This short story became SPIXer (Most popular story) on 22 Feb 2014 and won INR 500
In a long wasted journey I met a girl, a girl who raised my soul with her unconditional, undemanding and genuine love, a girl who came so close that now I feel her inside me as if we merged as one soul in two bodies. Her kiss makes me feel alive, fills me with life and stimulates me to love her with all my heart. Her touch takes me to another world, a world which cannot be any more beautiful. Her company makes me forget everything that exists in my life, including me. I feel as if it’s only her who surrounds me entirely and is the sole purpose of my happiness, as if my sun rises when she wakes and sets when she rests in sleep. When I think of my past and watch my present, I realise that in the twenty years of my life I’ve never been alive as I am now.
Semester vacations prevailed and everyone was off their home. A week had passed since I returned home. I was cut off with every link that attached me to my studies, busy enjoying the boon of the vacations-long hours of leisure. I woke up with the aroma of moms delicacies and slept with a tummy full of them. I was down on the dumps as I was going through a bad phase of relationship with my girlfriend. Half of my day was spent surfing internet and the other half were spent with my mom. I lay still with my head on her lap and we talked for hours. At night I logged into my facebook account and had chats with my pals.
It was one such night. I was not getting any sleep so I took my cell phone and logged into my facebook. No friend requests, no messages, one notification,
“Sheekha Gour accepted your friend request”
It was my second friend request to which she responded. The first one went blank. Fortunately for me, she was online at that time. I did what I do usually
“Hi”, I threw the first cannon of conversation.
Fortune favoured me again. She responded to my message. Hours passed by, we exchanged messages as we tried to know about each other, although it was me who was more interested to know about her. We talked for a while when I ran out of questions. I didn’t see what else to ask, or to talk about. The graph of the interest of the conversation started sloping downward from that point. I was clever. I stopped our conversation before it turned anymore sour in order to conserve its enthusiasm.
The next day I waited for her to get online. I checked the online listing every second minute, faced nothing but dismay. Then came the moment when the beam of my luck enlightened. The tiny circular green spot lighted indicating that she was available then. Exchange of messages commenced again, only that time it lasted longer with much more to talk about. These series of chatting continued almost daily as we started to get closer to each other. Our relationship converged and in no time we became very good friends. Talking about people, sharing secrets, caring for each other, playing supporting shoulder for one another we closed into a strong bond of friendship. We grew fond of each other as time bypassed.
After a long cycle of chatting over facebook I mustered the courage to ask for her number and she gave it to me. It was 4th of January and though the memory has been blurred out but I can still feel the ecstasy. I could still sense the nervousness which ran through my body when I talked to her the first time. Though I tried my utmost to hide my uneasiness but I believed that she knew. It was a brief conversation after which she hung up. I found myself cracking my knuckles for a moment.
As the days progressed I came to know more about her, much more than most of her friends- about her dire past, her terrible ex boyfriend, and the sadness that she hid deep inside her heart. She trusted me enough to open her heart in front of me. I could see through her eyes and reach for the spot where she had locked her tears to hide the void created by the guy. I felt an itch to fill that void. I could feel her agony, her pain, because at a crucial point of life I had experienced such suffering. Such feeling is like a parasite. It sticks to you and consumes you from within unless you become weak enough to care anymore. It eats up your tenderness and makes you nothing but a living dead. Unable to love, unable to fell, unable to trust. But she trusted me. Neither of us knew why though.
It was a Saturday evening. We were enjoying a ride on my bike. Atmosphere was pleasant as if god had made it so, purposely for us. The blue sky was painted with crimson and the sun was descending in the horizon. The gentle wind made the evening more pleasurable. It was a narrow road which ran through the woods in between an umpteenth number of trees. Few stalls of delicacies were there at random intervals for such wanderers as us.
She was a darling, a very good company. I could be with her the whole day and still would not get a tiny indication of boredom. She never got tired of speaking and I never got tired of listening. Her simplicity awed me. In addition to her simplicity she was still a baby from within. Her body language, her manner of talking resembled of a child, an adorable baby. I rebuked her every time she asked me to change her, teach her to become mature. I didn’t want her to change. I liked her the way she was. She would laugh at my silliest joke and praise my tiniest efforts. I was starting to lose my heart to her. Time spent with her seemed to be the shortest hours of my life. I never felt like leaving her behind. I could hear her voice in my loneliness and see her face when I closed my eyes. I was falling in love.
Our conversation seemed immortal. She kept on speaking and she never felt short of topics. The conversation was dragged so long that I forgot its beginning. I was enjoying the conversation until it turned sour. It was the first time that she introduced me to her pain. I had parked my bike at the roadside. She narrated me the entire story and in no time I could see tears tumbling down her eyelids. I went beside her and put my arms across her shoulder. She placed her head on my shoulder and wept. Hardly a minute had passed when I sensed a vehicle approaching us. I turned my head to confirm. It was a police patrolling vehicle. I lost my air and my body turned cold.
“Get on the bike”, I said. But, it was too late. The vehicle halted right in front of us. She was frightened like anything. I asked her to calm down pretending to be totally cool about it. There were two male officers and three lady constables. One of the male officers summoned me and Sheekha went to the other one at the driver’s seat. They purged a sequence of questions at us and I answered them honestly. The interrogation was going like my conversation with Sheekha – Never ending. Then the officers swapped their convicts. I went to the officer at the driver’s seat and vice versa. After a series of question, he asked me “Are you intending to marry this girl”
“NO”, I said, “She is just my friend”
“I asked the same question to her but her answer was otherwise”, said the inspector with raised eyebrows.
“What?” I was confused.
She looked at me with her wide eyes.
“You ruined everything you dumb”, she might be saying in her mind I reckoned.
After few more brief questions he allowed me to go but the one on the pinions seat won’t stop. He kept babbling. Sheekha was looking at me and that’s when I noticed she looked really cute when afraid. The lady constables on the passenger’s seat were pleading to us to leave. I mounted on the bike apologizing to that officer but he just won’t stop talking. Sheekha mounted behind me and he still kept talking. I hit the engine and twisted the accelerator and his words dissolved in the atmosphere.
Halfway through, I couldn’t hold to laugh anymore. I hooted with laughter.
“What’s so funny?” she yelled.
It took me a moment to arrest my emotions.
“It was a good experience, no?”
“Good experience?” I could sense the confusion in her tone, “It was a nightmare, you stupid”, she said, perplexed.
“You know, when you get old and you lay awake on your bed, these are the type of moments that would come to you in a series of flash backs. These moments, a memento of your past would adhere to your memory. You would think of these times and before you know it, a smile would have been carved on your face already”
She kept silent.
“I would give you a lot of such memories”, I said to myself.
As I penetrated deeper into her mind, I realised that she was digging deeper in my heart. Her space in my heart was sacred. I could sense her dilemma from her voice itself. I was so occupied with her that my pain began to erase itself from the deepest corners of my mind. I admired her, worshipped her simple and tender nature. It was not until few weeks when I comprehended that we were so involved in each other that our sun raises and dawns as one. We gave most of our time to each other when in college, at home or anywhere else. Whenever I woke up early in the morning, I seize the opportunity to wake her up. I call her and when she picks up after a few ring, my heart warms up hearing her husky sleepy voice. I feel as if a little nightingale is singing her finest songs to me. She loved the little efforts that I put to cheer up and make her happy. I developed a habit of listening to her very closely. I took a note of every single wish that she desired to obtain.
One such memory is stuck in the brightest spot of my mind. That evening was not supposed to be as memorable as it turned out to be. I believe that a friendship is not a true friendship until it possesses quarrels over small matters. Fortunately, we quarrelled a lot. We had devoted our evening to each other and were having a good time. It was one of the usual evenings until it turned bitter. She was yelling sitting behind me and I was responding at the same pitch. Our anger had already triumphed over our reason.
Unaware of the fact that we were riding on a road full of people who could clearly hear us, we continued our war. I was furious. My anger diminished my senses. I wanted that argument to end as I couldn’t take it anymore. I accelerated my bike and headed for the spot where she had parked her moped. I did not utter a single word and stood silently. She understood the indication. She dismounted, got onboard on her moped and accelerated leaving me behind. I stood there, on a pale hope that she would return. When I regained my senses I realized that she won’t return. I left. Halfway, I realised that I’d hurt her very badly. I felt bad for her. I saw her eyes when she was leaving. Her heart whispering through her eyes how badly it was hurt. I failed to hear the whisper.
Then, I was searching through my mind of the various means of apologizing and making amends when suddenly I was struck with an idea. Not many days ago, at college, I saw her sitting by the parking lot. I was noticing her for quite some time. She was looking elsewhere. I followed her vantage point and discovered that she was admiring a bike. I approached her
“Never saw you looking at a bike with such admiration, there are guys in our college too, so to speak”, I said
“I wish you had that bike, I’d love to go on a ride on that one”, she said.
That was my plan. One of my friends had the same bike. I called him up and asked for the aid. He agreed and my plan was set to flourish. After getting hold of the bike, I dialled for Sheekha but she didn’t respond. I tried again and she picked up.
“Hey, I am sorry; I know I’ve hurt you. Please meet me once. Now”, I pleaded
“I won’t come, forget it”, her voice had a tinge of anger mixed with sadness.
“I will be waiting for you at the same place and I’ll keep waiting until you come”, I said and I hung up.
My first stoppage was a gift store. I selected the cutest teddy bear which said “I am sorry” .I bought it immediately and paid in a hurry as I was getting late. When I reached the place I saw that she was waiting for me instead. She reached even before me. I blew the horn but she didn’t recognize me. Only after blowing the horn for few more times she finally saw me and came towards me. Although she was wearing a scarf around her face but I think she smiled. I saw her eyes narrowed. I held my hand towards her, holding the goodies but she refrained, pretending to look elsewhere. I said how sorry I was to hurt her. She knew what she means to me. I apologized with the most sincere feelings of my heart. Flattered by my apologies, she got on my bike and I was successful in appeasing her. We rode on that bike for hours. Her wish was fulfilled. She was feeling special and I was feeling happy to make her feel so.
All’s well that ends well.
I’d arrested my feelings for her. Although I felt a strong urge to confront her but I was afraid to do so. I was not ready for another relationship. The time I’d spent with Sheekha had healed my wounds. I was a happy person and she had become everything for me. I tried my utmost to suppress my feelings and remain as friends with her. But, sometimes things happen which you’ve never dreamt of.
It was a Monday morning, 13th of May. We had decided to catch the morning show of a romantic movie “Aashiqui 2”. I was all joyful. I put on my best attire that I had in my wardrobe followed by few accessories, spray of a new perfume which was gifted by my sister and finally put on the shoe which I had cleaned overnight. A green shirt checked in white, pair of blue denim, a clean suede leather shoe with untidy laces, a brown leather band on my right hand, watch on my right and the mandatory spectacles completed my appearance. I texted her that I was on my way, pulled my bike off the parking lot and headed for the meeting place. I had already waited for about twenty minutes when she arrived.
She looked gorgeous, beautiful to a fault. Dressed in a pink top, a pair of blue jeans followed by a black sandal, it appeared as if she was standing on the spotlight and everything around her had faded in the darkness. Her hair was neatly combed and kept in place by her hair band, clutched from behind. The thin line of mascara at the circumference of her eyelids made her eyes more vivid and radiant and the shiny lip-gloss made her lips irresistible. I felt an impulse to compliment her but I didn’t find the appropriate words to match her charisma. I was not good at complimenting, to be honest. She hopped on the rear seat and we drove for the multiplex.
Look of her face indicated that the movie had succeeded in entertaining her for sure. I had put my arms across her shoulder and she was resting her head on my shoulder. She was savouring the movie while I was watching her cheerful face from the corner of my eye. She looked more beautiful from that closeness. I turned my face towards her to take a better view of such a beauty. She turned towards me and looked into my eyes. She was looking with the same tenderness as I was looking at her. Her eyes amplified my heart beat. The atmosphere was silent and cold and the lights were dim. The echo of the dialogues from the movie was diminishing gradually. Slowly and steadily I pushed my lips towards her. She laid still. As I reached nearer, she closed her eyes. I placed my palm behind her head and pressed my lips against hers. I kissed her. She was numb for a moment. She did nothing. I kissed again and felt her lips trembling. I held her hand and then kissed her. I felt her lips rubbing against mine. She held my hand tight and impressed a soft and delicate kiss. I didn’t believe my senses. I felt intoxicated. She hid her face under my shoulder out of shyness.
“You are my boyfriend from now on”, she said in a low soft voice “I love you”
It was out of the blue. I had never imagined on my wildest dreams that she had the same feelings for me as well. I didn’t care about my pact of not getting into any other relationship.
She lifted her head and looked into my eyes “I don’t care about your past neither do I care about our future. What I know for sure is that nobody can make me happier than you. You are mine now and we will be together as long as we can”
I was silent and dumbstruck for a while. I gathered my nerves and responded
“I love you too Sheekha” I embraced her and kissed her forehead. We stayed lost in each other for a long time. I didn’t know what else to say so I kept quite as usual and let the newborn relationship dawn into both of us.