you more if you stop doin all these shit!! "
" You really love me na? " It wasn't a question. It was a thoughtful statement.. is that what people call rhetorical?
We stayed silent again, communicating through silence, as I thought to myself how truly, madly, deeply I love him, and felt my inaudible voice being heard by you, as you breathed deeply with satisfaction.
I'd be going to Kolkata in another three days. Kolkata summers were always about just you and me!
Will that change now? Will I see you even for a single day?
Will they let me meet you in the rehab? Will you still look at me the same way?
Will you still hold my hand and tell me that you love me? Is anything gonna change?
I know you'd said that you'll love me forever.. but what if we're estranged?
Just three more days. And I'll be in Kolkata..
But this summer.. you, me.. I dont know- what if it changes?
The night sky is unwrapping its dark veil of mystery, dawn is breaking through. The colors of life , a deep passionate red and joyful yellow are blending with a light blue . The birds are chirping excitedly, you can hear them flapping their wings noisily and preparing for a new day . But to me, its all the same. Another day without you. Another day of living in your dreams and memories, being alive just with the hope of hearing your voice which will ultimately free me from this mad rush of depression.
As I look out of my window, I think to myself what you are wearing, where you are sleeping, and what you're dreaming of . Do you dream of me just as often as I do? Do you wish to see me, hear my voice which you said was the sweetest you have ever heard ?
And then i ask myself, sadly, when did you know we were in love ?