True, they say first love cannot be forgotten and I haven't forgotten my first love either. I still remember my first Valentine's Day. A person whom I admired a lot as a friend, with whom I shared my feelings, had confessed his love to me for the first time. I was taken aback for a while, took a few minutes to recover and my joy knew no limits after he asserted his love.
All started one day when I got a message and I asked who it was, the reply came: "Guess who?" I tried the number and the person on the other end disconnected my call and messaged me not to call, but to guess who it was. Curiosity kills the cat and I called the number from landline, and there he was. Sweet, polite, calm and deep, like an ocean, whose depth I could never fathom till the end.
Don't know how my feelings were towards him when I heard his voice after a gap of nearly two years. I felt like getting back a friend after so many years, though I didn't know much about him or about his feelings. He had come like a wind and gone like a wind (thanks to my friend, his elder sister, a journalist! She had told me the lie that he's the elder sibling). I knew about him only through his sister and in between, the link went missing after he left for Australia, which I came to know again from his sister.
Now, all of a sudden, he comes back, finds my number and calls me. How strange!
We regularly called, messaged each other and kept in contact. We met once or twice in between. Never did it strike me that he was getting pulled towards me. Not even when he asked me to tell the colour of tiles I like (he was constructing a house). I pulled his legs telling that it is better to ask his mother or his would-be wife, as they will be the ones who will stay in the house. "My mom stays in the native, so I'm asking you." How dumb I was, I failed to understand the intention behind his query (Today, I wish I could buy that house if he has any plans of selling, as I have had my feelings attached to it).
During all these conversations, he never openly made it clear that he was interested in me. Our meetings, conversations and messages went on before the D-day came in front of me. On February 13, he called and requested me to meet him in the parking lot of my coaching class.
"Why?" I asked.
"You just come, you will know for yourself," he said.
I went first and waited for him (all these days, he used to wait for me!). He came. He looked bit nervous, though the ever-ready smile was on his lips. He didn't speak much, but said: "Wait for half-an-hour here. You will know why I called you." He vroomed on his bike and I was left alone in the parking lot.
I went to the class and waited, while others in the hostel wondered why I had gone to the class despite having a holiday. I waited for half-an-hour and called him. He was nervous: "Are you still there?"
"Yeah, but tell me the reason. How long should I wait here?"
"Another 10 minutes, you will know. Please, can you wait?"
A moment of silence from him.
"Ok, not more than that."
I wondered why he's making me to wait there. Didn't want to hurt him, so waited for another half-an-hour, totally an hour! Never before did I wait like that for any of my friends.
After an hour, I called him: "I can't wait like this, I'm going."
"Ok," he said in a low voice.
He didn't tell why he had asked me to wait there.
The next day, I went to the class and everybody greeted me with a mischievous smile. Before I could know the reason, a big bouquet of red roses kept on the table in the office room drew my attention.
The staff informed me that somebody had sent me the bouquet. "Who's the lucky guy?" one of my classmates asked.
I was dumb for a while, I couldn't answer his question. I just took the bouquet and left the place.
I called him to know what does he meant by his act.
"Did you get it? This is why I asked you to wait yesterday."
"Did you like it?"
"Like what? Bouquet?"
"Yes, I chose it personally for you and wanted to give you a surprise."
"What does this mean?"
"It means I love you."
I was not just surprised by his answer, rather shocked.
"Are you sure?"
My literature background came for my help.
"Is it like for this year you like me and next year you will fall in love with someone else?"
"Not like that."
"Then..." I asked in a high tone: "What do you know about me? I have seen guys falling in love and leaving girls in the lurch later..."
"No, I'm not like that," he pleaded.
"So far, how many roses have you got?"
"How many roses did you give?"
"I didn't count the roses in that bouquet, you can count them if you want."
I laughed at his sense of humour.
He became serious and whispered: "I love you, I want to marry you."
"I want time to think about it."
"Take your own time, but don't hurt me."
I was confused. I liked him as a friend, but never did I think what if he becomes my life partner!
Unlike western countries, India is still conservative when it comes to weddings and proposals. Religion and caste play a major role besides economic status. Though we belonged to the same religion, he was from a caste lower to that of mine. Economic status didn't bother much, as he was a techie (IT industry was in its boom and everyone wanted a techie to be his/her life partner).
After a few months, proposals started coming and my parents were eager to fix one. It was then I realized that without my knowledge I had fallen in love, I had given my heart to him without telling him.
"This is a nice proposal, you will be happy if you marry this guy," my mom said refereeing to a guy. Suddenly, tears popped up and I had no other go, but to tell her about my love. My parents consented with a condition that before taking any steps, they would like to meet the guy and his parents.
I called him to tell about it and I couldn't speak much. I cried more than speaking, putting him in trouble.
"My parents are looking out for a proposal."
"I told them about you."
"Did you accept my proposal? I knew you would."
He was more than happy.
Everything was fine. I waited for his “elder sister” to get married.
He had accepted me as his wife. We discussed a lot about our future. We had a lot of dreams and plans before a stormy day came in front of us.
He had to choose between his mother and me. His mother threatened to kill herself if he marries me against her wish.
He had gone to his native to seek his grandfather's help for our wedding. He came back, but as a completely different person. His calls started decreasing, no replies for my messages. I felt he's avoiding me. I wanted to meet him to know what's happening. After avoiding me for about a week, he told in a low but a firm voice: "Let your parents search another guy for you."
Hell broke down upon me. He made me to wait for over a year to make me see this day, to leave me in the lurch, to shatter my dreams. He made me feel that I had built a castle in the air. He became philosophical, told me that we wouldn't be happy if we marry against his mother's wish and he couldn't see her crying everyday because of our relationship. I cried, I begged him to change his decision, but in vain.
He came like a wind and went like a storm, destroying my peace of mind, love, faith, dreams, plans and everything. He breached my trust, trust on him, the very trust on love.
Today, we both are (happily?!) married to different persons (My hubby knows about my first affair and I doubt if his wife knows about me). Though I had invited him for my wedding, he didn't dare to come.
He didn't invite me for his wedding and my hubby laughs at me for expecting an invitation from him.
He passes through my mind very often, especially on every Valentine's Day, after all, he was my first valentine, the first guy who had told me "I love you"!