An unlikely crushEven though the whole day, a midsummer day, had been swelteringly hot, the atmosphere drastically cooled off as the fat old sun began to set. The gentle breeze teased the flower buds and the branches of the trees were thrown into a sudden oscillation. My hair, too, was swaying with it.
Even though the whole day, a midsummer day, had been swelteringly hot, the atmosphere drastically cooled off as the fat old sun began to set. The gentle breeze teased the flower buds and the branches of the trees were thrown into a sudden oscillation. My hair, too, was swaying with it.
It was quiet and I was coming home from my college. Precisely 5:15 pm on the clock. After I got past the area where there used to be a lot of trees, I had to cross the main road before I would get home. Usually, there would be a crowd of people on one edge of the zebra crossing. I used to cross the road without much thought, without looking at anybody. Who and for what would anyone care to look at people who are just strangers anyway?
But that day was different. My eyes suddenly were stuck to a guy who had just got off his college bus and was coming towards the zebra crossing.
Love at first sight is criminally underrated. He was tall, slightly dark and handsome. With a tucked-in light blue shirt, navy blue pants, shining black shoes, slightly raised hairstyle and well organised tie.
“He must be an MBBS student” was my first guess. I always thought doctors are mostly well-dressed; and, let me put it straight, I have a soft corner for doctors.
He came nearer. Loud horns of vehicles, restless people and the crowd—I always get irritated with that. All those things were as they were but it did not bother me that day. We were about to cross the road but a loaded tripper was speeding towards us. We all stepped a bit backward but that well-dressed guy went ahead with his own pace. In fact, he was talking on his phone and unaware about that situation. I made a step ahead and pulled him back. He gave me a very unusual look, a what-the-hell-are-you-doing-with-me kind of look.
Later he got why I pulled him. I just looked at him quietly and gave a gesture that basically spoke “Do not use your phone while crossing roads”. After a few seconds, we all got across the road.
I marched ahead and turned my head to look where he was. He headed to the right and me towards left. He was still busy speaking on his phone.
I went my way and he his, and by the end of the evening it had looked like the end of the story when after I had my dinner and was checking my Facebook, I saw the same guy on the “People you may know” list, smiling on his crisp profile picture. I just laughed out loud at myself and was bemused at the coincidence or whatever it was.
From that day, I began to think a lot about him but never had the courage to send a friend request. Days passed. I did not see him then onwards but would often think about him.
My exams were running at that time. I did miss him a lot; in fact, yes you could even say, I had crush on him. But I had no hard feelings. It was just some stranger that you happened to cross paths in this life, nothing more than that, I thought.
Finally, I was done with my exams and wanted to hang out with my friends after a month-long, hectic schedule. I called my friends and planned to catch up in a nearby cafe. I reached the cafe on time but none of my friends showed up. Thankfully, I had a novel with me to pass time. I am not a nerd who likes to get into books even after exams but yes I love some light reading.
I ordered a glass of mint lemonade, my favourite drink on summer days and started reading the novel.
I was enjoying the book but suddenly someone strode up to me and said, “Hello! Miss zebra crossing wali!” I was literally shocked at that moment. “Hey, how have you been?” I said. I felt a bit nervous as well; after all, he was my crush and by some unbelievably crazy happenstance I came across him again. It was all getting hard to process. I had never been through anything like this before.
He asked me about the very novel I was reading and poked me for reading out in café, calling me a padhante. Now he was into questioning me over and again, about many things, ranging from the family and my hobbies to what I wanted to do with my life and career choices. I felt like, What! Is this an interview or something?
I was not sure whether he was eager to know me, or just wanted to pass his time because he too was alone. Then again, even before completing his words, he questioned, “Are you here to meet someone special or can we carry on with our conversation?”
I laughed out so loud that everyone in the café looked at me. I call him my crush and he was asking such things. It had all happened so fast and so suddenly and the whole world was beginning to blur for me. I answered, “Nope, I am waiting for my girl friends,” and took a chance to ask him, “Are you here with friends?”
He smiled a little and said, “Yeah not with friends but a friend.”
“Oh well. Then you must be waiting for someone special?”
I crossed my fingers because I was expecting a “no” from him.
Then came the reply that broke my heart: “Yes, I love her, but she always makes me wait.”