People will stare, make it worth their while…(part 1)
I didn’t think I would ever fall in love again. I know that everyone says that after a heartbreak, but the difference is that I’m not heartbroken. I’m not cynical, or pessimistic, or sad. I’m just someone who once felt something bigger than anything else I’d ever felt and when I lost it, I honestly believed I would never have that again. But… I was 21 then and life is long. And I’m feeling things right now that I haven’t in a long, long time.
Aahana lives in the apartment above mine and every time I look at her my heart flutters, I go numb. I know my mother would never approve of her but the heart wants what it wants. She is your typical next door neighbor but there is something about her that entices me. For a very long time I’ve felt that I needed somebody like her but was afraid to get hurt again. Whenever I look at her, I can see my future with her, I can Imagine myself married and happy.
“Hi” she said coming down the staircase
“Hey, umm…” my voice trailed off. It’s happening again, I was dumbfounded. I wanted to say so much but couldn’t go beyond a meekly ‘hey’.
“Hey, 21B right?” she asked
“Yeah” I said proudly. She knew where I lived, I was secretly jumping with joy but on the front side I gave a sweet smile. Maybe this was my chance to ask her out and I missed it. But then, she was steps away from me and I could catch her If I ran.
“Hey again…” I said huffing and puffing
“Hey” she said smilingly
“Want to go out for coffee in the evening?” I asked finally
“Sure, would love to” she answered touching my hand
As soon as she left, I was jumping with joy. I kissed my hand where she had touched me, I was elated. I couldn’t wait for the evening. I was anxious and pacing up and down in my room trying out clothes after clothes. Nothing looked good on me. I had a closet full of clothes and I couldn’t figure out what to wear for a simple coffee date.
My feet were continuously moving up and down waiting for her. I got up at the first sight of her and gestured for her to sit next to me. She smelled of lavender when I hugged her. I took a deep breath and sat down looking at her constantly. My gaze did not leave her for a second and even she was into me, I think. I don’t remember what we ate or what was happening around us, all I remember is how she looked and how her hands moved while talking. I didn’t sleep the entire night.
OMG! was I in love? I think yes. Was she also in love with me? I didn’t know. I needed more time with her and I wanted to be sure that she’s the one for me before I moved any further. I had to control my emotions for now.
At night, as I sat down in my room and put on my headphones, I felt she had messaged me. I quickly got up to check my phone and there it was. A message from my beloved. Or was it too soon to call her that?
I was just happy and beaming in my own little world. Dancing around and finally I thought I was happy again. I had found somebody with whom I could spend the rest of my life with. Suddenly, when I turned around, I saw my mother standing in my room.
“Oh, hey ma”
“Baby, we need to talk” she said
“Ok, come sit, what’s going on”
“Your father‘s friend has suggested a boy for you. He lives in Mumbai and his family is here in Delhi. He will be here for the weekend and we want you guys to meet. If you want, we can go shopping tomorrow for a suitable dress for you to wear” she explained
“I need to tell you something Ma” I took a few deep breaths and mucked up the courage to tell her the truth. I knew it would shatter her world but it had to be done sometime.
“What is it?” she asked with a frown face
“I like someone…” I started
“Who? What does he do?”
“It’s still very new and I want to give it more time. Can you please cancel this meeting? I don’t want to meet anyone” I pleaded
“Ok, I’ll try but you make up your mind fast. We are losing out time. We need to get you married as soon as possible” she said and kissed me.
“Thanks Ma. You’re the best” I said kissing her back and breathed a sigh of relief as soon as she left the room. But, soon enough I will have to tell her the truth and God knows what will happen then.
My first relationship, 4 years ago, was with a man named Kahan. We were in college together. We spent a lot of time with each other. We had a whole gang of friends who bought us together and who thought we would get married one day. Even I thought the same at a point. It was a wonderful relationship; he was my best friend and I truly had feelings for him.
I was meeting her in the evening and I couldn’t stop looking at my watch every few minutes. The time seemed to be at a standstill. My colleague also noticed it and asked me what the matter was. I said it was nothing and continued working.
As the sun went down, I dressed up nicely
“Gorgeous” Ma said pacing her eyes up and down. I kissed her on the cheek and quickly got out the door. There was a jump in my step which I didn’t want anyone to see right now. I wanted to see if she felt the same way about me.
“Hey” said Aahana hugging me tightly. I could hold her like this forever.
“Hey, you look fabulous” I said
“Thank you” she said blushing a little and I felt a sense of relief
“What’s going on, you’re thinking something?” she asked
“I need to tell you something, no… umm… We need to talk” I said a little baffled
“Ok, calm down. I think I know what you’re getting at. We will sort it out. You eat something first” she said holding my hand looking deeply into my eyes. And I knew there and then, things are sorted. I got my answer. We had an enjoyable dinner with a few drinks.
“Are you feeling alright, you seem to be a little dizzy?” she asked when we were walking around the restaurant patio.
“Yes, I’m on top of the world. I found my high” I said showing her my shiny white teeth
To be continued next week…