Love scared her.She had only been 14 then.
A tender age.
A tender heart.
And tender emotions.
And her tender heart was in love.
She was devoted to Rahul.She adored him.Maybe even worshipped him.
But Rahul's feelings for her never matched upto her affections' overpowering intensity.
Priyanka could never figure out Rahul.Sometimes, he would shower her with gifts and loving affection, making Pri’s little heart almost faint with delight. But sometimes,she would spot him with some other girl and tears would immediately stinge her eyes.
And then arrived a fateful day.Her 15th birthday.
When she got up in the morning, she pictured a party with him, and locked herself in her room, waiting for his call.
But... minutes dragged into hours...and soon the sky was dark... he still didn't call.Hurt expectations made it tiringly painful to look at the phone anymore. She didn't know it then,but fate had something else in store for her that day.
8pm in the night, Rahul suddenly called her and told her to come out of the house.Her teary eyes glimmering with joy and anticipation, she ran out happily.
Rahul: Here...take this...
He handed her a crumpled up note.
Pri: What's this?
Rahul: Just read it and you will know. I’m going home now, bye.
Pri: Wait, wait! Do you know what today is?
Rahul: Today? Huh?
Pri thought her life had no meaning , she thought he would remember her birthday.
He turned around and walked away like nothing had happened.
Then she shouted...
Rahul: You have something to say?
Pri: Tell me, tell me you love me...
Pri: Tell me
She felt miserable and pathetic, but she clung onto him for dear life, wishing desperately the warmth of her tiny heart would melt the stoniness of his.
But he just said simple cold words and left.
"I don't want to say that, if you are desperate to hear it, then find someone else."
That was all what he said. Pri was aghast as she kept looking at Rahul walking away from her.
Her legs felt numb...and she collapsed to the ground.
What did he mean by saying he didn't want to say it ????????????????
Pri unfolded the note he had given her. It just said,”I don’t love you anymore. Please leave me alone.”
How could he...??????????????????????
After that day, Pri stranded herself at home crying, just crying.
He didn't call her, although she kept waiting. And waiting. Until the river of her patience lost its last trickle.
School got over.Priyanka got admitted into an engineering colleger.And then Suyash happened.
As she sat there in the labs, she used to stare at him sitting at the table across her. She used to stare longingly at his dark, curly hair, and wished he was hers. But he was not into her, and she knew it. After class, he used to walk up to her and ask her for the lab notes he had missed and she used to hand them to him. He would say "thanks" and would pinch her cheek affectionately. She wanted to tell him, she wanted him to know that she did't want to be just friends,she loved him but she was just too shy.
The phone rang. On the other end, it was Suyash. He was sad, mumbling on and on about how his girlfriend,Shruti was giving him a hard time. He asked her to come over because he didn't feel like being alone, so she did. As she sat next to him on the sofa, she stared at his beautiful large eyes, wishing he was hers. When it was time to say goodnight,he looked at her, said "thanks" and hugged her tightly. She wished she could tell him; she wanted so desperately for him to know that she did't want to be just friends, she loved him but.....
She was just too shy.And afraid.
Love scared her.
Life was just not happening to Rishab. 2 years into college and still no gf. And heaven was witness to the fact that his lack of love (whatever that is) couldn’t be attributed to any lack of effort on his part. He had hit on virtually every girl worth hitting on, and even a few not worth hitting on, in his department and beyond. As he set foot into his second year, he had prayed fervently for his lady love to magically crop up among the next batch of freshers. Either the heavens had better things to do than finding for him the girl of his dreams or he just sucked at picking up girls. Maybe it was both. Bottom line was- he was single. Despite being all too ready to mingle.
Rishab often wondered if his brain lacked the part which made guys capable of attracting women. Somehow all he could manage out of his efforts to turn women on was to turn them off. There had been at least a hundred and ten instances when Rishab had decided he has had enough and decided to give up pursuing women altogether. Problem was- while nature might not have given Rishab the skills to attract women, it could have helped him out by lowering his need to be around women. Unfortunately, Mother Nature bestowed on him that need in generous doses. And so, you had Rishab, the average 19-going-onto-20 average frustrated chump, in perpetual conflict with his testosterone.
Rishab was Pri's lab partner.It should hardly come as a surprise that Rishab had once wished he had been Pri's love partner as well.Two things had kept him from hitting too hard on her-one,his realization that she was just waaaaay beyond his league.And two,and this was something which Rishab himself didn't understand fully well,there was just something about Pri's sweet child-like simplicity which made him kinda protective about her.In the first year of college,whenever he used to fantasize about Priyanka,he couldn't help feeling a tinge of guilt.And as days passed on,his longing for her just starved itself to death somehow.
The interesting thing was,fate and providence were soon to set their lives on a headlong collision course with their destinies.
They just didn't know it yet.
To be continued...