I knew both of them as a kid. Him first and then he introduced me to her, years later. I liked her . He was atleast 14 years elder to her. But that didn’t count because they were comfortable with each other.
I knew them from a time I was convinced no boy and girl could be friends and just at that, to a time when I went about fighting for the cause of just-friends.
They were friends. Too. But there was more.
I didnt have anyone to talk to then, at that time. So I learnt to keep it to myself. Now, I know, So, I write.
A few years later, when I was older and I caught up with him, he told me about it. She was long gone. From Cochin. But she remained, a distant memory in my mind and a love worth waiting for, in his.
He would often talk about remember-whens and do-you-knows. I would always listen.
Then those anecdotes stopped.
To outdo her, he plunged into a fit of trying to love and be loved. He was lovable. If only he didn’t try so hard.
His heart was broken many a times, but he wondered about the ease with which he rebounded. But I knew, it was because it had never healed.
Many years and many loves later, she returned. To a country she had left. Or tried to.
That phone call was one he had waited for, without even realizing it. Feigning a nonchalance that didn’t suit him, he laughed, he pretended, he agreed to meet her.
And this is what he didn’t tell me. On how he would have tried to dress up for her. On how he would have trimmed his hair, beard and dabbed himself in the expensive perfume he had kept locked away in his cupboard. How he would have tried to leave a book casually on the table pretending to have been reading it instead of waiting by the window or even sitting simply in anticipation. How he would have stocked the fridge with something he thought she would have liked but would never even eat. On how he would have spent every minute the two hours agreed upon, in innumerable ways and not liked any of them…
And this is what he told me. While we walked a long walk. She didn’t come.
P.S- This is for a person who is special for me, a person who was often misunderstood. This is all I can give you…..bcoz I love you too much to see you hurt.