Asif walked up to Amirah, determined. The moment of truth had arrived. He tapped on her shoulder and asked her for an audience in private. She nodded and followed him outside. They stopped on the far corner of the garden outside the canteen. Asif looked right into her eyes, and she looked back. Any doubt or fear disappeared from his mind, it was indeed time.
“Amirah you know we have been friends for 3 years now. Best friends for 3 years.”, Asif spoke slowly but confidently. Pausing to let his words have affect. He put his right hand into his pocket and squeezed that small note he had written last night. He didn’t have to read from it, he remembered every word of it.
The first time I heard about you, was from Akash. It was on one of those get together which happened every night during the first days of college, where every fresher trusts every other fresher with his life, and all of them share the names of the girls which they had marked out for themselves. It is as much an expression of first love as it is a message to others to back off from that particular girl. I had no names mind you, simply because I hadn’t been to enough classes. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have bared them to boys whom I had known less than a week. Akash was smitten by you. By you curly hair, your big eyes, you wide smile. Most importantly he said that you were only an inch taller than him, which was something he could live with. We all laughed, promised to help him out and moved on to the next guy.
Next day, or was it Monday or Friday. I don’t remember. What I do remember is that it was our first class of Engineering Drawing. I sat on the 2nd row of the middle column, with Akash right beside me. I sat behind a group of girls, giggling away to glory. We were coming up with a plan on how to start up a conversation with them, when one of the girls dropped a pencil and it rolled over to my feet. I picked it up and a girl with long curly hair and big brown eyes turned around to face me. She smiled at me, and I smiled right back. She asked for the pencil, which I obediently handed over, grinning like a stupid fool all the time. The girl was dressed in white kurta, wore a silver wrist watch, had pink nail polish on, and a bit of lip gloss. It’s amazing how I remember all these little details and yet managed to fail my Mechanical that year.
Anyways the girl said thank you and turned back around. It wasn’t that awkward Thanks that a girl says to a boy out of necessity and manners. It was a friendly and warm greeting, with a genuine feel behind it. I nudged Akash, “What’s her name?”, I whispered and pointed with my eyebrows. “This is the one I told you about, Amirah. Awesome no.”. During those times, your friendship was measured by actual distances. The further a person lived from you, the lesser a friend he was. Akash was my room-mate at that time that made him my best friend by that rule. I was all for to see him happy, and somewhere in my mind I crossed off the name Amirah from the list of eligible girls. “Awesome indeed”, I said and went back to the plans we were making earlier.
And here we are 3 years later. There is no Akash around. There is no Shilpa or Megha either. Remember them, the 2 girls that I dated. Look around and there is no Suman and Shiv too. Those are the 2 boys that you dated. During those 3 years, we have been together Amirah. Acquaintances, friends, confidante. The two of us have been right here next to each other. We saw people come together and fall apart, thinking it will never happen to us, and yet here we stand at perhaps the most important cross-roads in our life.
I believe when we meet people, we start a new chapter in our life. I have had some good ones and some bitter ones; same as you. But through all those chapters we have been recurring names in each other’s books. Lately times have not been good. The two of us have found each other on opposite sides of an argument. Be it fuelled by rumours, or our own foolish mistakes, we have drifted apart. But I can’t let that happen now. At least not before I can tell you what I have always felt about you.
Amirah, I have blabbering on for a while. But there is a point to this. I am in love with you. I was in love with you when I was trying to set Akash up with you. I was in love with you when I was going out with Shilpa. I was in love with you, when I showed you those answers during our back papers together. I was in love with you, when the two of us had dinner together, even when all the other bunked out. I have always been in love with you, even if I didn’t know it was love. The truth is I have been in love with you ever since you turned around and said Thank You.
I don’t know how you feel right now, at this moment, but I know for sure that you have loved me back too. Even if it was for a single moment when I complimented you and you smiled back at me. Or for longer when you told me that I always make you feel better, better than any boyfriend you have ever had. Maybe I was a fool to not say this then. Maybe I am fool to say this now. But I can’t wait any longer.
Amirah, we have been friends for 3 years. Best friends for 3 years. We have asked each other hundreds of questions. But this is perhaps the most important of them all. Your answer today will decide whether this chapter between us ends today, or we end up writing a new book, together. Amirah can you love me back?
“I know we have been friends for 3 years Asif.” Amirah cut him short before Asif could continue.
“But I have seen friendships that have lasted 6 years gone down the drain.”
“What? Amirah…” this was not what Asif was expecting.
“I am sorry Asif. I think we just need to give each other some space. We are good friends you know that right. And it’s not you it’s me. I just need some time to clear my thoughts and decide how I feel about everyone.”
Asif let out a sigh and his shoulder dropped.
“It’s not the end of the world Asif. I know I can’t live without you. I am going to realize that and come running back in a week. Just you see.”, Amirah said encouragingly.
Asif nodded, smiled a faint smile, turned around and started walking back to the hostel. Amirah didn’t stop him either and went back into the canteen. Asif knew she would never come back. Asif was right, she never did.
***Note : This post is written for us by the one who answers to the name of Ayush. Blogs by the name #IndianNoob. Web Developer, ardent gamer, enthusiastic cricketer, book lover, and a wrestling fan, Can be found in a forever struggle with his open shoe laces.
To know more about him click here .
Gaming at IndianNoob
Everything Else can be found at 1HundredWorks
The story is part of a series, that Ayush does at 1HundredWorks with the name The Rail Trip chronicles