On a cold winter morning he was getting ready for his art class. It was extremely cold outside and he wished he didn’t have too go. He hated the winter season but he loved his art class. Rather, he loved being with her in his art class. The day he had thought about quitting his art class due to increasing pressure of work at college she had joined. One look at her and he knew he couldn’t quit now even if he wanted too. The thought of painting alongside her instantly cheered him up and he went whistling away to his art class thinking about her. On reaching he went to his desk and started setting things up. The past few months had been amazing as his relation with her as a friend had strengthened. He had become her best friend and would soon be her boyfriend as well. She shared all her problems and feelings with him. He had made it a point to be by her side through all her problems and had become the first person she called during problems and depended upon. He was sure that soon he would get the opportunity to propose her and tell her how much he loved her from the time he had seen her. The sound of the teachers booming voice brought him back to class. He frowned when he realized she had still not arrived. Surely, she would have informed him if she wasn’t going to come. Was she in some problem? Or had she fallen ill? Why had she not informed him about not coming in to class today? All sorts of wild thoughts started racing in his head in matter of seconds and he had to remind himself to calm down. Probably, she had got caught up in something unexpected because of which she had not been able to inform him. He couldn’t concentrate in class that day and earned a stern look from the teacher when he was lost in his own world looking out of the window. Class got over and he hurriedly packed all his stuff and dashed out of the class. He made his way home and dropped his bag on the floor and picked his cell phone to call her. He knew her number by heart and anxiously waited for her to answer the call. She didn’t answer and he got more tensed. He was going to throw his phone away on the sofa when a notification on the screen displayed a message from her. He quickly opened and read it. She had messaged that she could not talk now and wanted to meet in the evening at their favorite cafe. He replied back saying he would be there.

The entire day passed along quickly as he had lot of work to complete and as quickly as the day passed he made his way to their favorite cafe which overlooked the Eiffel tower. He reached there and looked around and saw her nowhere. He had probably arrived early in his hurry to meet her. He ordered a coffee and waited for it to come. He looked outside and watched the Eiffel Tower light up the night and tower above the city in all its glory. They often sat here not saying a word, simply looking out at the lights in the city. They had shared some of their best conversations here and had vowed to be best friends forever in this very cafe. He would even propose to her in this cafe and they would vow to love each other forever. His reverie was disturbed when the waiter arrived with his coffee. He thanked the waiter and absently stirred his coffee and waited for her. Moments later, she arrived and waved to him from a distance. There was something different about her today. As she came and made herself comfortable, she inched closer and said that there was something important that she wanted to tell him. He noticed that her face shown more radiantly than ever. Did she also want to confess her love for him? Was that the reason behind her more radiant smile today? He felt a shiver pass through his body as he thought about it. He asked her what was it that she wanted to speak about.

What followed next was completely unprecedented and left him in complete shock. She told him that she loved someone else and she had spent the entire morning with him at this cafe and he had proposed and asked her to be his girlfriend and she had said yes. She had known him since quite sometime but she wasn’t sure if he was the right guy for her. However, things changed when one day he had confessed his love for her and asked her whether she would give him a chance and date him for a while. She had agreed. Her feelings for him could not change just in a few more dates and so she had agreed. Instead, fate had proved her wrong and she found herself helplessly falling in love with this guy to whom till yesterday she had not given a second thought. She said it was the happiest moment of her life when today morning he had finally proposed to her. She then placed her hand on top of his and told him that he was the first person whom she had told about her relation. She continued to ask him whether she had done the right thing.

His entire body and all his emotions were in agony. He wanted to yell at the top of his lungs and he felt like his heart had ceased to beat. He maintained his calm appearance but behind the smiling face which was now telling her how happy he was for her, was a twisted and ugly man whose mind was in complete turmoil. She was delighted to hear that he was happy for her and supported her. She finished her coffee and got up to leave. She leaned forward and gave him a peck on his cheek after saying that she didn’t know what she would do without him. He had simply smiled at her and assured her that he would always be there for her no matter what. How could she have loved someone else when he was the one who always cared for her? He was with her during her worst problems and had not slept the nights she needed someone to talk too about her problems. In spite of that, he had never ever complained and yet gone for giving lectures at college. He had once left all his work aside and gone driving to her hometown when he received a message from her mother who told him she was very sick and had been admitted to the hospital. He had been by her side all day and taken care of her, never leaving her side even for a moment. And yet, she had not loved him the way he loved her. Perhaps he didn’t deserve her because clearly all his efforts had gone unnoticed. He blamed himself for bringing this misery upon himself and jumping conclusions. But how could she have not felt the special connection between them? He was devastated & heart broken.

As the tides of emotion swept over him drowning him in a pool of sorrow he thought to himself. What a fool he had been all this very while assuming that she would love him back the way he loved her! He shook his head and resolved never to fall in love again because the love of his life had been snatched away from him. Someone died that night at the cafe. Whether it was the man who loved her or whether it was the one who was her best friend, no one knows. After that evening he was a changed man. He buried himself in work and was always immersed in books when he was free. He just knew he had a promise to keep and he was going to fulfill it. Years passed by and yet he remained the way he was and retreated behind the walls of his house when he wasn’t in college teaching.

He was the best man. He stood and watched as the priest made her and her to be husband take the vows. She smiled and she looked in his direction. He gave her an encouraging smile and showed her a thumbs up sign. The priest now announced that they could kiss. He couldn’t watch. He walked away and heard screams and claps coming from the crowd around as the couple were engaged in a lip lock. This is what death must feel like, he thought to himself. To have your entire world and all your dreams sucked up into a large vacuum and leaving you behind simply as a body which would function till it could bear the trauma. He would gladly welcome death but this was too much. There was a poem which he remembered reading as a student of literature. He never knew that one day his entire life would be defined by those few lines. As he trudged along the dark streets of Paris, he recited those few lines which resounded his deepest emotions.

But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Such was the story of this man who loved so deeply and intensely that for her happiness he had to sacrifice his own love so that he could see her happy. These untold stories are the ones which posses a lot of meaning and tell us about the burdens that a heart has to endure in love.

-Babar Mir