“We love the things we love for what they are”
– Robert Frost
To my true inspiration!
7 years ago they met for the first time. 3 years back they had their first conversation. A year ago they exchanged numbers. 6 months back they realized they liked each other and at present, they were in that juncture, at which most youngsters make their mistake, the mistake of not being able to differentiate between love and infatuation. And she too was there, asking herself a momentous question, ‘Is it Love?’ the one question, that had been the reason of her sleepless nights for the past one week. They both had confessed they liked and enjoyed each other’s company, but was that enough? She wasn’t too keen on relationships but she was no fool to turn a blind-eye to love too. Having read Jane Austen during her school days, she had always dreamt of her Mr. Darcy. But is he her Mr. Darcy? was the question. Yes, he wasn’t the man of her dreams, yet he had made her dream of him. He was the first man in her life, besides her father, to point out her flaws. She had despised him initially for that, but later began to admire him for the same facet.
A buzz of her phone brought her out from her musings. It was from him.
“Can we meet?’
“In 10 mins, at the park”
It had been 10 mins since they had been sitting in the park; 10 mins since her heart had started to run a marathon. The conversation was light and a comfortable silence settled between them; she debated within herself whether to let him know about her apprehension. She wouldn’t be in peace if she doesn’t get out the question that had been nagging her for the past one week. Bracing herself she looked straight into his eyes and asked,
“What do we have between us?”
His eyes which were shining a moment ago, lost the sparkle and not quite meeting her eyes, he replied, “A beautiful friendship”, after a pause he added, “maybe more“.
She didn’t know why she was disappointed with the response, he hadn’t promised her anything and she too was at a loss about them, yet her heart felt heavy. Was that a pain she sensed in her heart? She wondered. Shrugging off her thoughts, she probed further,
“What if it turns out to be more? “
After a minute or two, turning away from her, he answered,
“I don’t know, maybe it is better if we set apart our feelings for now. Too many confusions!”
Hearing his reply, a sharp ache shot through her heart; a pain that brought tears to her eyes; a pain so powerful that it felt like her heart was being ripped open; a pain caused just by the thought of losing him and in that second she knew she had fallen irrevocably in love, with the man sitting next to her. The realization brought fresh tears which flowed along her now, reddened cheeks. Hastily blinking back her tears, she bid a quick bye and left the place, not caring to stop even as he called out her name.
Sleep had deserted her completely that night; the book she had been reading lay open unattended on her lap; however hard she may try to concentrate, her mind just zoned out to the evening in the park ; sighing, she closed the book and rubbed her eyes, when her phone rang. Checking the time, she wondered who was calling her so late and after seeing the name, the question of ‘who’ replaced to ‘what’ and ‘why’. On picking up the call, she was greeted by a drawl. Was he drunk? , she wondered.
“I am sorry for today. Are you angry on me?” he asked in a slurred voice.
She asked herself the same query, was she angry on him? No, maybe she was upset, but definitely not angry.
“No” she replied.
What he told next made her gasp in shock; she would have never, even in her dreams, would have guessed these words,
“I want you in my life. I love you. It’s just… the time isn’t right. Will you forgive me?”
Those simple words were enough to make her heart skip a beat and to fill her entire being with a fervor, a first in her life. She was out of words; nothing could have prepared her for such a sincere confession. He had, like usual, taken her by surprise. Composing herself, she assured him,
“There isn’t anything to forgive.”
“I am drunk!”
“Oh! Good night then Laddu!”
Laddu! That’s the name he had given her. During their early days of friendship, he had insisted that they have a nickname for each other and he had named her Laddu, which she assumed, even now, was due to her fat and round structure, quite similar to the sweet. She had failed trying to find the instigation behind the name. Whatever the reason it maybe, whenever he called her Laddu, she felt like a different person, a person special to him, only him.
With a smile that wouldn’t leave her face, she wished him “Good night” and ended the call. That night she went to bed replaying the conversation again and again in her head and after each time, the smile on her face just grew; she was sure she looked like a stupid, a stupid who just couldn’t lay off the smile on her face. She knew that the chances of him remembering the conversation, tomorrow, was very less. If he doesn’t remember, then she will let him know only when they become a couple and if not, it will remain buried in her heart forever. He had wanted time. She will give him that. She will wait for him; she will wait for the man who had made her the most mindless drunken confession.