I’d rather you stay
It’s funny how we think we’d be there with someone forever, without grasping on to the fact that life changes fast enough to make us realize that we were wrong the entire time. And sometimes, no one leaves. Despite being there for each other, it’s still feasible to move apart. Sometimes we move apart due to fate, while sometimes we move apart because we want to. Even when we want that special person to stay, we move away ourselves at times. Maybe because we were never meant to be. Or maybe because we need to meet that person again the first time.
I regretted not telling Farah about my tingling every time I thought of her. I mean, she was clever enough to keep that ‘distance’ from me so that no one doubted us of being together, but she was a fool to not understand how I’d construct situations to hold her hand. I’d wait outside her classroom like a creep to make sure I needed help with my assignments, though I was a topper in my class. I’d wake up late nights to talk to her but lie to her that I have insomnia. I’d hold her hand while crossing the road though I was afraid of crossing it myself.
Farah was different. Never did she ever give me fake hopes or waste my time. Every single breathe I loved her was worth it. Just the thought of meeting her the next day made me feel like the luckiest person alive.
“You know that I’m going away right? I’m shifting to a new college for the scholarship thing?” I told her.
“I do know that.”
“And you have no reactions about me leaving?”
“Do you want me to cry and give a fake emotional post on Instagram?”
“That’d be a pleasure. Thank you.”
“Fuck you. You betrayed me as a friend.”
Ever since I’ve learnt the meaning of goodbyes, I have avoided it. Sometimes it was because I was afraid I’d become over emotional. Sometimes it was because I’d have hunger for one more goodbye. And I had avoided a goodbye with Farah too. I remember saving up my money for a small teddy bear, a box of maltesers, and a framed photo of us together. Kids save money for their wife. Men save money for their family. Legends save money for themselves. I saved money for someone who had no clue I was in love with her. I managed to somehow deliver the gifts to her though.
And then, life happened. The promised videocalls turned to unrealistic dreams. The vowed hangouts turned to never-happening jokes. The so called more than just a best friend turned to a stranger.
Seven years later
It’s very boring to go out of your room and greet unwanted guests. It mainly is negative to me because those guests are at times interested ‘in laws’ who want me to tie the knot with their daughter. Every fucking interested father in law looks at me like I am a stripper and how my appearance is making him so happy. Sorry for that reference though. You sit and you look down at the floor, smiling like a crazy ass pornstar. Then they ask you to know every fucking thing about their daughter within ten minutes. Once that ten minutes is over, they come to check whether we held hands or had eye-sex.
I hate arranged marriage. Sorry.
And just like every single damn time, I had to change into a Panjabi. Though I was putting more clothes on my body, I felt naked how every interested father in law stared at me. Asking my salary seemed to me like asking my price for one night. Asking my education degrees seemed to me like asking for the sex positions I can do. This time, I walked into the drawing room, and the moment I looked up, I could not believe it. It was Farah.
She didn’t speak until we were asked to “get to know each other” in my room. The moment we two got alone, she hugged me like I was a lost groom.
“You fucking betrayer! You never called!”
“Neither did you.”
“How are things? I mean, did you get a new best friend who replaced me?”
“I looked for one, but no one was such a piece of shit like you.”
While we kept talking, my unpleasant relatives walked into the room like unwanted whores and started making the ‘aww’ sound. It seemed like they got turned on by seeing a boy and a girl talking. I wonder what their reaction would be while watching porn.
Those feeling came back. I was seeing butterflies every time I thought of her. It was like I found a tear in the middle of a sea. Sorry that was very fucking cheesy.
But I did not really know whether she wanted this marriage. I mean come on, she is so fucking gorgeous. I loved how she miserably fails to tie her hair properly despite being a girl. I loved how she spent money on food for herself instead of giving her friends a treat. I just loved the way she was. The most imperfect, but my perfect one. There was no way in hell I was going to get married to her. Speaking of which, it made me feel like a hypocrite. A few sentences back I was hating arranged marriage and now I am saying about how arranged marriage is what I needed to rock my world.
Again those memories started flying back to me. I’d be leaving her again. Oh no wait. This time she would be leaving me. Oh no no wait. How would she leave me if she was never mine? Fuck. Plot twist.
“So are you never going to tell me?” she asked me during our phone call conversation.
“Tell you what?”
“I know you like me.”
“Friends do like friends. What’s there to tell?”
“You know what Farah? I don’t see any point in talking to you. Because we’d have to break this marriage either way. And when we do that, we will move on with our lives. The story will end before it even starts.”
“Why will we have to break this marriage?” my heart started racing fast as she asked me this question.
“Because I’m not the one for you?”
“Did I tell you that? Don’t leave. I’d rather you stay.”
Maybe I turned more handsome. Or maybe she knew that I could not never get over her, which is why I stopped believing in love. Whatever. Trust me. Arranged marriage can break you out of the friend zone. Arranged marriage can make you feel like a naked whore despite being overdressed. Most importantly, arranged marriage can make you stay.
I still haven’t decided how I’d act romantic with her. Whatever happens, she will still be that same Farah I was afraid to kiss on the cheek. Whatever happens, she will still be that same Farah I will spend my honeymoon with. But then again, if there isn’t a best friend in every life partner, what kind of life partner is that?