Ascent Publication
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Ascent Publication

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Was It Love???

One fine morning, in early June, I landed at a new city, where I would be pursuing my college. My mother had come along with me to get me settled, since, it was the first time I was about to live away from home, and the thought itself had been freaking them for months.

We had arrived a few days before the college was due to start, and she took this opportunity to make me meet the few people she knew there. One of her friend’s son was also starting his college here, so she took me to introduce me to them. 'Just in case of emergencies’ — she said, trying to convince me, as I rolled my eyes. I had not even known about her this friend’s existence and so I wasn’t comfortable with this introduction thing.

Finally, we arrived at their hotel. The boy’s mother opened the door and the introductions started. The boy was busy unpacking his luggage when his mother called him to introduce us. My first look on seeing him was that he was cute. The elders asked us to exchange our mobile numbers so that we may be in touch, but since we were yet to purchase a local SIM, we came to the conclusion that we would take it from our respective mothers, if the need be. Then we left, as even I had a lot of stuff to do before college would start.

My mother went back home after two days and I moved to the hostel, ready to attend college the next day.

College was good. Soon I made friends in college as well as in hostel. It was a different experience altogether, living with girls of your age. It was fun. Each of us had so much to share and days passed swiftly.

On one such day, we were playing truth and dare at our hostel late at night, when my phone beeped. There was a message from an unknown number saying- “Hey this is John. You had come to my hotel with your mother. If you don’t remember, kindly ignore this message”.

It took me a second to realise it was my mother’s friend’s son. I had actually not bothered to ask his name that day as I was too embarrassed. I was pleasantly surprised and to an extent, flattered. I had found him cute and had wanted to stay in touch, but was too shy to admit. Now that he had messaged me from his new number, somehow made me feel good that he remembered me. I quickly replied that of-course I do remember him. I saved his number and from that day we started to chat via messages.

In those days we didn’t have WhatsApp and SMS were the only messaging option. Being a student then, we got a good deal of 100 free SMS per day. This was to our advantage, as, during college life, we had to limit our expenses.

At first, our chats were restricted to 'Hello, how was your day?’ and those formal stuffs. Slowly, as we got more open to each other, the number of messages we exchanged, increased, and it slowly reached the point where we would exhaust our daily limit of 100 SMS and would have to wait for it to be past 12 a.m. so that our message pack would be re-activated.

My friends would complain that I was always on phone, but I wouldn’t bother. He had become a good friend of mine, though I didn’t understand if my feelings for him meant more than that. I wasn’t ready to accept. I had a soft corner for him, but I didn’t know how he felt about me. Our chats were always casual.

We used to be the first ones to wish each other on birthdays and our friends would tease us mercilessly. We met rarely and when we did, it was just a friendly meet. I knew my feelings for him were getting stronger by the day, but I was scared to voice it out. What if he only thought me to be a good friend? He was cute and handsome, of-course he would want to have hotter girls as his girlfriends. I didn’t want to face rejection and lose him even as a friend.

Days passed into months and finally it was our vacation time. I was heading home after 6 whole months and was damn excited. His college didn’t have vacation that time and I knew it won’t be possible to message him, till the duration I was at home.

On my way back from home, I was travelling on a train with one of my hostel friend. In the train we meet a guy who was very helpful and sweet. That night as soon as I reached back to my hostel, the first thing I did was message John.

His response was prompt, as if he had been waiting for my message. It was flattering as I had missed messaging and chatting with him. After we updated each other about the last few days, he suddenly asked me if I had a crush on someone. I was confused as to why was he asking me this now. Still, I thought to play it a little and said about the guy I met on the train. His response was an abrupt 'Ok’, for which I didn’t know what to reply. Within seconds I got another message from him asking me to sleep as I must be tired from all the travelling. It was then I realised how tired I was, and so took his advice and slept off.

Next day I didn’t hear from him till noon. On asking, he just said that he was busy with a project which he had to submit in a few days. Though I did feel there was something wrong, I didn’t push him further and decided I would only message him next when he did. For the next few days I didn’t hear from him. When it was no longer possible for me to control myself, I finally gave up and messaged him if there was something bothering him. He replied after an hour saying that he had already told me that he was busy with the project.

I was hurt and confused. Why was he behaving like this? Was he jealous of the train guy? If he did have feeling for me, why didn’t he ever say me in all these months? And was this reason enough to break all that we had?

Slowly our communication became almost nil till it reached a point where we only wished each other on birthdays.

As the years passed, my marriage got fixed and my ring ceremony was decided to be held at my home town. After the engagement, as we were having dinner with all our guests, someone patted me on my back. When I turned, I saw John standing there. Seeing my perplexed expression, he explained that since I hadn’t bothered calling him on my great day, he decided he would still come and convey his regards in person.

I was happy to see him, but also sad, and nervous as if someone had caught me committing some crime. It still wasn’t clear what made him so detached from me. Was it really my fault? What would my life had been if that one incident hadn’t taken place?

It’s been 5 years now since I got married. He is also married now to his love, whom he met when he started working after college. We still wish each other on birthdays and other special occasions, just like friends do.

But were we ever anything more than friends? Did he ever share the same feelings that I had for him? Had there ever been love between us? Don’t lovers always meet in the end and live happily ever after? I still don’t know. But as they say, life goes on and life isn’t a fairy-tale.

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Anusha Hansaria

Anusha Hansaria

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Android Developer by Profession, Blogger at Heart. Love writing about life and life experiences. I believe, writing is the most effective way to express oneself