Falling For You
Falling For You11 mins 383 11 mins 383
The universe didn't want me to rest. I am pretty sure there are higher forces at play here that are conspiring against me, depriving me of sleep. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that's what countless sleepless nights will do to you. But then again, I couldn't blame anyone. I knew what I was getting into when I was choosing my career path. With my eyelids drooping and protesting, I walked into the jewellery showroom. My eyes suddenly became hyper aware, taking in the tiniest of details of the crime scene.
There were pieces of glass all over the floor, clearly from the broken window which was the point of entry for the robber. The owner, Mr. Rohan Malhotra was seated on a chair, holding his head in his hands. I couldn't see his face, but I knew he was furious. His muscles were tense, his feet were tapping on the floor impatiently. I walked up to him and put my hand on his shoulder, silently offering comfort and consolation.
When his eyes met mine, all I could do was stand there transfixed, staring into those brown orbs. They were chocolate brown, and with the sheen of tears glistening in them, they looked like molten chocolate. Brown eyes were very common, but his seemed very unique. And beautiful. My eyes started wandering, taking in his slightly crooked nose, a jawline so sharp it could cut through steel, and a mole just above his lips. His shoulders were broad and muscular, his legs long. If I didn't know better, I could have bet that he was a model.
I could tell that the appreciation was mutual, because he was staring back at me with the same intensity. Both of us had seemingly forgotten about where we were and what the critical circumstances surrounding us were. What broke our eye contact was the sound of someone clearing their throat, quite loudly and intentionally. I turned to see Jay, the other police officer standing near the door. My face turned red with embarrassment, and I could see a hint of a blush creep up on Rohan's face too. I had no idea how long Jay had been standing there.
"Mr Malhotra, how about you tell us exactly what happened? And don't leave out any details, however inconsequential they may seem," I asked.
"I had closed my shop for the day and was heading home when I realised that I had forgotten to lock the cash drawer. When I returned, I saw that a man had broken in, had taken all the cash and was trying to open the other drawers of jewellery. I tried to stop him but he just pushed me and ran away," Rohan narrated the whole incident.
"Alright sir. Since you saw his face, we are going to need you to come down to the station and get the robber's sketch made. And just a suggestion, maybe you could consider installing alarm systems and CCTVs here, just as a precautionary measure," Jay said.
"Yes I shall. I should have done it long ago, but I just kept delaying it," Rohan said.
While the two men continued their conversation, my phone rang. As soon as I saw the caller ID, my blood started boiling. My body was filled with rage, and I could feel myself beginning to shake. I had had enough now. It was time to close this chapter, once and for all.
2 DAYS LATER:
We had caught the robber, the sketch making it quite easy for us to identify him. He was here at the station now with all the cash that he stole, and we were just waiting for Rohan to arrive and double check it. I would be lying if I said that I hadn't thought about him, that I had forgotten about those beautiful eyes. He was just a stranger, yet my heart wanted him to be more than just that. The usually annoying universe seemed benevolent today, as in walked Rohan, just as I was planning to step out.
He cross checked the money then thanked us profusely. I was pleasantly surprised when he jumped on me and hugged me, but I didn't mind it at all. When he realized what he had done in his over-enthusiasm, he pulled away sheepishly. I could see that he wanted to say something, but was struggling to get the words out.
"Hey, is there something you want to say? It's alright, go ahead," I tried to encourage him.
"Um would you like to grab dinner sometime? Or coffee? My treat, as a gesture of gratitude for helping me. It's only fair, considering the amount you have done for me," he said in a pleading tone.
I had to admit, he looked really cute when he was nervous. Whenever he would feel shy, he would rub this spot behind his ear. I barely knew this man, yet I had already started noticing little things about him. My heart was begging me to accept his invitation, to give him a chance. But my brain was smarter with it's idea of self-preservation. In the battle between these two, my brain emerged victorious.
"I am sorry Rohan but I will have to say no. I just have a lot on my plate right now," I declined politely, hoping he would catch the hint.
"I can see there is something troubling you. I know the battle between the brain and the heart better than anyone. I can feel it, our connection. And I know you feel it too. But if what you want is for me to stay away, then your wish is my command", saying that, he walked away.
I was already feeling bad about rejecting his offer, and his reaction just compounded the guilt. He was such a gentleman. And he understood me. Whereas on one hand my rejection would have definitely wounded other men's ego, on the other Rohan accepted it graciously. I felt horrible about what I did. I was letting my past experiences overpower me and hampering my chances on a better future. I just wish I could undo my mistake. A guy like Rohan is very hard to come by, and I just lost my chance.
A WEEK LATER:
It seemed as if the universe was back to its ruthless self. I had been overworked the whole week, not to mention the emotional toll that rejecting Rohan had taken on me. I was just about to head home when I got a call about an attempted robbery. When I went to check it out, I realised that I was standing in front of a very familiar jewellery store, face to face with an equally familiar man.
"Mr. Malhotra, what happened this time?"
"I installed the alarm system like Jay said. It was connected to my phone so that i would be notified if anyone would even touch the door or window. So I got a notification that someone was trying to get into my shop. That's why I called it in," he said, avoiding looking into my eyes.
Why was he turning his gaze away from me? I should be the one feeling ashamed, rejecting a man who was just being polite and chivalrous. After confirming that nothing was wrong and that everything was normal, we decided to head back home. Realising that maybe fate was trying to send me a sign, I decided to do something bold, to let go of my fear and inhibitions, to grab the second lucky opportunity that knocked on my door.
"Rohan, do you want to take a walk? The weather is quite pleasant and we could talk. Please say yes, though I would totally understand if you deny," I asked with my heart in my mouth, afraid he would say no.
"I would love to, Shreya. To be honest, I was really hoping you would ask," he said, giving me a genuine smile.
We started walking. The destination didn't matter, because each other's company was all that we needed. We talked about our lives and hobbies, debated whether the Earth was flat or round- conversation seemed to be flowing freely between us. Neither of us realised when our hands got intertwined, it just seemed so natural. They fit together perfectly, as if they were made for each other. We sat at the docks, just watching the beautiful night sky. Suddenly, the guilt of my previous action washed over me. I felt the need to explain my actions. Without leaving his hand, I said-
"Rohan, I want to apologise for the other day. Sparks flew the day we met, and there was an instant attraction between us. There is no use denying it because I know both of us felt it. It was so quick and sudden, it terrified me. I had just got out from an incredibly toxic relationship, and the scars still hadn't healed. You are an amazing man Rohan. You are kind, chivalrous, understanding, not to forget incredibly handsome. It wouldn't be fair to you if I didn't give you my 100%. So I chickened out. But you should know my heart shattered into a million pieces that day, and the dejected look on your face made me want to slap myself. Every day since that day I have felt immensely guilty. I regretted turning you down, and not giving myself another chance. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. And maybe if today is my lucky day, you will allow me to take you out. My treat."
I waited with bated breath, desperately hoping he would accept. I was looking out towards the sea, not wanting him to see my face in case he said no. I remembered how hurt he had seemed when I had rejected his offer, and I knew my expressions would be a thousand times worse. It seemed like an eternity had passed and there was still no reply from Rohan. I turned to look at him, and he just leaned in, gently kissing my forehead.
"Shreya, since we are all about confessions today, there is something I would like to confess too. Yes I was heartbroken when you declined my offer, but I wasn't ready to give up just yet. I knew what I felt was reciprocated, and you must have had your reasons for doing what you did. I just wanted to show you how sincere I am about us, to make you feel secure. So I faked the robbery call just so I could talk to you again. I know what I did was wrong, but since when does the heart see sense when it comes to matters of love? I want to give us a chance. I am not saying we commit to each other right now, I know it is too soon for that. But how about we just go out, meet each other regularly and see where it takes us? I do have a good feeling about this," Rohan said.
Contrary to feeling hurt about his lie, I actually felt loved. Like I mattered to someone, like someone cared about me. So we parted with the promise of meeting each other the next day.
A YEAR LATER:
I double checked everything, making sure everything was in place. Today was a very special day, and I intended to make it the happiest day of Rohan's life. A year ago today we promised each other to see where life would take us. And we did just that. We may have started off as friends, but soon enough love creeped up on us. The past year had been nothing short of bliss. We were deeply in love, but none of us had confessed to each other yet. Tonight I was planning to change that. I wanted us to be together officially, to show him off to the world as mine. Although the world seemed to be pretty smart, seeing as Jay and my other friends had been constantly teasing me with Rohan. They seemed to be more impatient than me, waiting for me to deliver the good news.
So here I was, at the same docks, ready to propose. I had set up the area perfectly, with a table beside the sea covered by a canopy. Fairy lights and our polaroids covered the area, making it seem magical. I was quite proud of myself actually. I was never the person to do grand gestures and exhibit my love openly, but Rohan had changed me. He deserved every bit of it, if not more. He had been patient the whole year, not wanting to rush things. He was waiting for a sign from me, and today he was going to get that sign.
As I nervously adjusted my black dress, I felt a shiver run down my spine. He had arrived and was standing right behind me. I turned slowly, my face opening in awe at the sight in front of me. Rohan looked devilishly handsome in a black formal shirt and black pants. When he realised that we were twinning, his face split into a wide grin. He hugged me tightly and turned to look at the set-up. He took his own sweet time taking the sight in, examining the pictures I had hung. He walked back towards me with a knowing expression his face. Not wasting another minute, I dropped to my knees.
"I am sure you aiready know what is coming next. Exactly a year back at this very spot, we decided to give ourselves a chance. And that we did. I know how hard it must have been for you to wait patiently the whole year. Trust me, it wasn't easy for me either. I love you Rohan, with all my heart. I have known this for a while now. I was just waiting for the perfect moment, wanting this memory to be etched in our hearts forever. So, what do you say? Ready to be mine?"
"As ready as I will ever be," saying this, he pulled me back up and latched his lips on mine. It was our first kiss, and it was literally breathtaking.
As we lay under the stars, I thanked the universe for everything. Everything that happened, whether good or bad, had put me on the path towards finding my true love. As I stared into those chocolate brown eyes, a realisation dawned upon me. It seemed like the universe did love me after all.