I remember everything very clearly now.
“It was a hot Sunday afternoon when I saw her for the first time. It was in the public library in the reference section. I was in my usual chair by the window reading away when I heard footsteps. I don’t usually get distracted by them at all but this once; I looked up to see who it is. Her breezed past me as if she wasn’t walking but floating. I would love for it to be like a scene taken from a romantic Tamil movie where the girl walks past the guy and her flowery pink dupatta just breezes across the guy’s face and they fall in love instantly. It was quite different though. As I turned my head, the end of her dupatta poked my eye and out of sheer terror I rattled and fell of the old chair with a loud thud, my face or to be precise, my nose hitting the cold floor first. She turned around to see what had happened only to see me sitting on the floor with the still open book in my hand and my nose, a bloody mess and my face filled with confusion.
She ran to me, helping me back to my chair with a tissue to my nose to stop the bleeding. She had assumed I had fallen off while dozing in my rickety old chair. Oh yeah ungrateful chair! You better believe I’m going to break one of its useless leg off for breaking my nose. When I recounted how when I felt something hit my eye, I jumped up, lost my balance and fell off, she were all apologizing, forcing me off my chair to go see a doctor. I wasn’t really sure about that. I just wanted to get away from her because beautiful girls made me really uncomfortable. Then again, she had her way not because I was easy going but because I couldn’t help staring at her beautiful face. I know I was a total creep at that time but I wanted to tell her that I’m a really nice guy, once her get to know me which usually takes longer than the age of the oldest tortoise alive on earth.
When I creeped into bed that night, I had only two thoughts in mind. One, her and the other, my nose and the band aid on it which was totally annoying making it impossible to think about her.
I guess its God’s way of helping us, the shy introverted ‘you’ll like me once her get to know me’ types, to keep believing that one day we would go on a date with the ever beautiful Scarlett Johnsson a.k.a Black ‘Red Hot’ Widow.
I ran off to the library the very next to find her name in the register. I know the librarian would help me. It’s a five year friendship I share with him and I know not many people have the time or the patience exchange some pleasantries with him. And as luck would have it, it had been one of those days where there had been about fifty odd girls who had logged in to read. I mean, what are the chances of that ever happening? One in a million?
Anyway, I showed the usual awkward smile to the librarian and went off with my living.
Two days later, I was running off to class, late as usual when I stopped on my tracks looking at her talking to a guy I know. Wow! Her were flawless! Standing there in her beautiful flowing gown, she made me want to pinch myself just to make sure its real. No need for that I realized, after the guy who was walking towards me didn’t really expect me to stop and bumped into me, his elbow crashing into my ribs pretty hard. I fell flat on my ass and as usual, she noticed! Her smiled, walked up to me and said,’we stop meeting like this. You might get yourself hurt for real’. She could not have been more right!
Firstly, I was scared and I froze. Its not everyday a beautiful girl like her would come over to talk to me. Secondly, once I realized she was talking to me, I gave a very weird grin which, I believe pretty much creeped her out. Her gave me a confused look and bid me a cute ‘good bye’ over her shoulder as her walked off. I was still standing there grinning from ear to ear.
It was a week later when I saw her again. I had come to the market to buy some flowers for my grandma while her were casually strolling with another guy, hopefully not her boyfriend. Her brother, perhaps. I made sure we bumped into each other and I was ready with a script this time. The moment she said ‘Hello’, I was all happy and warm and talkative, only I didn’t notice the expressions on the face of the guy standing next to her. I was on and on for over minute and then I noticed the guy beside her. His expressions indicated that he would really savor an opportunity to pound his fist onto my nose. I felt my nose sting for a second and I stopped talking. She introduced him as her boyfriend. Lets call him Mr. Tighty Whitey. I’ve seen him before and he always wears a tight shirt and that too a white one. I know who he was, the boxing champion and pretty much the dream guy of most girls. I wouldn’t want to get into any trouble with him. I mean, he could literally pull my spinal cord off my back without the slightest difficulty.
But, everything was destined to change pretty soon.
That night I had a fight with my dad over the playstation. Apparently, he believed I lived off it. I clarified him saying that I’m just merely trying to make a living, just like him. At about an hour to midnight, I stormed out of the house, all fuming and angry. I kept strolling towards the town square which had a very beautiful park in the middle. That’s when I noticed her sitting on the steps of the library. I went near her and realized she were sobbing uncontrollably. I know in my experience that if there is something more dangerous than a beautiful girl, it a sobbing girl. There is no extent to what one can expect to come flying towards one’s head.
I stood near her hoping to catch her attention. I mustered up my courage and tried to say a warm, comfortable ‘Hi’ but ended up with nothing more than a whisper. She looked up, her hair all disheveled her eyes red and strained, her cheeks layered with tears flowing down them. She tried wiping them off her cheeks but I said, ‘Its okay’. Till this date, I really don’t know why I sat beside her. For a second, it was all silent. She sat staring at the road. I sat staring at nothing in particular. She turned towards me and asked,’ Will you walk with me?’. My mind wanted to say ‘OMG!Yes!Finally,Yes!’ but I said ‘sure’ and we starting walking towards the park.
Her: Tell me. Why do people fall in love?
Me: To make their lives beautiful.
Her: But, is life really beautiful after you get into a relationship?
Me: Mostly No, but it helps us by getting us a bit more close to that one story which will be in our life forever.
Her: I don’t even know what love is now. After he hit me, I feel it all coming back to me. He never really loved me.
Me: It happens. My relationship experience stretches to three girlfriends. Its not really that vast. My first girlfriend took about a week and a half to breakup with me. The second lasted for a full term. I later realized she was with me only because I was good at math. The third though, she lasted a whole year and well, to put it in other words, it took me a whole year to find out that she had been cheating on me since the day we started dating. So, I broke up.
Her: So you screwed up in relationships too! I guess you would know how I’m feeling now.
Me: Once in a while, shit actually happens. Don’t let it get to you.
Our hands were brushing against each other as we walked side by side. There was some sudden loud sound nearby and she gripped my hand tight.
I’m usually sure of very few things in life but at that moment, I was sure that my love story had started.
I saw something different in her that night. Behind that wonderful, laughter filled girl, I saw something yearning to love, to be loved. I felt a broken heart that had been crying out every night wanting to be happy. I never really loved her until that night.
But everything changed.
Five weeks later, I was flat on the ground again, once again because of her, although technically not because of her. In front of me stood, Mr.Tighty Whitey along with three other guys. As usual, my nose was bloody, only this time it didn’t really feel so good. Apparently, he was not very pleased with me dating her and held a grudge against me. When somebody told him I’ve been calling him Mr.Tighty Whitey, it blew the lid off him and so here we were, like some Mexican standoff. Believe me, it did not feel like a standoff. He had a Maverick M4 rifle and I had a fork. But all is fair in love so I stood up trying to intimidate him by looking him in the eyes.
I guess he took it the wrong way when he started making those boxing steps all around me. I wanted to ask him to stop because it was starting to get all weird. When he landed his first punch on my face, I felt a bit of dizziness and I kind of froze. The next punch brought me back to the present and through blurry eyes, I saw people all around me shouting ‘Punch!Punch!’. That’s when I realized where I was and before I know it, he ran into me, his shoulders crashing against my hip and my back hitting the table. Apparently, we were fighting in the cafeteria. From the corner of my eye, I saw her. She were standing there. Two of his buddies had held her hands tight, her eyes were full of tears. She were shouting at the top her voice but the problem was I couldn’t hear her clearly. Another punch and I had fallen back, breathing heavily. Something made me to stand up again. Five minutes later, I was again flat on my back, only this time, my face was bloody and I felt a certain pain shoot down my hips.
I closed my eyes and I saw her beautiful eyes wet with tears. I thought of the night I fell in love with her and I stood up again. Mr.Tighty Whitey was surprised this time. The shouts have subsidized now. Most people were feeling aghast now. When I stood up a fifth time, most people tried to stop him from murdering me. Strangely though, I felt no pain. I just wanted to stand up for something, atleast once in my life. When I stood up for a seventh time, I knew I was close to being done. I barely had anything left in me and I was just standing there lifeless. Mr.Tighty Whitey himself was panting hard. I guess he isn’t that good a boxer after all. Just when he was about to knock me over one last time, three guys rushed past me. And one of the guys, whom I later noticed to be his friend and fellow boxer, landed a pretty decent punch right across his right cheeks. That stunned him alright. They managed to carry him off and I was still standing when the crowd cleared. I would make one hell of a boxer. I saw her running towards me and my knees buckled and my eyes closed as I fell hard on the ground, sadly on my nose again.
He never really loved her. He wanted to become the most popular guy in college and she were his prized possession. When I snatched her away from him, it pissed him off because it hurt his ego. His reputation was hurt and he came for me. I guess I had new friends after that, friends who believed in my love and who were ready to help me out. I never really saw much of Mr.Tighty Whitey after that. I guess I never again noticed him anywhere. I never feared him anymore.
Five years later, I saw him again. It was a different occasion though. We had finally decided to stop dating and get married. Yes, he had come for our wedding and I was gently surprised. He was a different guy, all nice and friendly. I was glad. I would never have wanted him to live with hatred inside.
A year later, you were born and I never stopped fighting for what I believe in. Everyday had been beautiful ever since that night. I’ve always loved her more and more as days passed by.
Now, the story is over and I want you to go to sleep. Its well past your bedtime.
Son: But dad, I want another story!
Me: No,no no. Its enough for today. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you the story of the time when she thought I was having an affair with a girl from my office. She was not even one bit sad. In fact, she was so pissed she almost beat me up worse than Mr.Tighty Whitey. She is one hell of a lady. It was all very funny though.
Son: Okay dad. Good night.
Me: Good night little dude.”
Sometimes I do wonder how my life would have turned out to be, had I not met her that night. But what the hell! I’m happy!
Thank you for your time.
The above story is a work of fiction and any resemblance of either the characters or the situations portrayed to anything real is pure coincidence.