Love doesn’t hurt, expectations do (part 1)
It was still dawn when I stepped out of the cab and walked towards the entry gate of the Delhi airport. The early morning February air was pleasantly cold.
I was travelling to Bengaluru to attend a college friend’s wedding. It had been four years since we graduated from the same college. This wedding was also a reunion of our batch mates. But what I didn’t know was that the reunion would begin much ahead of time; right in the queue in front of the airline counter.
I was almost sure it was she. Same height! Same long hair! Same complexion! Curiosity had my eyes glued to her. And then about 60-odd seconds later, when she turned, she proved me right. My ex-girlfriend stood two places ahead of me in that queue. We had never met after the college farewell.
I wanted to go and say hello but something stopped me, what would she do? How would she react? Would it be awkward? I quietly stood there waiting for my turn and never said anything. A few minutes later, I was at my seat (10 C) inside the plane when I saw her crossing me and I gave her a smile. She nodded at me as would at a stranger, not with someone you’ve known for years. I thought she would at least acknowledge me and maybe chat for a while, I already had that conversation going on in my head but nothing like that happened and I was left feeling like a total fool.
I made it to Bengaluru; my heart was still pounding so loudly the person standing next to me could hear it.
I checked into the hotel, relaxed for a while and later that evening, at the mehendi function, I met everybody, my old roommate Bajrangi, my other roommate Nitin, his friend Tanuja and one of the most popular boys in our batch, Piyush, whom everybody worshiped as the party guru. He had the most spectacular parties in our batch. And suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I saw her again, Chetna, my ex – girlfriend.
“Hey man, how have you been?” asked Nitin
“I’m good buddy, how are you?” I asked
I kept looking at her while I was talking to my friends and in my mind I was trying to have a conversation with her. She was sitting in a pretty pink kurta getting mehendi put on her hands and trying to pull her hair back with the back of her hands. I wanted to run and help her out but my hands were tied, I couldn’t touch her even if I wanted to.
A few minutes later, I finally mucked up the courage to go and talk to her.
“Hey Chetna, how are you?” I asked as she was walking towards her friends
“Hi, I’m sorry I didn’t recognise you” she said
“Don’t tell me I’ve changed so much. It’s me Raghav” I said
“I didn’t recognize you, sorry” she said and walked away
I was flabbergasted. What did just happen here? Why did she behave that way? Could she still be hurting after all this time? Or did she not want to talk to me in front of so many people? So many questions with no answers; I still couldn’t move my eyes from her, she was having a gala time with her friends, laughing and cracking jokes with the same smile, same eyes; how could she not remember me, we spent quite a lot of time back in college?
I kept seeing her at the following day functions but didn’t go up to talk to her; in my mind I kept replaying our conversation.
“Buddy, who are you looking at? You are completely lost” said Bajrangi
“No no, nothing of the sort Bajrangi; You tell me what’s keeping you busy?” I asked
“I started my own company, the project I talked about in college, it finally came true” he said
“Wow, your passion was always cooking and it came true. You are now giving every amateur cook a reason to be a professional cook. So how do you do it?” I asked
“I create my own recipes, pack all my ingredients in a box and send it to my customers with the recipe” he explained
“So it’s a recipe kit, your customers just need to order what they want to eat, sit back and relax, you do all the running around” I said
“Yes and it’s a lot of fun doing it” he said laughing
“Now tell me what’s going on with you Raghav, we were very close in college, I still believe we are, so come on tell me?” he asked
“Ok, here goes. You know was dating Chetna in college and you also know the reason we broke up but now seeing her here is making me question my decision. I want to talk to her; I want to spend time with her, my heart starts beating twice as fast when I see her. I’m going crazy” I explained
“Oh my that’s a big problem, listen don’t think too much, just go and tell her how you feel, maybe she’s in the same boat” he suggested
“I did, I tried talking to her but she refused to even recognize me”
“Well, I don’t know why she’s doing that but you have to try again. You have to tell her how you feel, maybe she’s scared and doesn’t want to get hurt” he said
“Maybe, I don’t know but thanks for your help buddy”
“Oh don’t say that, I’m always here for you man” he said
Later in the evening, the skies turned black and it started raining suddenly. Everybody rushed inside and some of the guests were dancing in the rain, the rest of the guests were having fun watching the ones dancing in the rain. In that moment, I caught her eye again and with no apprehensions went to dance with her in the rain, she didn’t say anything just kept dancing with me; in that moment I was the happiest man alive.
Minutes later, she stopped and started running away from me, I got a little confused and ran after her.
“Chetna wait, what happened? Why are you running away from me?” I asked catching her midway
“I can’t talk to you, please let me go” she said and left for her room. Devastated with unanswered questions and a horrible feeling in my stomach which wouldn’t go away I quietly went up to my room had two pegs and slept throughout the night.
The next morning I didn’t see her at breakfast and at lunch as well. I figured she was taking the time to think about us. As the evening was upon us I was growing impatient to see her, if she didn’t show up at the wedding I would’ve gone up to her room and confronted her and yes I knew which room she was at.
When I had first seen her at the airport I was scared out of my skin but now I just wanted to be with her and tell her how I felt about her, she was my love and life and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. When we broke up back in college it broke my heart to let her go and now seeing her here again has made me want her even more.
Read the next part here.