childhood love

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


dark is loved by dark

Submitted: May 12, 2018

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Submitted: May 12, 2018

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There is something to be said about school romances. The awkwardness, the first flush of youth, the weird eye contacts and the giggles. Love is an extremely persistent thing and manages to somehow grow despite being vehemently stifled in two ponytails, knee length skirts, grey ties and prying teachers.

So in the seventh standard, when the shy pimply boy blurted he loved me, I couldn't help but smile. For months we basked in the sultry glory of being the first and only “couple” in the class. I still laugh when I think about how scandalized our classmates looked when we roamed hand-in-hand. There was also the excitement of having crossed some imaginary “line” , of somehow having become more “ adult” than our classmates.

I wouldn't say I disliked him. Thin and giggly, Aatish was not a bad person to be around. We told each other about our parents and cousins and sometimes about our occasional trips. That was life then.

What love was, we had no idea.

Of all the incidents, one stands out most vividly. In eighth standard, we had this sadist of a teacher who looked for excuses to beat or humiliate or scream at one of his students. Any excuse such as”not looking attentive enough” would be enough to warrant a tirade that would give you an inferiority complex for life. He was also rumoured to have made passes at the senior girls.

So when I forgot the geography book that day, I was scared for good reason. I discovered I was the only one and my heart thumped so hard against my ribs, I could actually feel it. Aatish took one look at my sweating face and passed me his book. I looked up at him, incredulous. “Keep the book” he said “I'll take the punishment” and I was so relieved I couldn't even protest, although I understood the sheer unfairness of it all.

By the tenth standard, both of us had changed. His face had grown edgier , sharper with the promise of facial hair. I too, had begun to blossom into a lady. “Couples” “breakups” “crushes” everything had become more common. But we were still together.

He took up Science and I chose commerce. The significance of these would be apparent in a few days. I met Abhinav. He was smart and slicked his hair with gel. He walked with a swagger and looked so dashing. So when he asked me out, I couldn't help but swoon. We went on dates and bikes and moved on to more serious things. Meanwhile, the studious Aatish toiled away for some stupid exam, completely forgotten.

I don't see how people blame his suicide on me, really. I mean, yes, I had introduced Abinav to him as my proper “boyfriend” only a week before. I mean, I am not responsible for every arrogant, dumb “I-cleared-IIT” kind of guy who comes into my life. And why should I be guilty? I am happy enough with Abhinav.


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