She missed him. All the time. She hated the time when they were not together. When she bought her new phone, the first call was placed to his number. When she saw a couple locked in an embrace, she longed for his arms. His thoughts dominated her life entirely.
She was in love.
It didn’t come as a big surprise, as she’d always loved love stories and wanted one of her own. She spent most of her time with books and day dreaming. Every time she had a chance to escape the real world, she’d retreat into fantasy. When she was sixteen and all her friends were falling in love, she was in a relationship in her imaginary world with an imaginary guy. It was sometimes Harry Potter, sometimes one of the Hardy boys. She never had time for the real boys in her life. The ones she had created were so much better. Of course they were, she customized them according to her desires. Years passed, and she was still in her juvenile fantasies.
And one day, she met Aakash . He was different from the ideal boyfriend she’d dreamt of, but he was real. She liked him a lot better. Maybe she was getting a little too old for daydreaming. He was special, for he made her feel special. He made her laugh, he was fun, he was crazy, and he was crazy about her. They started going out and she was blown away by his adoration. He’d pick her up on the way to college and drop her back home in the evening. He said the sweetest things, would remember the smallest things she said and was always around to take care of her. Of course, she fell for him.
They started taking each other’s presence in their lives for granted. Even after they had a fight, she knew he’d pick her up the next morning, and he knew she’d be waiting for him. Slowly things started to change. They were fighting more often. Things weren’t as sweet as before. Had he changed, or was she being unreasonable? She didn’t like the way he talked to her, it was downright rude sometimes. The one who had made her feel like a princess was treating her like a slave. Well, not like a slave exactly, but that’s how she felt. Their fights were not the silly arguments like they had before; they were now being deliberately hurtful. She realized now, that he didn’t deserve her. Yet, the next her phone rang, she answered it. She accepted the meaningless apologies. They were still together.
On her birthday, she realized with a jolt that it had been three years since they’d started going out. In these three years, things had completely changed. She had completely changed. Her dreams and priorities had changed. As her love for him had grown, it was as if her love towards herself had waned. She was proud of his accomplishments, but she hadn’t tasted success for a long time. She was in her final year of college, and had been planning to take a very tough exam. Instead of prepping for that, she was watching movies with him, planning outings with him and daydreaming about him. The relationship which had provided stability in his life, had become her weakness. The sense of complacency it provided in her life had wrecked her dreams and killed her efforts. It had happened so slowly that somehow she hadn’t even realized it. Until today, when she looked into the mirror and saw a hopeless wreck staring at her, instead of the confident over-achiever. For a guy who hadn’t even remembered her birthday. She broke down and cried. For the entire day. She cried for her broken dreams, the wasted moments and her crushed spirit. She wondered how it had happened to her.
She had lost herself when she found him. Would she have to lose him to find herself again?
It was a very difficult decision; it felt like she was ripping away a piece of her soul. She barricaded herself in her house for a week and drowned herself in thoughts and plans involving her. She fought the impulse to see him, to hear his voice, to feel his arms around her. She fought like an addict desperately trying to rid her mind from a poisonous drug. She hoped he was too busy to notice the change in her. For she knew that the minute he tried to win her back, her resolve would melt.
For three months she held her mind a prisoner, not allowing it to have even a moment’s respite. She had become a maniac, struggling constantly against herself. She had to crack the CAT exam; she allowed herself no other thought. She suffered more than she had ever done in her entire life. She cried more than ever, she was rapidly losing weight. She kept telling herself to go on. “I have to crack CAT.” It became a prayer, a litany, an obsession.
It paid off. All her trials and tribulations bore fruit. She had achieved a score which she could never have imagined. She was bursting with pride and joy. She felt she was back to her former self and was happier than she’s been in a very long time. The thoughts of future delighted her. She would leave this dreadful place and reach greater heights. It was exactly the way it was meant to be.
She shared her happiness with her friends and family. It was a week of partying and reveling in her success. Amidst all the excitement however, something was missing. Someone was missing. Without thinking, she reached for her phone and punched his number.
“Hello Aakash? I have great news!!!”