“Love Story”

‘My shoes look so tacky. And how am I walking. It almost looks like I am skipping. Aaarrghhh, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be like the other girls? Why am I always so nervous around people?’ Like any other moment of the day, I was lost in my own thoughts and imaginary anxious world.

“Hey, Meera. So, we were thinking of meeting by the river after dinner, you want to join us?” She was my senior in school. So, getting an invite from her was quite a big deal.

“But isn’t it against the rules? What if Mrs. Gupta finds out we were out of our rooms after dinner?” I spoke in my desperately soft and subtle voice. Puberty had not yet hit me and so I had yet to learn how to use my voice.

“Oh, relax! You are with us. And we are not doing anything wrong. We will be playing games and all. It is our last night here. It will be fun. So just come. Don’t think too much.” She always spoke so confidently.

I nodded my head in agreement and smiled to show my excitement.

Now back in my thoughts, I started to feel a little sad. ‘It was the last night. I had spent the whole trip and not once tried to speak to him. Why? Why was I this way?’

There was once that glorious moment while passing snacks in the bus when we almost spoke more than ONE word to each other. Other than that, nothing. All I had were stolen glances and collectively laughing in a group. This trip was turning into a disaster.

‘I hate my life. But I love it here. He looked so cute yesterday. Even today. His smile is so adorable. Aaaahhhhhh, I am going to jump off this bridge right now. This is it.’ My thoughts were distracted by the soft breeze reminding me to admire the rugged, tall and inaccessible mountains of the Himalayan range. It was nature at its zenith. I must have been smiling, because when I saw him again, he smiled back at me. It was like an electric shock I had definitely experienced before. When I had accidently tried to unplug a cord with wet hands.

‘Wait a minute, wasn’t he wearing the same shirt yesterday as well. Hmm, different color same shirt. Weirdo just like me. He was perfect. And I was alright too. We were perfect for each other. Now only if I could talk to him.’ Clearly I had better conversations in my head than in real life.

‘Why is life so unbelievably unfair? 2 weeks trip in this beautiful city. Surrounded by mountains and beauty. I have literally woken up every morning to the rhythmic sound of the river flowing outside my room. The breeze is almost making me float right into his arms. Man, I should stop reading Mills & Boon. This is killing me.’ The random mind knows no boundaries.

‘And his red converse shoes. Why is he such an awesome dresser? And why is he not talking to me? We have been hanging out in the same group throughout the trip. But not a single word. Why are boys such idiots?’

‘The way he walks, and that cap hanging on the loop of his jeans. Ok I need to stop. Even in my thoughts I am sounding creepy now.’ I held back from the group and started to walk slow. But I think it was the sinking feeling that the trip was coming to an end that made me stop cold in the middle of the bridge. Watching him walk further away, I turned to admire the vastness of the world around me. It was time to let him go. For how long could I hold on to one crush? So, what if he was the first one? It did not matter. And then I looked his way one more time.

This time his cap fell on the bridge while he was busy laughing walking away with his friends. Picking it up I called his name twice. And then he turned.

“You dropped your cap.”

“Thanks.”

And in those 2 seconds our love story was forever etched in my heart. The boy with the same shirt in two colors and red converse shoes. We never met again. He moved away. Too far away.

Some love stories are too short for the world to acknowledge, but they are LOVE STORIES. And you get to love that one forever but from far away. Does not make the love any less or insignificant.

Besides, I still can’t find better shoes than red converse. And then maybe, I do not want to.

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