We meet for the fourth time since we painfully decided to part ways. It is impossible to avoid each other because we share common friends. It all seems ironical now, how back then in college, we would sneak out together, avoiding these very same friends.
And now as you walk towards me, I awkwardly shift and try to smile. The feelings we shared will be our secret alone.
But it is hard to pretend to be normal, especially when every bit of me wants to reach out and hold your hand again. To tell you that I have never really moved on. That inspite of all that happened, I’m ready to forget everything and give us another shot.
I dont care if you dont feel the same way now. It is important for me to let it all out.
To tell you how many messages I wrote to you, but never sent.
How I often took the longer route, just to pass by your house.
How so many times I saw you at the chemist’s picking up meds for your father, or walking back home from work.
That during my bad days, I still talk about you to my friends. How you were the most intelligent man I met. How I respected your honesty, and the fact that you honoured my request to keep our relationship platonic. The purest form of love, that went beyond physical pleasures.
After we separated, I spent hours on your Facebook page, agonising over every picture I saw of you sitting with her- your new crush. So much so that I finally mustered up courage to delete you from my friend’s list.
I was tired of waiting. I realised that it has really been too long. If you had to come back, two years was enough time to make a move. I couldn’t hurt myself anymore.
It is not that I didn’t recieve attention from anybody after you left. I did make close friends, maybe even stronger bonds than what you and I had shared. But I am still to find that one who will be as perfect for me as you used to be.
We settle down at the restaurant, and the catching up begins. Although I dont show it, I am extra attentive to what you have to say. I avoid eye contact, but I want to guage if you’re seeing that new girl or not.
You make a joke about being single and I am half relieved. Half, because I know the private person you are. You wouldn’t divulge such details to people you meet only once in six months. To you, they’re not close enough to deserve knowing.
I sigh as I remember how close we used to be. We were so addicted to each other that we made drastic changes in our sleeping patterns. Our chats would never end.
And now, when you accidentally catch me looking at you, you comment on how thin I have grown. I smile wearily. I know you don’t really expect an answer.
I fiddle with my phone and re-read some of our previous chat history. When I look up, I see a new you in the old shirt. The same shirt responsible for me falling for you. Its all too painful.
But could all those feelings really go away? Yes, you texted me on the day of serial blasts to know if me and my family were OK. And a few times to know if I had finally nailed a job interview. And another few times, to indulge in 5 minutes of small talk.
Could it be that you still care? Those pictures were just a co-incidence? That like me, you havent moved on either? Should I tell you how I feel?
Lost in my thoughts, I lose track of how long I have been staring at the chat screen. My eyes focus again, and I see that you once quoted something you read by Paulo Coelho-
“If its Still on your Mind…
Its Worth taking the Risk”
Your shirt, your concern, you joke and now this random quote. Could these be signs?
It is time to leave now, and I think “What have I to lose?”
And you know what?
I Believe in Signs!