6 months ago...

“Attention everyone!”, Mrs. Brito, the lady who taught me Math in my coaching classes interrupted the Science lecture, which was scheduled on short notice on Sunday, as quite a lot of syllabus was yet to be covered and most of the schools would soon start conducting preliminary examinations to get students prepared well before the board exams. A fair, tall, and charismatic boy stood at the door next to Mrs. Brito. An expensive-looking backpack hanging from his right shoulder, he wore a red and blue argyle checked sleeveless sweater over a plain white full-sleeved t-shirt, which he had paired with casual black jeans and modish white sneakers. A leather watch added to his ‘Ready to steal hearts’ look. Attractive hazel brown eyes, a strong and well-built body, an extremely warm and appealing smile; he possessed all this, and more.

“Adonis!”, I whispered to myself. Almost every girl got her eyes fixed on him, whereas the guys kept shooting looks of jealousy. The adrenaline rush I experienced at that moment was unexplainable.

“Welcome your new friend. He is going to study with you for the rest of the academic year. I hope everyone would get along well with him”, Mrs. Brito left the classroom and went back to the academy office to continue her favourite work of setting up a terrifying question paper for the weekly test. And lo! All the odds were in my favour. He sat on the empty seat next to me. The girls who were in awe of his charms seemed to be envious of my good luck.

The Science lecture was over within fifteen minutes of his arrival. Unfortunately, it was the only lecture for the day. Although I secretly wished for the day to be longer than usual, it was late evening when the lecture ended, time to go home.

“See you tomorrow”, he said to me when I was glaring at the wall clock situated right above the whiteboard of the classroom, utterly disappointed at it for rushing faster than usual that day. I was wonderstruck as he tried to initiate a conversation. It took me a few seconds to perceive the fact that he was trying to talk to me.

“Yes, you too”, I replied timidly. It was strange how a person like me who stood out among people due to the gift of the gab I was blessed with, could not find a proper reply to his statement. I loved the way to talked to an average-looking girl like me in a sweet and friendly voice, without being proud of his charming looks.

He was talking to some of my batchmates when I started walking home. It’s a rare sight to see such a humble teenager these days, especially the ones who have stunning looks to flaunt. Mrs. Brito was not wrong when she hoped that we’d get along well with him.

Wait, we? No! I should be the only one getting along well with him. No doubt, I was fuming with envy and jealousy. Maybe the love potion I drank unknowingly on his arrival had started showing its effect.

I started daydreaming about him on my way back home. Him, the sizzling, magical chemistry we’d have if we ever be together, the short but sweet conversation we had; and the list went on. After all, an old-school type of love is all a hopeless romantic like me needs, other than classic songs, books, poetry, and stories.

It was Monday soon and I was awake after experiencing the most peaceful sleep of my life. Never had I felt such jubilant and sublime vibes. I was elated at the thought of meeting him in the evening. Even after a hectic day at school, I was as fresh as a daisy when I returned home. For a change, I was eager to go to my coaching classes that day.

He was there, he was already there. The twinkle in my eyes when I saw him, my heart beating faster, my shivering legs, the joy on my face, thousands of butterflies fluttering inside my tummy, the pink blush on my cheeks, those feelings, that experience, it was unknown to me all these years. A new me was what I encountered that day.

Days passed, and we came closer. The guy who had been the heartthrob of every girl on the very first day was now my best friend. I was fortunate that I got to know him well. A strong mental and spiritual connection was what we shared. I got a chance to know him beyond his looks and realized that he was a beautiful human being inside out. A mate with a golden heart, a buddy who supported me unconditionally, a motivator who helped me become the better version of myself, an inseparable part of my life who made me look at the optimistic side of every situation; I found all this in him, and yes, I found love. Something which I had never felt before for anyone, I felt that for him. Possessiveness when others talked to him, heartache when he was sad, joy when he was happy; such were the strings attached to him. It is said, “First love, lasts forever”, and I was a devoted believer of the same. During these times, I came across a lovely poem, and it was something I, or any other person who was in love would thoroughly relate to. It looked something like this:

“And for long I've wondered what is love
Is it letting go
Or not wanting to let go
Is it the regret of not knowing him to the extent I wanted
Or it is knowing him to the extent I never thought of
Is it what put us into a circle to end up together
Or in a circle where we had to drift apart every now and then
Is it why we didn't know where to stop
Or it is actually where to begin from
Is it not getting over the past
Or it is maybe the fear of the future
Is it why we erased each other
Or it is why we wished we'd never met
Is it why we live with regrets
Or it is why we again met
For how happy is the blameless vestal's lot?
The world forgetting while the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.
My love accepted and at the same time, resigned."

Yes, what seemed like a mere infatuation in the beginning was love, and I was sure about it. I fell head over heels in love with him, just like Rose had fallen for Jack, just like Clementine loved Joel. I kept wondering whether he felt the same for me, or was it just me who craved his affection? I tried extremely hard to convey my feelings to him, but I couldn’t gather the courage to do so. Thoughts of rejection as well as acceptance made me anxious. Of course, I didn’t want to end up losing his friendship for the sake of love, so I had to be extra careful with my words.

The preliminary examinations were finally over. The academy planned a farewell party for all tenth-grade students every year before the board exams took place. A farewell party was arranged for our batch too and I decided that I’ll be conveying my feelings to him that day, by hook or by crook.

Farewell party...

A cliche farewell party was what I and my batchmates were witnessing. Speeches, food, games, awards, and honours for academics and extracurricular activities were a part of the evening. No wonder, I was barely interested in anything else other than him. The farewell party was over as quickly as I wished and I was able to step out of the hall.

There he was, standing alone, looking at the full moon which added to the beauty of the starry night sky with his beautiful eyes. The breeze blowing through his soft hair, making him look like the Romeo of this Juliet.

“This is my chance”, I said to myself. With slow but confident steps this time, I started walking towards him. Astonishingly, I saw him weeping bitter tears.

“My father has been transferred to California and I’ll be living there with my parents thereafter. I don’t know when we’ll meet again, or rather, will we ever meet again or not”, he said with teary eyes.

My heart was shattered into zillions of pieces after hearing this. I couldn’t gather my thoughts to say anything. After a long, never-ending silence, I gathered the courage to speak to him.

“Will you miss me?”, I asked him with misty eyes. He kept staring blankly at me without uttering a word from his mouth. That silence between us, strange and unbearably painful. A melancholic, quiet night. He and I, lost in each other’s eyes.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

He walked away, without saying a single word to me, leaving behind no source for us to communicate with each other in the future. The despair of parting was taking over me as he seemed distant with every footstep. My eyes, heavier than ever, said a lot more than I could. I broke down in tears, being unable to find words to express my sorrow to anyone.

The board exams were over within a few weeks. All my failed attempts at finding his traces were evident how dearly I had loved him. He went away, leaving me with bittersweet memories, love, and pain.

We never met again, and I realized what I had lost, was lost forever……

.    .    .