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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 10, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 10, 2016



Looking at the half burnt cigarette, I could hear a familiar voice in my head once more – it was her voice scolding me for a cigarette. As I took a long drag and closed my eyes, the present crumbled and the past peeked through.
Sherya Patil. What can I tell you about her? We had known each other for years. It had all started innocuously enough with us being stuck for two hours before the next class. We both were late for first lecture, so we both were stuck with each other for two hours. My first impression of her was that she was just another snooty brat. But I was wrong. By time, I understood how wrong I was. I ended up spending the most beautiful 2 hours of my life. The truth was, we both were naughty as mice with a wicked sense of humor. That made us close.
After that, we started meeting on daily basis. Being assigned as each other’s lab partners would prove to be the ice-breaker—we realized how alike we were. But there was something between us. We liked each other’s company. We started talking on the phone late night. That strengthened our friendship.
As the years passed by and life threw various hurdles our ways, we learnt to watch out for each other. I could count on her as my 3 a.m. wake-up call to study during our exams just as she could count on me to stand up for her if anyone badmouthed her. Bunking classes, going for movies, writing assignments, going for long walks, dinners – this was our life. We were each other’s comfort zones—a place where we could be the people we once were without being judged.
I couldn’t live without her. Was I in love? When did I fall in love? I don’t know. It’s hard to define the exact moment, really. Sometimes, you just realize that the person you’ve been walking beside all these years suddenly looks different—everything starts happening in slow motion like Bollywood movies. You find yourself missing her smile, her voice—even if you have just spent the day with her. You start imagining a life with her – the big house, two children and the pet dog, the holiday trips where you actually live the dream that travel brochures paint for everyone….and the stolen kisses that would still promise a lifetime of love and trust. You see yourselves growing old together. And it feels just right.
I guess that’s how it was with me too. One day, I woke up and realized that the girl I was looking for was right beside me the whole time. She was more amazing than the girl of my dreams.
After our final exams, we separated our ways for holidays. We were in touch via the phone sporadically over the month, but it just wasn’t the same.
After break we got our result. As luck would have it, we both ended up clearing our exams and my dad managed us to give a job in his company. As part of the celebrations, we decided to have a day out together, just me and her…and a heart dying to reveal itself.
During the holiday break I bought a ring for her. It held no sparkling diamonds or rubies. To anyone else, it was probably the ordinary ring to buy. But for me, it represented a year of my hostel allowance saved—on account of skipped meals and taking Xerox copies rather than buying the original texts. More importantly, it represented feelings I’d held in my heart for too long.
“What a great day! Seriously,Rihan you planned all this?”
I looked up. She looked beautiful. I know it’s a silly thing to say, but after a long day sitting there at the ideal spot below the air conditioner at coffee house, furiously attacking the ice cubes in her cold coffee with gusto, she just looked beautiful.
She arched her eyebrows, reminding me that I had not yet responded.
“Yes, Shreya. I am here.” The ring in my pocket weighed a ton….as did my heart. Everything had gone great up until now. The movie had been sufficiently romantic. Lunch had been skipped to devote more time to the usual post-movie shopping ritual. And finally we came to our own personal ancestral home—the familiar coffee shop.
“Shreya?” I ventured.
“I need to tell you something serious.”
She looked puzzled for a moment.
I noticed nervousness in her looks.
“Ok then”
I took a long breath and pondered my words carefully. “This last month after the exams, being at home, away from….well, it made me realize something. Okay. You know Shreya, sometimes it’s so difficult to say these things to the people who matter the most. Have you ever had this know…you spend some time with a person and then suddenly, one morning, everything is different? Suddenly….you want to be with that person more and more. Have you ever had this kind of feeling? ”
She didn’t say anything and my heart started beating wildly within.
“This past month changed something for me, Shreya. The feeling was probably there for a while, but I guess I just didn’t want to think about it while we were still students. In fact, I’ve wanted to tell you ever since we came back. I guess I just wanted to tell you in person.”
I held her hand on the table. They were soft, cold and tiny. In all these years, being right beside each other, the truth was, we had never even held hands.
“What is it?” she said.
“Shreya, I’m in love with you. Will you be my forever?” I said and withdrew my hands from hers and reached into my pockets. I took out the little box and placed it in front of her on the table.
She didn’t look surprised. As I watched her, I realized how true the saying was: the eyes really did reveal what the heart wants to say. As I saw it in her eyes, I knew this was what it had all been about. From the first two hours we spent together, then bunking classes, late night calls – we are now to this one moment—when we realized how incomplete we were without each other.
I could see her eyes grow moist. She turned her palms over, held my hands and squeezed them tightly.
“Oh, I don’t know what to say…This is amazing. I love you.” Her voice broke.
I saw the tear drop rolling down on her cheek. “Gosh. Look at us. People are staring at us. And this ring? These guys in café must be expecting us to hug and kiss now!”
I just smiled. She giggled.
Then I said, “Come on. Let’s pay the bill and get out of here and let’s go for a ride”
Picking up our shopping bags, we left the coffee shop and jumped into the car; two hearts in love and completely lost into each other. Suddenly I saw the bright light coming close to us and a loud horn honking brought me to my senses. I slammed on the breaks and turned the wheel furiously but it was too late and after that it was all blur and I couldn’t remember a thing after that. 
“Sir, Shreya is calling you.” someone tapped on my shoulder and brought me back into the present.
Twenty years have passed since that day. After taking the last puff of a cigarette I threw it and went back inside.
“Hey..Where have you been? I was waiting for you…Oh so sorry….. I forgot your name.” Shreya said with a smile on her face.
“Rihan. I am here to tell you a story again.”
“Ahh.. that love story .. but you never tell me what happens after that accident?”
Seeing her there lying on bed having no idea who am I, it kills me. It kills me inside. But then the ring on her finger gives me the hope that one day she would remember everything. She doesn’t even remember my name and yet, I still find solace in her smile. I am ok to be her story teller as long as it means spending time with her.
“Are you going to tell me that story or not?” she asked.
“ahh yeah.. so there was a guy named Rihan who fell in love with this beautiful girl named Shreya and it’s their story”

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