A description of the real happening in the most memorable six months of my teenage life.
Standing by the door with the bag on my shoulder, I look around with a lost face. Crap! There’s no one in this room whom I think I know and damn my life for subjecting me in this situation again!!!
I look for a place to sit and my searching sight pauses on a lone plastic stool on my very right. I drag it towards me without a sound and take my bag off as I sit, putting it in my lap. Keeping my eyes low I try to bring my nervousness under control. I should be acting casual among these people but I am finding it quite hard. They are just normal beings, I am sure they do not bite. Rising my head above, I move it around the room. None has changed here, literally nothing. Physics tuition class is still the same as it used to be last year. Those chairs and stools lined up along the opposite walls, a big wooden-planked square table with iron legs placed in the center of the room, benches along its three sides and a big white board hanging on the front wall. Everything set up in the same way. New are only the faces; girls and boys that I have never seen, all unacquainted as they are supposed to. All I know about them is that they have same pair of eyes as I do; even these walls and benches are much more known to me than the people here.
“Where’re you from? What school?” Suddenly a voice shakes me out of my thoughts, one of the boys sitting beside me asks with a gazing look.
“I’m private, it is my improvement year”, I provide him with an immediate answer.
”Really! How many marks did you grab past year?” He asks again curiously.
Ugh…why do people keep talking about marks!!! feels like a twinge in my heart!!
“Just not enough to move on pal” I reply with a doleful face trying to get the conversation off the topic. I avoid the talks pertaining to my past, they are abashing to answer.
Soon the room gets more crowdy; every single seat gets occupied, students packed in it like sardines in a can. I squirm in my seat, shit…so uncomfortable in here with strangers. I am desperate to get through this awkward hour.
I see it written at the top of the white-board in black ink as I look up, underlined. ACs! I exclaim with quite a delight in my voice because it is one of those very few topics in physics that I find easy to get my head around and remember much of it. Not a bad thing to start again with. Despite there is nothing else written on the board other than the title, I keep my eyes there to avoid some uncanny sights. I cannot stand them staring at me, I am self-conscious. Why are they watching? I’m a newcomer, is that why? Stop that! Making me nervous! I murmur inwardly
Discreetly glancing in front, I see a shy face, a quiet girl sitting with her leg crossed on the chair. She seems to be writing something in her notebook; dressed up in a maroon kurta, tightly stitched around her waist and charcoal black leggings. Fair and appealing she is but…not my cup of tea.
This isn’t the mission soldier, isn’t the mission! Back off! My firm subconscious orders so, I look away.
Life flips you off in unpredictable ways sometimes. Turned out I hit the bottom in Math in my senior secondary and I have filled out for improvement in all the subjects again. Failure is the reason mainly why I am here. I am in the same tuitions again, sitting here to make up for the faults that I have made in the past. And it has been a terrible phase ever since, going through all the suffering and embarrassment of the past couple of months was once more than enough. In such situation, nothing seems to help in cheering up, even the upbeat music sounds irritating. When things go bad with you, world does not seem to be a beautiful place. I used to spend entire days sitting depressed. Only my favorite tracks could see me through, help me out of it. I am still sullen most of the time, post-failure jitters. But life is about moving on despite facing setbacks and failures. Embarking upon this thought, I have put myself back together for improvement which I am pretty sure I will do. I am not willing to blow away my second opportunity which I have managed to get after scraping through all the results and the rough phase.
‘Seeking for ladies is not the objective’ that is the moral code that I must be living up to for success.
These people would not do any bad to me but I am so embarrassed to be here and I am scared by the thought of being known as a failure among them. It is a scar that I am yet to get use to.
I scowl at myself as I wake up late next morning, rubbing my eyes. According to my ‘to-do’ I am supposed to be on my desk right now hitting the books. Why am I still feeling sleepy? The sun has risen up to my head and I am still lying in the bed. Damn snoozes!!!
I knock off the feeling and follow my ‘for-being-on-top’ routine. It is a relief to have a new start; back on square one, need to roll the dices now in my favor and finish it off better this time.
I reach for the tuition in the evening with the clock just coming up to five, sit in the same place where I did yesterday. I sit there as quiet as I could be, trying not to get the attention on me by any means. I just run my eyes here and there, checking out everything around. The little break before the teacher arrives, those spare five-six minutes are hard to kill, everyone talking to their mates about how their day passed in the class, discussing whether they should go or not the next day, asking integral questions to one another, girls chattering and chuckling but I have no one to talk, just my solitude and me. So I go through my notebook, have a look at the topics that were discussed in the class the previous day.
“Did you see Lesnar last night? Wasn’t he awesome?” I overhear a guy around talking to his squad.
“WeIl, I did! You saw that too?”I snap as I turn towards him, in attempt to pick up with the conversation. Wrestling talks work perfect in getting along with guys. My known facts and knowledge help me in blending with them. I get off to a decent start the second day but yet to find my feet, have a reputation. I must be putting my mind to studies now, cannot forget to cram in and cram in hard this time. Have it no less than nailed!
Class begins; we are still on the AC Circuits.
‘The emf of an AC circuit is…”
I pen down the first words on my notebook. As soon as write those I feel eyes on me. Who’s that? I look up and catch a girl watching me at that very moment, so I turn my eyes away in a rush and she does too, just like two strangers would usually do. I did not look, although I sensed her sight off me. What was that? Did we look at each other at the exact moment or was she looking from a while? Everybody have their eyes on the board and I have mine on her. The quizzical expression on her face makes it clear that she just checked me out as a newbie because I have joined in mid-session. Nothing much it was I take it casual. Sitting opposite to me about five yards away give or take, in a candy pink top wearing spectacles she is little more unfamiliar to my sight. She is not the one whom I checked out the other day; how did I miss her? I mean, I do not miss pretty faces around me, not that pretty at least. She may have been absent that day. Whatever! I cut off the thoughts and look at her couple of times more. She is good looking, beautiful indeed, fairest complexion in the room. I spend the entire hour adoring her, wondering what is on her mind.
I check her out the next day as well. She is busy in her girly conversations and I am busy watching her. I am having a look at her in every five minutes but she has not been noticing it.
Two days pass like that. I do not know why I am faffing and fantasizing about that girl in specs all day long. I fancy watching her. I have not got any second but her first look has been flashing in my mind over and over again ever since and I am craving for another one badly. Look again Ms. Specs! Let me see in those night black eyes. She is still not watching. Why can’t she look again? Do I look like Voldemort or what? Pfff… No walking thing has ever got me hooked this much in a single look. But she has, what is it about? Her hypnotic gaze? Innocence on her face? Or do I have a thing for girls with specs? I cannot fathom why. I do not understand.
I write one sentence then I check her out again, with my sight eager to have the favor, wanting her to look and….there!!!…… She looks again, for the tiniest part of a second and gets her eyes off as soon as I catch them. That moment passes so quick even a blink of an eye seems to take more time. I down my eyes and my lips quirk up in a half smile. It feels good, feels great. Maybe it is not much passionate like the ones in movies where the orchestral music and close camera cuts boast up the entire scene but at least it is real, much real.
Having a crush is exciting. It is good but up to movies and books; in non-fiction life, it is troubling. The problems far outnumber the perks of it. Thousands of heartbroken fools are not hard to find around, dumped and ditched living in denial. I really do not wish to join others. Kind of a hopeless romantic I am so I must not be messed for my good. All premature school relationships are doomed to end in terrible way; it is blithering to be in such. I have already had enough problems; do not want to add to those.
The seat beside the doorway has become my particular now; it is like a home to me in that room, my vantage point. I can have secret gazes on her no matter where she sits in the room. Reaching the class very first thing I do is to look for her whether she is there or not and when she does not come, the evening passes in desolation. I keep guessing the reason behind for the rest of the day.
What am I getting myself into? These are not good symptoms, I must refrain. However her presence has kept my mind off the nervousness and my discomfiture, I do not feel it anymore. But wisdom is telling me to turn away. It is not the path that I should be walking on right now.
I stay awake for entire nights, lie in bed for handful of hours but could not manage even a good nap. Why am I unable to sleep? This has been a problem since past few nights; thoughts of her have overtaken my sleep. Great! So now am I an insomniac as well?
I keep thinking all the time Do I stand any chance of ending up by her side? After wondering the odds of it through all those sleepless nights, I jump to the conclusion that there is no such possibility if I do not pursue. Girls do not come to you on a silver platter and even somewhere if they do then not like her. But how can I even think about pursuing her! She is like nucleus, concentrated with all the pretty charge and I guess I could be just one of the many electrons that may revolve around her. Whatever I do but can not fall into the nucleus, keep living in temptation. I swear I cannot get her out of my head, she is angelic. She can land a thousand boys like me and even better, why on earth it’d be me? She looks sincere like Rachel Dawes; gorgeous like Lois Lane and intelligent like Felicity Smoak. Looking at me on the other hand, rather than being one of those respective heroes, what am I? A dumbo to her. Because I do not possess charms like Bruce Wayne, I am not Superman either or Arrow, I stand nowhere. Look at me, not even two weeks have passed yet and I am so caught up in her, losing myself in the reverie of her thoughts. Dang it! That’s a bad sign!
She has become my crush now, definitely. I am obsessing, about myriads of her traits. She is rich of amazing adjectives. Every word that signifies beauty would suit her yet some of her charms remain ineffable. You want to call them collectively, you can call her name. Name!!…wait a second, what’s her name?Why have not I thought about it until now!!! But I never needed it, for gazing on her discreetly and for the snoopy glimpses. But I do now, I feel like I should know everything about her, be her Wikipedia link or something!! I am nil on her persona and I have to find a way to know her. Not even Google can help me here!!! About the name, I think I should wait, maybe the teacher or her colleagues call her by name while talking, that way I can it find out without much effort. So I sit tight, having my ears to the ground I try to eavesdrop her every conversation but…
Five days, damn it!!! Five days pass and nobody calls her, not loud enough to for me to hear. I guess I have to find it out on my own. But how the hell? I do not have the stomach to ask her straight, so timid I am. Asking to anyone else has its own shortcomings. I am a newbie here and the last thing I want is to have these people hearing on the grapevine about me and some girl even when there is nothing. I am unable to think of any other way. What If I stay subtle while asking? Put it in a delicate way instead? It may work then provided that I pick the right guy, who is not smart enough to anticipate my real motive.
Next day, rather than my actual place I sit beside a real dumb who could tell me her name. I know he would not be able to understand my wits. Putting on a set face, suppressing my curiosity I ask him
“Hey listen, you s… see…seeing that girl? Sitting over there?” I bumble a bit, directing him with my eyes to her I continue
“I saw her yesterday somewhere around my home…..”
“Who?She? Shrutika?…..”, Atta boy!!! Before I could even finish he spits out her name, not the surname though. It takes me just one fake but credible sentence to bring it out.
She has really nice name, one you do not hear too often. I spell it over and over and over again the whole hour, I like the way it sounds, has a nice ring to it.
I know her name now at least. Writing it in different fonts, drawing graffities, I go crazy on it for the first two days. Keep writing them on the back pages of notebooks in like hundreds of styles then striking them out multiple times to hide them.
I should not be too jubilant, there is still a lot more to dig about. Having her name is not even the first step and there are millions yet to be climbed.
I have had crushes before on quite a few girls but most of those did not have the possibility to grow and the rest were nine days wonders. What if this is another one of such infatuations? Short living fad? It is so complicated, I cannot judge, it is hard to figure out.
She has been absent the past two days, do not know why?
“Where were you?” With the same question in mind the teacher asks her, noticing her presence back.
I look for her as I hear that and find her sitting along the center table with both of her hands resting on it. There she is, the wonder woman!
“Had a debate” She answers
“What debate?” He questions again
“Whether the empowerment of women in the society is actually happening or not.” she grins and replies politely.
Debates! She does debates! And on women empowerment! Didn’t see that coming! I suppose she has a strong mental personality. I have been presuming her a bit fragile and girly attributed till now. I come to know that she has a fair interest in journalism and media. Hmmm. If I am not wrong, she aims to be a reporter. Now that’s one great choice. But I am not surprised that she excels at debates and has few trophies as well. Of course she would win easily because why anyone on this planet would want to argue with probably the cutest girl in the universe? At least I would not!! I would rather want to lose; agreeing with every point that she would make I let her win.
I reach earlier for the class next evening. I walk by a parked black scooter. It looks like hers, so I look for the license plate but it mentions a different combination than what I was expecting, guess she has not arrived yet. Ever since I have come to know the ride she comes by, watching even a sleek AUDI A6 does not amaze me as much as seeing a shiny black Honda Aviator somewhere. It feels like every such vehicle in the city is her possession.
In the class, I find my seat already occupied so I sit next to my usual place barely few inches away from the opened door, almost blocking the entrance.
“What do you think? Which exam could be hard nut this time?” One of the two guys sitting on my right knocks on my shoulder asking for opinion.
“Taking last exams in account, anyone could be a bitch this time. Oh well!” I reply with a little sense of humor.
They are naive comparatively and since it is my second, I do have a little experience in that so I acquaint them with the procedure and the tips which could be helpful for them. I pause for a moment to check on her but she still has not come, knocking it off I continue patronizing those boys. The next moment, I feel threads rubbing pass my left hand resting on my black nike knapsack. When I turn my head the other side, I see her entering. Observing her from this close leaves me bug eyed. She struggles a little while trying to make it through the small gap between me and the door. With her waist skimming my left hand, I feel hair on my arms standing on ends, zapping through my veins I feel like a current has passed. She walks by, leaving the air behind scented in her aroma. I do not know what heaven is like but I am certain its smell would not differ much than hers, it is natural and arousing. I am not familiar with such sensations with females. And with a crush it is a first, never happened before. It lasts for a very brief moment and it comes so casual without any intention, she does not even notice. While I think I am going to take the memory of this sensual moment to my next life. Neither on purpose nor with the skin but… whatever!! I just got a touch of her!!! And I am amused with it. She is wearing a half sleeved mimi pink top on her slender body and royal blue ankle pants down her legs, ending up an inch above her fair feet. And her sandals, Whoa! What are those? Gucci’s? adding perfection to her impeccable attire. She looks ravishing. Her spectacles are not like those fancy broad framed, in their stead they are simple and as I try to look through them, they reflect my sight back. My unblinking eyes follow her until she takes a seat. As she turns around and sits on the chair in my opposite row, her hairs fall swinging on her shoulders. There is something about her hair. They add to her thousand charms, I like those. From braided to pony or a side bun to simply clutched, every style behaves on her straight and neutral black silks, I always adore them. She tucks a tendril behind her right ear, holds one of her swinging silver earrings and starts playing with it. She is much more lively and fanciful than any other girl I have ever known. With my eyes fixed there I keep smiling inwardly like idiots. I watch her like that for quite a long while. Stop staring! You’d put a hole in there! My subconscious impels me to look away.
I know this is not lust. It would not have lasted this long, a month. I watch her in the most respectful way I can. My gazes have never been perverse on her; my mind has never been cheap thinking about her. It is a rare thing with guys, but it is true. Watching her from a distance without being able to talk is no different than a torture. I want to know her inside out, befriend her if she may. But question arises, How to do so? Seeking for opinions, I tell it to my best online mates and they all advise me to ask her out like it is a cakewalk. Ask her out!! We’re not in America, Are we?
And what would I even say? She does not even know me, not a bit. I have not talked to her ever, if I would go to her and start the conversation by asking her out like westerns, I am pretty sure she would rebuff on my face saying “Who the hell are you?” Or maybe worse, however she seems gentle at heart. I can ask her to be friends. But I do not have the guts to even look in a girl’s eyes while talking, I am a wimp among them then how would I be able to do that!
Weeks pass and I do not figure out an alternative. If I am ever unable to get through a dilemma or any problem, I think on it while in a cold shower and it certainly helps. This time it does too. Through what way can I express it all to her without facing her for more than a minute? Of course, by writing it to her. Writing a letter is still as lame as it has ever been but I do not have much of a choice here and I am not horrible at it either, so I am going to give it a go. I decide to put it all on a piece of paper.
At night, I sit along my study desk; scratching my chin, holding a waterman paris in my right hand I try to get started. But I could not… I could not manage to pen down a single sentence, a fragment, not even a syllable. What should I begin with? Hey? Heya? Hi? Hello? In my life I have never hated English more. Several such words and I do not know what to begin with? Which would be best? Which would make her feel most friendly? And should I mention her name? I think I should, so that she would know it is only for her and has not fallen to her accidentally although I do not plan her to have it that way. I wish to give it to her in person. Firstly, it needs to be written and for that I must get started. But I still do not know what exactly I should write. After beating my brain like that for about ten minutes I start sinking in my chair, I put my pen back in its holder, close the notebook and slide it aside. Thinking of it as a crap idea; I tuck in my bed and try to think over it until I am awake. Looking at the ceiling above for inspiration I get a few opening lines. Every other day I get more and more ideas and it takes me a week like that to figure out the entire content. Ending the conflict I begin it with ‘Hey’ following her name, then a few introductory lines. I compose it in the best way I can and write it in the best handwriting. I mention it all, how it has been for me, what is the whole point and also that I have not stalked her like the bad guys. So that she would know that I am not the worst kind of person. The objective is to ask her to be friends and I do not wish for a negative response so I present a lot of good build up in the letter before getting to it. At a point the ink gets bubbled and the next word goes like ‘would’. I tear the letter in half immediately and ball it up on its way to the trash can. Even that tiny mess up bums me out. Sometimes I make grammatical mistakes or spell a word wrong, every such time the paper ends up into the bin. I want it to be perfect and without a single undesired mark. It is harder than I expected it to be. Finally in my ninth redo I get it done, concluding it with a sincere outro. phew! What a relief!
But the actual job is not done yet, now comes the dominant part, the tougher one. It needs to be delivered to its unique destination. For that I consider different ways like leaving it on her scooter. But it has risks as it could get misplace easily plus it is far too lame as well. I have to do this by myself. Ask me to jump from above, maybe I will do it for you without any second thoughts but talking to these other gorgeous creatures of nature namely ‘women’ is not my thing, never have been. My mere silence is enough to keep them at bay. But now, no matter how difficult it may seem I have decided that I would not back off this time. I am willing to give at least one shot to this.Hell my cowardice and fudge my introversion!! I am going to do this anyways.
From the next day onwards, I start to look for her in private with no living creature around so I could get the deed done. I have not talked to her ever before; actually I cannot make you count even ten females in this populated universe that I have talked to first, it is like I lose my voice near them.
With no one around I could use some privacy. My only chance is to catch her before the class as she arrives. It could be a perfect opportunity. I am usually early so, I start leaving for class couple of minutes later than my regular time. For few days in the beginning I could not find any appropriate situation; there is always someone around.
One fine evening, I enter the street and find her standing in her amazing pants, the same blue one. Oh my my! If sun begins rising from west, it is alright; rivers start flowing backwards, it is alright. There cannot be anything possibly wrong with this entire universe when she is in those pants; she makes it look all right. I turn my head backwards while parking my scooter and do not see anyone else around belonging to the class, it seems a perfect opportunity. She has her eyes down adjusting her shoulder bag around her waist. For a moment she looks up and notices me then takes her sight off again. I whip up a nice short line to say to her but then…
An interrupting peripheral sight takes my attention off her; I look three yards towards the left and find an adult person on his bike. Shoot! She has not come by herself, she has arrived with someone. Who’s he? Could be her father or her uncle! There is more than a fair possibility that he is her dad. And if he is, then what I have planned on doing today could see me dead, he would kill me for giving a letter to her daughter. No! Not today! Not today! I am too young to be ‘The Walking Dead’, not even eighteen yet. I slow down my stride and wait for her to go inside the class and postpone my plans. Ugh! This could have been it!!Now I will have to wait for another set of good circumstances.
About a month and ten days have gone by since I have come here; I am not a pioneer anymore. I should be talking to her casually but I am never at ease while talking to girls. So I look for another break.
Few days later, I get my second chance. I happen to arrive just as when she does. It is been happening little more often now; I am sharing arrivals with her. Okay! Time for security check! I look both sides for suspicious contents but there is not a soul to be seen around except for me and her. Keep calm! I’m gonna nail it this time! Give me the strength good God! I anticipate the importance of the situation and try to convert it into an opportunity. While she takes her bag out of the scooter I fasten my steps to reach to the staircase first. After being just there I slow down and finally stop before the steps. I gently slide my right hand into the rear pocket of my jeans and take out the crimped letter. She is walking up to me adjusting her bag and still has her eyes down; she is just few yards away left. I am all set to give it to her and get over with this but then all of a sudden, I do not know what happens to me. My nerves prevail over the confident part of my conscience and I back off at the last possible moment. She does not have a clue what I was planning on. The next hour, I sit in the class regretting my craven bail.
After the class, I struggle to drive through the bustle in the dim light of the dusk. I look at the vehicle just ahead of me and find the most exquisite girl of this mighty earth on it. It is the first time when I am not rushing to overtake someone; instead I speed down a bit. I continue driving behind her up to the main lane. Time comes to split up, I know I have to take left and she is to take right. But…
The planets align to bring me the second opportunity on the same day. She is meant to take right but suddenly comes from there an iron cart carrying a wooden ladder. It obstructs her way and she pulls over along the side to take left. She is only a couple of yards away again. I intend to call her name; it would be enough to draw her attention. But I could not manage to do that as well, I choke. She pulls up soon and I watch her fade. Seriously! What the frick is wrong with me! I blew two great chances in an hour! Damn me!
I come back home without making any of those chances count, missing the boat yet again. I smash my phone against the wall in tantrum; poor kid suffers my resent for my own skittish self. I could kill someone to get another one such chance, just another. Quite easy it is to shush yourself the whole time when you want to babble it all; you want to scream it out loud to the entire world. It becomes your soft spot, a little pep talk could do enough to bring it out of you but you cannot air it to everyone in this satanic world and must keep it within you; bearing the burden of that silence, is so damn hard. It is gone now, the chance I had and nothing would cover that. But I am not going to yield, not yet. They say if it is hard to get, it is worth it. And she is totally worth it. This world neither lacks Jenners nor the Kardarshians certainly but she; God! She is a Monroe. She is making this world a merrier place. This is not a perfect world and would not ever be but her presence makes it quite a close call. She is peerless in distinct ways; her existence would always be enough to keep me on her trail.
I have to make it next time, going against all odds; I better bring my A-game. I do not care if it has to be in front of the entire class, entire town or the whole bloody universe. Next week this has to end, I have to let her know and I have got it all planned out.
The other evening, right after the class, I reach up to my scooter. While adjusting my bag straps, I turn around my head for a brief moment and keep it that way for a while as I see her standing just a yard away, putting her bag in her ride; elegant she looks in her braided hair and black overalls. Spotting her anywhere pulls me to standstill and I continue with my stupid staring act for next few moments wondering how she would react the next day when I will give her that piece of paper. There are two probable outcomes; either she would get impressed and take it politely or I am going to get slapped hard if it would seem a nuisance to her. It is amazing in a weird way how I am wondering a lot and so many such things about her are going on in my mind; meanwhile, standing at an arm’s distance, she does not have a clue about it, absolutely nothing. That night I could not sleep knowing the next day could be the most important day of my so called ‘life’ and I keep thinking about improvising on what I have written.
And then comes the day, the judgment day. Today, I am not going to come back, not without handing it to her, even if the sky crumbles or the land erupts, I am going to keep my chin up anyways, no bailing this time and no nervous acts. By any means, I would get rid of this letter. I would hand it, mail it or stick it to her back if I have to, I do not care. I am so not going to come back with this fellow.
I cannot figure out what is so right with me today. I am getting strong vibes that I would make it this time; happy as a clam I am or maybe I am just amped for the evening. I put on a pitch black cotton shirt, similar pants and a pair of dark suede shoes nailing everything above; preferring a baby boy face look, I get it all shaved. I try to get my hair look different too but nah! It is not in their bones to get styled; No spikes, no mohawk, they would just be gentlemen always. I try to dress up as perfectly as I could, although what is in the paper would matter the most but topping it by decent looks would not hurt.
I review it again and again and look out for any possible mistakes or if it sounds good, there would not be any undo once I give it away but it seems like someone has done a really good job! I am proud.
It would be better if no one is around during it, some other place than around the class would work and any such chance I could stand is by catching her on her way to it. So, I find an appropriate place with not much rush around and suitable to talk. My heart starts pounding at pace little more than usual. I stand there in wait of her with millions of thoughts and fantasies striking my mind. I wonder about the dress she would be in today, but wishing her to be in those blue pants, she in those pants is like a pacemaker to me.
After standing there for quite a while in the sunshine, I begin to sweat; it is evening though but I am quite nervous as well. The letter in my loose fist starts to get wet as well. I wipe my hands and put it in my rear pocket. I see a bunch of girls passing by, giving me weird looks and staring as well. I realize for the first time what it feels like to be stared at, it’s creepy! I should stop doing it as well. They must be wondering what I am doing in this awfully silent place with almost no activity around; whatever… I put away the thought and start looking for the one girl that matters. As far as my eye can see, there are no signs of her, not a clue in the air. I stay there for about quarter of an hour but I know that she often comes late to the class, it is a likely thing. So, without stressing much I decide to wait for her just outside the class. I pull up and head there. Even while on the road I look further, behind me and across the lanes as well in hope of finding her but do not get any luck. Just as I reach there I grow more nervous with my heartbeat spiraling. It is almost five o’clock, she could be here any moment now. Turning my head left and right frequently, I check both sides of the street. I wait and wait and keep waiting.
Soon the clock passes the 5pm mark, still no signs of her. I begin to frustrate on the situation and my devil luck; then suddenly, I hear the sound of a vehicle coming from the next street, the fade sound gets clearer. Few moments later, entering from the right side of the street I see a Honda and for about a nano second or so I almost swoon but today my confidence is impervious to my nerves, so I stay there. Then,
I look closely as it comes nearer,
“It’s not black, it’s grey!” I exclaim in addled thoughts.
“And it’s not her either, it’s some other girl. What the…?”
All my hopes turn into disappointment within a second.
I guess she’s not coming. I am out of time, so I leave for the class in a huff. Lost in thoughts I become quite ignorant about the surrounding world, while walking up to the stairs I catch my right foot on something and trip onto the floor; my leg begins to hurt. Isn’t the day bad enough already? now I’m a cripple too! Wonderful!
I climb up the stairs with support from the wall and sit on my usual seat beside the door. I curse the whole world and the destiny in annoyance.
She hasn’t come, today of all days she decides not to come, why?
It would have been okay if she hasn’t come yesterday, or doesn’t come the next day! But no, it has to be today, why?
While sitting and cursing the bad luck I happen to hear the sound of heels clattering on the staircase, someone is coming up. Sound of the footsteps gets my hopes up once again and I turn my head around with eager quickness. I see a girl rising from the stairs in a hurry.
Once again, she is not the one I am looking for. It aggravates my anxiety and the entire next hour I decide not to look back, not on any sound or anything else. Sooner or later she does not show up that day.
Another day passes, same as those previous ones of failed attempts and I come back home as dejected as usual. I really thought today was the day, as my subconscious told me. Fcuk the vibes! I am not going to believe in those anymore. Not just that, there is another thing that saddens the day even more; it is my birthday as well, my eighteenth one. I chose this day thinking that it would become even more memorable but the ill luck made it a far cry from my daydreams throwing a spanner at my work. It was skimpy but a laudable attempt that I made today as per my personality but fate willed otherwise.
The desolation sends me sprawling onto the bed, plugging in my earphones, I listen to Springsteen all night long.
I still have the opportunity, maybe not today but tomorrow could be it. I prepare myself for the next day in same enthusiasm. This time I do not try to catch her in between, I just wait outside the class in unabated confidence.
The story turns out to be the same as she does no show up that day either.
It has become a test of my patience now and on my worst side I am the most impatient person, one flaw of mine that I am very well aware of. Her sudden disappearance is punitive for my inner comfort. The next few days just pass like that with her unreasonable absence expanding day by day and the misery continues. Okay I won’t tell her, I won’t if it’s not meant to happen; for me, her presence is elite.
It has been almost a week now and her disappearance has gone tyrannic. But I am trying not to look for her anymore, I am done mourning. I am pretty much concentrating on my physics. She is probably gone, even if she is not it would be better for me to assume so and move on. I made an effort too late I guess. I have to get my mind off her, I am done with all the blissful dreams and happy happy tales; time to come back from the la la land.
I still don’t know what I should be doing, should I just let go or do some detective work like asking about her from somebody, her friend or someone… but I do not know anyone and… Cut it out! It’d be stupid! Not a bloody Bond or Holmes I am! And I want to be over her! When you develop feelings for someone they run out on you eventually, not on purpose though every time but they do.
“…and that’s what we call total internal reflection!”
Wait, What? Ah, I missed the definition I guess!
Teacher concludes his explanation with that statement
“You get it? Shrutika?”
Whoa! Did my ears just trick me or he really mentioned her? I do have gone crazy a bit now a days but I’m pretty sure I heard it right, I’m still sane enough.
I raise my neck as high as I could like the Eiffel and move my head around with my hawk eyes scouring her. Is she really here? I could not find her in her usual place but I continue looking; shortly after an ocular struggle and dodging all the heads in between, my sight finds that familiar pretty face in the far corner across the room. There she is! Sitting like a queen on her throne in black jeans and a blueberry top with looks like a polka pattern on it, she gets me smitten on her again. She was sitting there from the past fifteen minutes and I couldn’t know! How come I don’t get any such vibe?
Six goddamn days! Where has she been? It is practically not a very long time, six days. Sometimes I still cannot believe I was eight years old a decade ago, feels like yesterday but these six days were not like that. She is back now, it is all that matters. I am delighted but a bit annoyed as well. Right now I want to go up to her, grab her from the shoulders and ask her about where she has been all this time but I cannot, I do not have the right to do so and that would not be a gentleman’s etiquette either. So, suppressing the actions, I sit back and take a deep breath. Then suddenly she starts smiling about something which makes me glow like a bulb, of which she is the tungsten. One feisty smile from a pretty young woman and your worries be like poof! , vanished into thin air.
Not long after, on a lovely sunny Sunday morning I come to class quite early, the previous batch is still on and there are other colleagues as well, already there. It is a monkey morning; we face them at least once every week, baboons running around on the terraces and balconies. Everyone standing in groups outside, I watch her as she gives a lift to her friend from the end of the street to the class to help her get pass those wild jumpers, unbitten. She passes me by not too far and with my back leaning on the wall I just watch her in the same fashion. In the class, I still have my glances when possible; even inside the room the daylight brightens her complexion. She has her hair partially clutched, the rest untied as they are still quite wet. Look at her; how can I say that I’m over her, how can I ever be! I’d be lying if I say so, I can hide what I feel but I can’t escape it; one exceptional damsel she is. I run out of compliments now.
“Question nine, read” the teacher asks her this time to read the question out loud and she begins,
“The focal length of a mirror is…”
Good Lord! Quite a voice she has got! This is the first time I am hearing her without the usual background noise or unpleasant sounds. It is as lively as her, shrill but there is no peevish squeak like most girls have, it is ‘pitch perfect’. I am not mistaken, there is a deep relief in her voice; I bet she would sing damn well. I listen to her silently looking right at her face and that innocence catches me again. She strokes her wet hair as they come to her face.
After the class, I wander around for some errand and I see her passing from about twenty yards away. The thought of giving that letter that is still in my pocket crosses my mind but I decide to bury it in my mind forever. At my home, sitting in the chair I look back at all things that have happened since the first day, since the day I saw her and wonder what a dramatic story I am having. I talk of that moment to myself when I saw her back after her disappearance and how good it sounds. So, I think about writing it all down as a story though I have not written any ever before neither kept a journal but I start writing it anyways, it is better than keeping it inside.
There is a boon now a days that we have, ‘Internet’ and it is best to stir some things up on social media before a straight talk. A lot much harder task it is to find her from a fairly long list of similar names without knowing the surname, needle in a haystack. But I am ready to look for her from above the sky to below the ground although I would not let it go down to that. After quite a struggle, I somehow find her. Then I check out her entire profile thoroughly and find out few of her favorites; some of her pictures and other persona. I try to reach out to her. For the first few days she does not approves me but then she accepts and it gets me all too excited. I text her ‘Hey’ and she replies with a ‘Hi’. That is perhaps the best text I have received. I try to indulge her in a conversation but after a few short texts, she stops returning those and all the fantasy text scripts that I planned blows away. The next few days pass in the same way and things go back to what they were before I texted.
Next week we get a test, of a whole unit and she has gone missing from the class again since past few days. But this time I do not panic because I know that she does not show up on tests. No offense! I have not seen her in any of the three tests yet so I assume that she does not like those, other odds of not showing up every time are less. The test goes very well and as I was expecting, she shows up couple of days later. I look at her and… jesus! I never thought that I would be using this for her but no other word could describe her better that day; she looks an absolute ‘bombshell’. She is not wearing her spectacles, she has got a new haircut and that make up that I have seen her put on for the first time takes away my heart again and the rest of the day her face keeps buzzing around my mind.
About the story, I have penned down a lot of words, all that has happened till now. It is less of a story and more of an opus on her. The letter that I did not give or could not, to be honest was not the right way. That letter would not have sufficed it all; few hundred words could not have been enough to describe those events and to describe her. I am writing it with a mad hope in my conscience that she will be reading it someday sitting in her room, remembering the incidents; how I have acclaimed her in it and smiling about it no matter how untrue it sounds, because for me it is the truest.
Then comes the new year; bringing the rumors of good happenings to everyone with it. The winters have come along too. One thing that I am fancying this New Year is her winter outfits. She comes usually in her cream coat over the tops and blue jeans with sneakers; almost pulling off Ellen DeGeneres except Ellen does not have such beautiful hair. And she has got new spectacles, wider at the frames and it inspires the teacher for a nickname; ‘Naagin’, he starts to call her. Naagin! Really! But yes Naagins have always been pretty; true fact. Bite me please! I would not mind.
It is January now and the session will be over in mid February and because of the practical exams she may leave the classes even sooner. One choice that I have to make is whether I would let her leave like every other girl that has came along before or show some dare and speak it out. The least I can do is let her know some way, maybe through the story. I could not give a letter and I am dreaming about giving her a whole bunch of papers; I cannot. I finish up with the story in few days; not up to the current date but enough for her to figure this out but I am not sure if I could give it to her.
We all have that ‘Homie’ who is a 'Barney' kind of person, a rainman specifically, the god of women knowledge, who is good at these things or at least pretends to be. I have one too, not exactly like Barney but I reckon him as it. I gave him the story first to have some opinion, few tips or points that I may have missed. He reads it and then coerces me to give it to her. He seems more uncomfortable with the way things are than even me. His nagging has made me think seriously about it, I have enough regrets in my life already and I should not be adding another one to those. What good a man I would be if I cannot do even this? So, I decide that I will make it happen this time. I only have to find the perfect situation.
In the beginning of the third week of January, I prepare and finalize the story, it is not up to the current date but I cannt delay any further. I try to appear as good on the day as I did on the birthday back then. I am not sure that I will be brave enough at the moment but I am going to try.
I reach there; dodging the people from the earlier batch which has just ended, I walk towards the stairs. I look further and damn! I see her standing, in those blue pants and a pink jacket above. She moves her head around, looks straight at me for a moment then turns it back. Blue pants! Is this some kind of nature’s cue for me? Is this the right moment? Should I give it now or not? Soon she climbs up the stairs and the dilemma ends.; I guess I have to hold on. After the class I hurry to my scooter and wait for her to come out. She comes in a while, walks over the other side and puts her bag in her Aviator, with the papers in my hand I watch her hypnotically. I picture myself going up to her but I could not gather myself to do it in real and I just watch. Soon, she drives away with the glaring red tail light of her aviator facing me and I hear to the dying sound as she finally fades in the dusk. I come back and go up to my homie; it seems an impossible task for me but he talks me into it again and convinces me to try the next day. I nod to him but I still do not believe that I can do it.
Next morning, as it turns out I happen to have a funeral reception to attend of a distant aquaintance from where I will have to head straight to the class in the evening. So I prepare myself, the papers and some quick lines that I might need to say before her. Post-Funeral does not sound a goodwill moment but if it could not happen today, then it never will; I would not try again. Later, while in the class I sit at my usual place and she does too, right in front of me, in a pink and black outfit. I pretend to look on my left in my colleague’s notebook as she seems to be staring me. I am not sure but my peripheral vision is quite a skill. After few moments, I look at her on purpose and our eyes meet. She really was looking at me. I am now quite sure that today is the right time, right day and it is the right way. As I always do, after the class I wait by my scooter for her. The sun has just gone down and it is getting dark but it always brightens as she comes out. She take off her bag and moves on the other side of her aviator to put her bag inside. Just couple of yards away, I am trying not to back off. One thing that keeps me going on is the fact that I know how much I care and maybe not perfect but I am the best man she can possibly have. After all, it was Kanye who got the Kim and not because of looks. There are other people around and people judge; always do but actually I do not care, not today at least. People will always be around but she would be too? I doubt that. She will leave someday forvever and maybe without knowing it; I may never see her again and that scares me more than the Satan itself. My confidence subdues my fear and finally, holding the papers in my right hand I go up to her with scuttling steps; first time I have been this close to her on purpose.
She looks up straight at me as I stand opposite to her, dumbstruck for a moment. I could not spell out a single word that I had prepared. All the ‘Hey’ and ‘Hellos’ exit my vocabulary. So, ending the awkward phase I just raise the stapled papers in my hand towards her and she asks while taking it from my hand
“What is this?” in her usual mesmerizing voice.
Finding the words to say in my mind with a lot of things going on inside my head, I eventually speak out
“Do you read novels?” which I know that she does but it is the first thing that pops out.
“Yes” looking at those pages with a wide smile and perhaps the brightest, she replies with enthusiasm.
“Try reading this”. She just nods her head in a yes as I say it. I nod too and walk away.
I ride out the street without looking back as I feel the goosebumps on my hands. I spoke to her! For the first time! I made it! I tell it to my homie and he goes even crazier than me though he has not ever seen her. The dreary world around me suddenly seems merrier than usual, I forget all the grudges I hold against this world and it looks less annoying and less bleak. The rest of the evening I feel happier than I have ever been. As I reach back home after about an hour or so the very first thing I do is check my phone and I see a ‘2’ following her name; two messages. The sight that spirals my heart rate, I do not have an idea if she loved it or not. What if she has got offended? Blah! No negative thoughts! I click on the texts and read them inwardly.
“I liked the story very much, I don’t know what to say”
I read those two lines and I feel myself flying high in the sky, no turning back, no looking down. I told her all the thoughts that I was forced to stifle in my mind. Everything around me seems pretty, feels like I am back in la la land. I reply and then we get started on a fairly long conversation and I talk about the happening, the incidents and yes, it was her father that day, I confirm. She praises the story and tells me that I am a potential writer. She blushes on compliments as well. She takes me as a friend but I do not mind, we will get closer, in time. That night couple of things get striked out of my list: ‘Sad Songs’ and ‘Sleep’. I add all the happy and lively songs that I have to the night playlist. Gone are those days when ‘Cary Brothers’ and their saddest tracks were my nightmates. With the music in my ears, I keep on wondering how amazing it would be when we will meet the next evening. Within a night everything will change, now she will notice me at least, I would be more than nothing to her. We talk almost everyday now ever since but the night that she came to know is still the best night of my life that I have had so far. I just expect it to get better everyday and I will try until that little dash between ‘Me’ and ‘She’ goes away and we could end up happily together forever in ‘The MeShe Story’…