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She looked at him like he was the finest thing to walk the earth. She could keep looking at him. She could spend hours just listening to him breathe. She could spend all day listening to him speak, his voice like liquid gold. All she wanted to do was lie next to him, bodies entwined, hearts beating in sync. She had given herself to him - , heart, body, mind and soul. She loved him - madly, fearlessly, tirelessly, entirely. She loved him like no one else could.
If only he could love her back. Even a little
He hated the way she looked at him, like a little lost puppy, her eyes following him everywhere. He hated that she was so madly in love with him. He couldn't understand why. He had never said anything to her, never spoken to her, never had any contact with her. Everyone knew she was in love with him. It was embarrassing. It was a little creepy even. He didn't know how to get rid of her, how to stop her from feeling these things for him.
If only he could open his heart a little.
Her friends told her to move on. Her love was unrequited, they said. Why did she want to hurt herself thus? Why did she want to suffer from heartbreak? But even though they knew she was being an idiot, even though they knew she was hurting herself, they still stood by her. When his friends made fun of her, when they mocked her and called her names. When he ignored her blatantly, they stood by her. And every time she cried, they stood by her.
But that's what friends are for - to just be there.
They spoke one day on their way home from school. He didn't have a choice. They were lab partners for a new project. She was smart, he knew that. It didn't make sense for his hatred for her to stand in the way of good grades. They discussed the project, the way forward, planned to meet at her house after school to work on it. He agreed to stay for dinner when she asked just because they still had a lot to do. She didn't care why he stayed.
Hope had blossomed in her heart.
He was surprised by how nice she really was. And not just to him. She was nice to everyone. And she was happy. Genuinely so. Unlike most people who faked how amazing their lives were and lied their way into happiness. She was like a breath of fresh air. And she laughed - innocently, loudly, unabashedly. He couldn't help feel happy when he was around her. It was easy, comfortable, like he was at home.
He had forgotten why he had hated her in the first place. Did he even have a reason to begin with?
He started falling for her. How could he not? She was incredible. She was smart and funny, she was cute and when she laughed - she was downright beautiful. She was every boy's dream. He wanted to spend more time with her, all his time if he could. They were almost done with their project. They would soon go back to how things were - her being in love with him and him pretending now to hate her. He didn't have much time. He had to tell her how he felt. He had to tell her his feelings had changed. But how?
She knew things would go back to how they used to be. These last two weeks had by far been the best of her life. After the first couple of days, he didn't seem so repulsed by her. He seemed to enjoy spending time with her, he seemed to look forward to it even. She started to open up more. The first time she snorted when she laughed, she was afraid to look at him. But he seemed pleased with himself for having made her laugh like that. Maybe he was falling for her too. Or was she imagining it?
He didn't say a word to her. He didn't have the courage to. He couldn't bring himself to tell her how he felt about her. At the end of those two weeks, things went back to how they once were. She no longer stared at him with all that love though. Her eyes no longer followed him like a lost puppy. He didn't stare at her with disdain anymore. He didn't hate her like he did. They'd nod at each other in acknowledgment but that was as far as their friendship went. Things had changed between them. But not enough.
She stopped herself from staring at him before anyone else noticed. She didn't stare at him so blatantly out of love anymore. She was disappointed in him. She knew he felt something for her, something stronger than friendship. She knew he knew how she felt about him. It had been obvious to everyone for too long for him not to know. She had expected him to make a move, to say something. The silence told her he was ashamed of his feelings. And she was disappointed. In him and in herself for being in love with a boy like that.
He tried to tell her how he felt many times. He wanted to tell her he loved her. He was bursting with it. He tried to get her alone. But there were always his friends still calling her names, there were always her friends standing around her protectively. He kept putting it off, waiting for the right time, for the perfect moment. But something or the other got in the way. There never seemed to be a chance. Till one day, he heard someone else had asked her out. Someone else had made her his. And he lost his chance.
They walked around, hand in hand, both aglow with love. They hugged and kissed and laughed and blushed. She had never looked more beautiful. She had never been more unattainable. She had also not forgotten her first love and her crazed obsession. Somehow, she had also noticed how he still looked at her. He tried to avoid her but she had caught him staring wistfully on many occasions. It made her oddly happy, strangely satisfied. It made her smile to herself. Why? she wondered. She was happy with someone else now.
You never really forget your first love.
He couldn't stop feeling the way he did about her. He tried but it just made him want her more. He had always been the kind of person to get what he wanted. But he couldn't have her. He wanted to just look at her, touch her, hold her hand. He wanted to be the one making her laugh and talking to her till the wee hours of the morning. He wanted to be the one she looked at with so much affection with her big brown eyes.
He wanted what he once had. What he had lost.
School finished. Seasons changed. Years went by. They hadn't seen each other or heard from each other in all this time. The little news they had of each other was through common friends or via Facebook. But they had had no direct contact. She married her school boyfriend - the one that stole her away. He had one relationship after the other - none too serious, none satisfying. He still thought of her sometimes, when he was in the arms of another. She still thought of him when she kissed her husband goodbye.
Fate can be cruel. And so beautiful.
They met one day, out of the blue, unexpectedly. She had forgotten how handsome he was. He was surprised at how clearly he remembered her beautiful smile. So much time had passed. So much was different now. So many things had changed. But somehow they both knew their feelings were the same.
They spent hours at the coffee shop - laughing, talking, catching up, grasping for words that didn't make things awkward. Somewhere, deep down inside, they were still teenagers working together to finish their school project.
The truth - they were trying to finish their unfinished business.
They couldn't get enough of each other. They were, after all, making up for lost time. She felt like she was cheating though nothing untoward had happened. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't stay away. How could she? He was the first boy she had ever loved, the first boy she had wanted. And maybe, just maybe, he was the last boy she could ever really truly love. The cheating was emotional, it was in her heart and in her mind. She would never physically cheat on her dear husband, but her heart belonged to someone else.
He was so glad for the time they were getting together, even though they only talked. Even though he longed for much more. He craved to put his arms around her, to pull her close. He ached to hold her hand, feel her slender fingers in his giant ones. He wanted to kiss her, taste her sweet lips, run his fingers through her hair. He wanted all of her, fully and completely. He had wanted it all these years and his desire for her just built with all the time they spent together. He was so afraid he'd lose her.
It went on for years - this silent love affair. They talked and laughed and told each other all their deepest secrets. Except the one that mattered. In all the years they spent loving each other, not one actually ever said the words out loud. It was always after one of them had disconnected the call. Or after one of them had waved goodbye from a distance. Or before they fell asleep at night. Separately. In different beds. Deep down they knew they loved each other. But they longed to say those unspoken words. They longed to just say them aloud.
He was present for all the major functions in her life. Her birthdays, her anniversaries, her children's birthdays, then their weddings and their anniversaries. He never missed a Diwali dinner or a Christmas party. He didn't miss the births of her grandchildren or their birthday parties.
He was a part of her life. He wanted to be there. She wanted him there. Her husband seemed okay with it, if he had a choice.
This was their relationship now. Best friends, sole mates, perfect halves. Their love was to remain forever unspoken, forever silent, always growing, eternal.
Nobody saw it coming. Least of all him. He had just seen her last night, ever radiant with here silver locks framing her now wrinkled face just right. They had had a lovely evening. Dinner and a stroll along the pier. He sat at the edge of his bed, still reeling from the news, his eyes closed, her laughing face still in front of his eyes. How could she have just left him like that? They hadn't spent enough time together. They hadn't said goodbye. He hadn't told her all he wanted to. He hadn't told her he loved her.
He went to offer his condolences. Her husband, Sam, stood weeping in the corner of the room. He looked gaunt, older, alone. He looked lost and afraid. Sam saw him enter. Sam saw him walk across the room. Sam looked him in the eye and wept.
"Thank you for coming", Sam said. "Thank you for being here."
He looked at Sam. He didn't know what to say. Did Sam know how much he had loved his wife?
Sam looked at him and said, "It was always you, you know. She just didn't tell you."
Always say you love someone when you love them. Always tell them how much you care. Always tell them how much they mean to you, because some day they may not still be there.
Pour your heart out, always say every word. Love is something that shouldn't be hidden. Love is something that should be heard.
So what if they don't love you too. So what if they don't feel the same. If nothing else, you'll make them feel special. And they'll always remember your name.
Because love is always worth the risk. Always.
No more writing about love. No more writing about happy endings. No more writing about loves lost or found. This is it. It's about time I stopped obsessing over having, losing and then not finding love again. There is more to life than finding the right person to spend it with. So what if I never meet my soul mate? So what if I never fall in love? So what if I don't find the right person to spend the rest of my life with. I'm not afraid of growing old alone. I'm sure I'll have plants. And maybe dogs.
Fight fire with fire, they said. Make them pay for their sins, they cried out. May they rot in the burning fires of Hell, they screamed. The villagers ran with burning sticks in their hands and burning hate in their hearts.
At the other end of the village, the two of them fled. They were afraid for their lives, afraid for their unborn child. What were their sins - their illegitimate love affair, their child to be born out of wedlock, their union scorned at by everyone around.
Because he was a Hindu and she a Muslim.
You know how you're heart broken and a tub of ice cream makes you feel better? Or when you're depressed and just generally feeling down in the dumps and a whole bar of chocolate can cheer you up? When you're hungry, it's just easier to be angry. When you're on an empty stomach, it's easier to be sad. That's food. Food can make the world a better place. Food can make you feel better. Food can satisfy you better than any man can. Don't substitute love with food though. You'll end up being fat, single and probably ridden with diabetes.
The setting sun glows like ember, spreading its orange fingers across the graying sky. Powerful, bewitching, like a lord on a throne, it looks down on us. We who are but small specks in comparison, moving on with the humdrum of our lives. Regular, staid, our existence of no importance to anyone but ourselves and a few whose lives we manage to touch.
I look out of the window and see the sky changing colour, the sun slowly disappearing into the horizon. But the car horns and traffic seem to get louder as it darkens. Life goes on.
Sometimes I smile even though I have nothing to smile about. I smile even though my heart seems to be breaking into a million pieces inside. I smile even though all I really want to do is curl up into a ball and cry myself into oblivion. The tears can come easily, like a waterfall, unfettered, forceful, if I let them. But I don't. I know they can relieve me of my misery, they can purge me of my sorrows. But I won't cry. Instead, I smile. Because the world sees enough sadness, I will not refuse it a smile.
I've been waiting for love all my life. I've been waiting to meet the right guy and fall madly and desperately in love. Like they do in the movies, and in books. Like every Disney movie ever ends. I've fallen in love. I've also fallen out of it. I've broken hearts and I've had my heart broken. But I've learnt to pick up the pieces and tape my heart back together. I've learnt to fall in love all over again. I'm still waiting for my soul mate. But in the meanwhile, I've learnt to fall in love with other things.
I've been on bed rest with a busted back for about three weeks. Nothing feels worse than being unable to move or do what you want when you want to. Granted I needed a break. But this was a forced one which didn't rally allow me to do anything much. I now have to be careful about my back for the rest of my life. Physio, proper exercise, good posture - have to make sure I do all of this. No bending, no lifting heavy objects, no stressing myself. I can relapse any time. Wonder how this affects my sex life.
I've never been self conscious, nervous or shy about anything. I can do anything in public with great confidence. I love being on stage. Nothing gives me more of a high than that. But there's one thing I can't get myself to do in front of an audience and that's sing. And the funny thing is I can actually sing. I have a nice voice and I can sing in key. But I still freak out when I have to sing in public. I'll never understand why but I wish I could sing like the guys on these reality shows.
I've got a lot of friends. I know that and I'm blessed that I do. Over the last few months, they've proved their love for me. I know that they'll always be there for me even if we fall out or move apart. I know they'll always be there for me even if we don't talk for days, months or years on end. I know that they'll always take me back, no judgements, no questions asked. And I know that. I matter what I'll be there for them too. Because at the end of the day, friends are what matter.
I'm going to be more serious and more regular about this 100 words a day business. It's not that hard nor does it take that long. So if I put aside 15 minutes a day, I'm sure I can do a decent enough job. All I need is some inspiration and some desire to write. I want to write a book by the time I'm 30 and I need to follow all these rules if I want to get that done. I've got a few years and I'm not letting them pass me by. I'm going to make them count.
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