Almost a Love Story

By sanchita in Stories » Short
Updated 21:02 IST Feb 23, 2017

Almost a Love Story

One summer morning as the Sun was shining bright, Ruhi was preparing for the long day ahead. She was running through the daily chores, preparing breakfast, packing lunch and had a quick bath. As she gulped her morning tea, she felt a headache coming on. Yes, there it was, a dull throb behind her eyes. As she put the dishes in sink, she thought maybe she should take a leave and go back to bed. But then she remembered the important one on one meeting with her manager. Ruhi was a senior marketing executive at a reputed firm. She quickly got dressed in a rust color top and her usual black cotton pants, brushed her long hair, put a light make up and colored her lips with bright red lipstick. Ruhi carefully examined some of the white strands in her hair. She had dark circles which she concealed with her make up. She was of a medium height with average features but beautiful hazel brown eyes with long eyelashes made her stand out in the crowd. Red lipstick helped her to get through the tough day like today. She examined herself in the mirror thinking when will she start exercising? Her Laziness always said let’s begin tomorrow. She was not fit. She was way overweight. Moreover, it was difficult to find time with her demanding job. She saw her watch, “Damn! She thought she was running late today as well. She had to catch the office bus after a walk of about eight minutes. That was the only walk during the entire day.

Ruhi rushed into the bus and managed to get her usual seat near the front row window. She unlocked the phone and starting browsing face book. She saw a new friend’s request. She clicked to see and to her pleasant surprise it was Abhay her school buddy for good 10 years. Her thoughts went back to those days. Suddenly, her headache seemed to disappear or so she felt. School was second home for Ruhi. Being the only the daughter of working parents she had no company at home. She found school not only as a learning place but a great escape from loneliness. She remembered the first time they started interacting during the play at the annual social gathering in which they were both selected. Abhay, was tall, had sharp features, straight and silky jet black hair. He was skinny and his cheek bones gave him a skeletal look. He was a bit of wild child during school days, though his grades were always good. Girls used to gossip about him a lot. In fact, Ruhi remembered eighth standard when he asked one of her friends to tell her that he liked her. They use to see each other in school but never really spoke a lot after the social gathering. Ruhi was a timid and studious girl all throughout her school life. Many times they use to see each other but use to pretend not to have seen. And whenever their eyes met they use to speak what was in the heart. They use to secretly exchange smile for no reasons. Abhay use to deliberately crack jokes to impress Ruhi and see her beautiful smile. Now, Ruhi felt a little nostalgic. Before either of them could confess about their love their ways got separated. They did manage to remain in touch for a year or so. Then, things happened as they usually do- friendships shift ,some kids grow up too fast while some take time to grow, and everyone is out in the world to make their choices and choose the best suited professions. They secretly admired each other and both were not sure if it was love. Ruhi accepted the friend’s request with a faint smile on her face. She wondered and imagined how Abhay must be looking now. May be he has posted some recent pics. But no he had put up some childhood photo. As she dragged down his Face book wall she noticed he had not shared any pictures for a long time. She imagined how he must be looking now.

Soon they started chatting and she came to know that he had returned back to India for good. He had completed MS in US. It stunned Ruhi that this boy should end up in her town just about three kms away from where she was residing. They messaged back and forth for months about a suitable time for a cup of coffee. The day was finally decided.

Love has its own magic, Ruhi had started going for a morning walk daily. She felt the need to look and feel good before she meets Abhay. She did succeed in loosing few pounds but that hardly made her feel good. The night before the day was too long she thought. She tried hard to sleep but she kept remembering some silly things in school days. Ruhi was excited and anxious to meet. She felt butterflies in her stomach out of excitement.

 The Day arrived. After trying out several dresses .She selected a black shirt which never failed to make her look good. She applied a dark brown lipstick, colored her white strands, but still she was not feeling confident enough. She imagined how the meeting would go, that’s when she thought may be better not to meet. She thought to herself “How beautiful she was at 15years old back in school.” She felt she should keep her image as it was during the school days. So on the decided day, Ruhi just texted Abhay saying she was not feeling well and had to go to see the doctor. She did not have the courage to face him. She was now upset that her extra weight and unfit body had suddenly started bothering her. On the other side, Abhay could not make up his mind. He started with his work but could not concentrate. Eventually, he decided to meet her. He remembered few chats back he had taken her address for reference since he was new in the town. He had been dreaming about her ever since he came to know that Ruhi was in same town. Perhaps, the two hardest parts of life are saying hello for the first time especially after so many years and the last goodbye when they met years ago.

She had taken a leave that day in the hope to meet Abhay but last minute her mind changed. The neighbor’s kids had come to play at her place. They usually came to play with her. They had forgotten few toys at her place. So, when the doorbell rang she opened it impulsively expecting the kids. But when she opened the door, she stared at the face of Abhay. She would have recognize him anywhere although it had been many years in between. Abhay had taken some carefully chosen yellow daffodils and fruits thinking that Ruhi was sick. To his astonishment she seem to look fine. They shook hands and then he asked “So doctor huh?” Ruhi’s shy smile had told it was a lie. She confessed with a serious face “You know Abhay I am not looking the same way like I use to in school .I did not want you to know that I have gained weight. Abhay started laughing and teasingly said “You are still the same timid Ruhi I knew back in school days. And how about me? I have saved a few hair strands just to meet you probably.” It was then that Ruhi had realized that his hair line was sharply receded. Abhay finally said “Ruhi you forgot that probably these many years in between have brought changes in me as well just like how you have put on weight I have lost my hair. Are the physical attributes that important, Ruhi? Their eyes met again just like how they use to. They settled down with a cup of coffee in Ruhi’s spacious house to talk again. Some names were traded to know about their classmates. They talked about teachers, their current jobs etc. and finally Abhay was relieved to know that even Ruhi had not married.

After a good amount of time spent chit chatting, they both had things to do and so it was time to head out. Ruhi said “She enjoyed the chat and said we should get together or plan a school reunion. The standard response would have been” Yes. We should” But Abhay said “We will see.” The impulsive boy in school had now turned into man who was honest, knows himself and has identified his true feelings Ruhi thought. One more time, Ruhi loved him again. She was glad that after all these years she still loves him. But this time Ruhi decided to say and know his feeling for her. Because she had always believed that the unspoken words hurt much more. Being timid by nature took twice the efforts to propose him. He kissed her on forehead and gladly accepted. They were lucky to have met again in life. Not all of us are given a second chance to love, isn’t it?

-Sanchita Satalkar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TheLostBronteSister 01-Mar-2017 05:36

This could have been a candidate for "best of kalamwali 2017 " directly. The theme for February was #kalamlove. All entries with this # got considered. The hashtag for march is #kalamequality. If you write a piece that matches the theme, don't forget to tag with #kalamequality ! Keep writing!

sanchita 02-Mar-2017 13:55

Oh..Is it?#kalamlove..Sorry to have missed the hashtag..thank you for letting me know.Thanks once again!:)