Four months, being caught by our parents and a lot of drama later, we tried hard to focus on our lives sans the other, but it was far from functional. Craving for each other day and night, led not only to checking our phones every two minutes fo obvious reasons, but it also affected our health.
Six sunsets before Diwali, I received a surprising call from the most strong-willed person I’d known till date, telling me how she couldn’t live without me for a second longer and just had to have us back. ‘Was I willing to give it a shot?’, she asked. Ecstatic is the closest word the English language has to describe the emotion I felt that night. My dream had come true. She was back in my life. And this time, I was going to do everything in my power to have her around.
And so began round two of our relationship – our home and sacred haven.
For the sake of appearances of the outside world who thought we were not in touch at all, our meetings became far and few, but the love only grew. The doubts still existed in her mind – about our future, our life together – but only in her mind. I always had that faith in our love, that we’d work it out against all odds.
At midnight on her birthday, that year, I sneaked up to her house and proposed to her – ring et. al. “Marry me”, I said simply. I knew the question didn’t matter. We both knew the answer. Between what seemed like a never-ending spate of kisses, I heard a faint but firm whisper. “Yes”
We spoke of eloping – how, when, where to. How much money would we have, how would we survive, where would we live.
We spoke of taking up multiple jobs, since mine could hardly cover any expenses at all. We exchanged our vows soon after. There was no pandit, no ceremony, no witness. Just us, our God and the love we had for each other. In our hearts we were married – we didn’t need a set of rituals or ceremonies to legalise that for us.
We dreamt and we dreamt big.
The only thing I probably didn’t foresee was her mother’s hold on her – how petrified she was at the slightest thought of her finding out about us. Nothing I could ever say would drive that fear away. And so… she chose the easier way out. She went to bed with a guy in her class who’d been eyeing her for months.
It’s been four years since that day now. And they’re probably happy together. She’s still as beautiful as ever, though. We bump into each other in the lift sometimes, only to look the other way. I still dream of her at times. I think of how our fingers used to slide into each other’s so perfectly. I remember that smile in her eyes, and her absolutely perfect neck. I wonder if she ever thinks of me too, if she remembers me at all, if she remembers what we had. I wonder what goes on in her mind when she sees me. But, I do hope that she’s better off today than she was back then.
One of us should be.