In the first message, I put my number and an email. We were not known to each other, more than having been in the same coaching centre. I crashed onto her gate, abruptly asking her for
an answer, and if that's not enough, giving a hint of what I was going to say. But the truth is I didn't want to act, I want to be clear what I'm doing. I thought she was that kind of person, not a
fancier of what goes around comes around. But that's what I did, making her rejection as inevitable as weight-loss in TB.
With no reply in another two days, I wrote her again. I requested her to give me her number. I know she was a no-no to such things, but I wanted to hear her words. She replied. It was September. Summer was in full swing, the fans were creaking. She said she did not want such things. We should be friends, and she would give her number when she was in college. I read it. I felt something filling up my eyes and streaming down my face. She did not have a boyfriend. She did not hate me. She would remain as a friend, not a bit closer. I sensed a resolve of a lifetime in it.
I missed the remaining classes that day. I pulled up my haofi, and went over the matter, trying to find a brighter aspect.
In the evening, I replied back. I told her we could be friends, and she would get lots of time to read in second year. 'Northeast students are not doing good...how many...ten... roommate is a Mayang...mine is Arunachali...kind of cool...seniors dictating.....not here....'. A conversation carried out well with me smiling and sobbing at the same time, a feeling of reaching her but marred by fate.
So, days went by as usual. College, Books, Eat, and Sleep...College, Books, Eat, and Sleep... But, something crept in among them - her hopeless thought.
Her exam results came out (I have a friend in the same college. We never talk about her till this day). It was an unfortunate back-heel of my mind. I sent her ' how are the results?' It was so simple, answerable by monosyllables. She read it, but didn't say anything. She wanted us to be friends, but did something contradictory. I realised my position, the picture of a lame, ridiculous guy. It broke me, my studies, my mood, my self-respect. I cried through many nights, and slept late every day. I tried reading, but couldn't sit for long. It was hard, because other than home I had no one to talk to. Nothing hurts you more than an unrequited love, a love that's not even acknowledged.
Fast forward a month, she landed back in college: Facebook notifications. I waited apparently feeling a little hopeful. She never gave her number. That week felt like an eternity, time almost frozen, which she clutched in her hands. My state worsened a devastation which only the victim could measure. Disheartened, around 4:15 one morning, I wrote her. I cried a lot. I confessed my love, told her how I considered her admirable.(feel lonely here...want your help...i might affect your study....i know you don't like...we were never meant to be together....let's at least greet each other when we meet...wish the best of you...don't mind my updates...).
She wrote me back after ten days. She didn't want me to feel bad. I got an assurance: in any future meetings, she would call me first, even if I don't. Nothing new, but a more waylaid reply. Things appeared easier, but when her thought came it was hard. I was trying to leave something forever in a pretty painful way.
With college, books, regret, tears and little sleep, I managed two more months. Back from class, I was 24 x 7 online. I'm quite active on a Facebook forum. My parents call me on alternate days. Apart from these, I don't have any connections.
That night was so quiet, almost lifeless. She came online. I did something very wrong: I sent her a message asking about a well-known relative of hers. She replied. Our conv. touched theatres, movies, documentaries. I felt something and ended by saying 'It's quite and dull here. Keep in touch if you can spare some time. I will be grateful.' She said she would. I was happy. She wanted to help me. She had become my friend.
A month later, she was back home (ref. Facebook status) for Yaoshang. She seemed to be enjoying her stay. Then, I did something very consequential. I asked her, ' how many days of vacation for Holi?' She was online. Under my message text was written 'seen', but not a single word from her came. (.... not many....ten ...what's up... noidi fangdro...) She is smart, she could write anything. But I was not worth it. I was not a friend either. A proof she didn't like me at all. I was spam.
The following days were forgettable. Nothing new than a feeling of worthlessness. Marginalized, mistreated, mistaken and hurt, and none to help me. I tried to forget her. I deleted the messages. I unfollowed her feeling sorry for myself. I forgave her.
Many people are around me. I'm not good in mixing with them. It's obviously my weakness but there is no place for introverts now. Opportunistic and noisy is what social circles are. I may connect with them, but I can’t see honesty and trust. They become mischievous anytime. Everybody needs someone s/he can trust. Being appreciated is a gift. It makes one stable. It's not all about fanciful things of love. There is more to it, enough to inspire a soul. I thought I had one, but she was not mine.
I feel lonely sometimes. On very bad days, I remember my mother and father, the next is her. I do regret that she did not know me well. She is innocent. I pray she is doing well. I want her to be happy wherever she may end up in life.
( Haofi – a cloth used in the hilly north-eastern part of India, Holi/ Yaoshang – a festival of the Hindus, also known as the ‘festival of colours’)
© Copyright 2016 manipuri. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Romance
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