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Fifteen

Fifteen

11 mins 21.5K 11 mins 21.5K

It was the happiest day of Lisa’s life, or perhaps it should have been. The stage was set and she looked dazzling in her white embroidered bride’s dress.

It’s in her wedding dress, that a girl looks her best, but that’s not how things worked for Lisa. With huge hazelnut eyes and her blonde hair swinging back and forth with her steps, a silhouette worth envying, she looked astonishingly pretty each day, or that’s at least what her Maid of Honor, Bella thought of her.

But that day, Bella looked tensed.

Bella and Lisa had a friendship the world could envy. It was one of its kind and unlike most human relations, it was a genuinely rare friendship based on real love.

But then, even the sheen of the moon is diminished by it’s marks.

Just as the couple was about to exchange the rings, Bella nudged her by her elbow and whispered into Lisa’s ear, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’

‘I don't think you should...’ she added in an anxious tone.

With all the tension already taking its toll on the bride’s mind, Lisa pulled her to a corner and answered in a really stern voice, ‘You know what Bella, I have had enough. I can take my own decisions. I know you have your bars really high, but you know, stop judging all men into black and white. That’s not where life lies! You have tried enough, and I am tired of this tug between the two of us. Infinite times, you have told me how George isn't the right guy for me, and equal number of times I have tried explaining you otherwise. I am really tired of this. Do you not think, with all the anxiety I already have, I need you to support me and not doubt my decision?’

‘But, he isn't the right boy for you…’ Bella tried to fight back.

‘This isn't the hour we ought to debate, Bella!’  Lisa replied.

‘But…’ she still tried to argue.

‘You know what, Bella? Leave. I need the time and space to make my own decisions.  Just leave.’ Lisa answered without being able to make an eye contact.

With the last words piercing her deep inside, she left. Tears tracing their way out, she raced outside the church and left the wedding and her best friend. Like a movie reel, the story of their entire friendship played in front of her eyes. How the mumma’s girl Bella found her first real friend in Lisa, how she baked her a cake every year on her birthday and saved money to buy her a gift. And Lisa, reciprocated with equal warmth if not more. She found a sister in Bella, someone who was always there for her, someone she could ring up at any hour of the day, someone she could ask for a favor anytime and someone she could blindly trust. They were each other’s home team.

They had an immaculate friendship until George entered. Unlike Lisa, so full of ambition and diligence, George was an exact opposite. Coming from a family, that had enough wealth to gift him a Rolls Royce on his 17th birthday, he was a laid back over pampered boy, who thought everything in life was served on a rose platter. But just like the grey haired wise people put it, ‘opposites attract.’  They both were attracted towards each other from their first meeting.

Lisa liked his calm and relaxed outlook in life and George found her ambition charming. They fell for each other and they fell really hard. With her eyes tainted with love, it was hard for Lisa to have an unbiased opinion about his newly found love, but Bella could. She never approved of him or his ways. Every time his name popped up in the conversation, it would end up in a heated argument. Bella wasn’t wrong, but was Lisa wrong? Only time could tell. But Bella couldn’t let her Best friend slip into a relationship, she thought would harm her. Despite of the arguments they started having almost every day, Bella would put up her point really clear that she thoroughly disapproved of the guy Lisa was dating. And finally, on her wedding day, Lisa had chosen the boat she wanted to sail in.

‘She has finally decided on her priorities...’ Bella thought to herself sobbing, as she finally stepped out of the church. She suddenly felt her entire life had been rendered useless. She had loved Lisa with all that she could, had invested all her time, patience and energy into this friendship but Lisa no longer wanted her in her life. She was broken and shattered. Her life suddenly turned into a void, that no one could fulfil.

‘All good things come to end.’ she thought to herself one day, sitting and remembering the lovely friendship she once had.

‘Lisa must have moved on with her life and her husband, its time I do the same.’ she would often remind herself, and though she would still miss her sometimes, she started counting on the fond memories instead of the doleful farewell.

As the calendar pages turned, she grew up into a different person. She was afraid to offer love to any new relation with the same zeal.

But god has a plan for everyone, and more importantly a man for everyone.

While she allowed her career to keep her distracted, her job offered her the opportunity to meet a tall dark and a sturdy man, called Daniel. The guy, dreams are made up of!  A boy that any mother would take pride in and every girl would adore. Standing tall at 6’3”, recipient of a dulcet deep voice and with his gentleman like ways, he could make any girl week in the knees and more importantly, he would work with such ardent dedication and passion, his bosses adored him as much as the girls. And he knew it. He knew he was the cheery boy wherever he went.

Just how destiny had offered, he started working on the same project as Bella. While secretly all girls envied her, she was still unaware of her hidden blessing.

Coming strong from a broken friendship to which she had offered everything, she started doubting all human relations. She would look at them in the most rational fashion, her affections dislodged. And that was precisely what Daniel found alluring. It aroused his interest as to why Bella wasn't interested in him. It was unusual, he wasn't used to it!

It challenged his alpha ego and left him intrigued. And just as their project progressed, so did his interest in her.

While Bella still wasn't thinking on the same wavelength, she enjoyed being friends with him. He would often walk her home, would stare into her eyes, and would make her smile.

Would hold her hand while she crossed roads, and offered her a jacket when the chilly winds also decided to add more romance.

Their relationship was certainly progressing, it was slow but sure. Bella was learning to love again, to trust again, to be friends again, and to be happy again.

On a breezy September night, he asked her out for a date one day.

Being the classic cliched gentleman that he was, he booked a seven- star candle lit restaurant for her. Courtesy his happy bosses.

With Celine Dion adding to the aura he went down to his knees and popped open a ring before her.

‘I have never felt this intrigued before. I have never looked up to anyone as much before. You inspire me to be a better man, Bella. I know you aren't perfect but nor am I, but you know what? I am happy when I'm with you. I do not have cheesier words but, I want to grow old with you. Will you marry me?’ He asked, smiling and looking straight into her eyes.

While he knew no other girl could ever say a no to his proposal, he was aware, this girl was absolutely capable of doing it.

With his knee hurting, his mind and heart started arguing inside his head. His mind told him it was a stupid decision to have even popped up the question, his heart however thought otherwise.

‘My knee is hurting, Bella...’ he added trying to lighten the situation in case a rejection was on it’s way.

Bella put up a stern face and replied, ‘You lied to me Daniel!’

With anguish piling up, he asked with zapped expressions, ‘Not in my conscious knowledge Bella, what did I do?’

‘You are unapologetically perfect...’ she answered finally reciprocating the smile.

‘Why, do you think all humor lies in you? Not so much, mister...’ she added coyly.

She hugged him tight, tight enough to feel his heartbeat, as tight as the lovey dovey Hollywood movies show, and slowly whispered into his ear, ‘Things may not always be as rosy as today. I am a difficult woman. I am a woman with an opinion. We will fight, we will have issues, do you promise you will sort them out and not leave me and go? Do you promise to stay besides an old and wrinkled me?’ She asked. There was an inner voice inside her that was still reluctant. A burnt finger remembers the fire.

He looked deep into her eyes, gripped her face within his palms, and answered, ‘I’ll love you as long as I live.’

‘Don’t worry darling, I haven't allowed this generation to take its toll on me, I believe in repairing the damaged things and not discarding them’ he added smiling.

She allowed herself to fall into his arms, and broke into a deep passionate kiss, just like the tutorials that teach how to French kiss.

They had an elaborate wedding, they were made up of the happily ever after stuff.

But nobody gets the best of everything, Do they?

Despite of their happy marriage of five years they were still   unable to get pregnant. Bella was sad, and disappointed.

She felt guilty of letting Daniel down. Guilty of spoiling his too good to be true life.

‘Do you not think we should adopt a child?’ she asked him one day.

‘Only if you allow me to get a little angel just like you.’ Dan answered.

A few days after the conversation, Daniel came home one day and feverishly started banging on the door.

 ‘What do you think you are doing Dan, can you not just breathe, why are you so loud?’ Bella answered back unlatching the door.

Just as she opened the door, the sight left her there... Frozen. Because there was Dan, standing at her gate, with a tiny little baby girl wrapped inside his arms.

He stepped inside, kissed his wife and placed the baby into her arms. Bella, had always had her motherly instincts super active but at the sight of the baby, they became strongly activated, despite of the fact she wasn't her own blood.

‘Careful, Dan..’ she subconsciously whispered while he was transferring the baby.

Though a tiny part inside her felt agitated that Daniel had taken such a big decision alone…her euphoria overwhelmed the other feelings.

She nursed the little girl with so much affection, even her biological mother couldn’t have offered. They named her Julia.

Bella would sing her nursery rhymes and bed time stories, cry when she felt sick, and celebrated her first syllable.

Years rolled by, and this tiny angel grew up into a beautiful young girl of fifteen.

‘Mumma, I want to go with my friends to Vegas for my fifteenth birthday...’ she argued with Bella one day.

‘You are too young, Darling. Vegas is more than a thousand miles from London, I can’t send you there. How about your 21st sweetie?’  Bella replied back.

‘Please mommy, I really want to…’ she pleaded.

‘A no means A NO ...’ Bella replied, sounding vaguely fierce this time.

‘Fine, I don't want to talk to you… just leave’ Julia replied, just like an agitated teenager and stared into her mommy’s eyes.

It was a strangely familiar look. Bella left her room, feeling disturbed.

‘You know what, Dan?’ she spoke to Daniel that night.

‘I feel so weird today, I don't know, but it is such an emotionally turbulent feeling…’

‘Are you upset about what Julia said?’ Denial questioned.

‘No…not about what she said, I cannot explain…but the way she looked at me, it felt so familiar…’ Bella replied.

Daniel stood there for a few minutes, looking lost.

‘I think it’s time…’ he said.

‘Time? What? What are you even talking about Dan…?’ Bella tried to interrogate but Daniel had disappeared.

He came back in a few minutes with a piece of paper in his hand, and handed it over to her.

‘Read this...’ he said

She opened up the paper and started reading…

‘Dear Bella,

 It’s so sad I won’t be there when you read this letter.

But I'm sure you have grown up into this brilliant mother.

You know? You were right, about George.

You were never wrong, Bella, but you left without a trace behind? Why did you leave me?

Did you not know me enough to realize how much I would have missed you?

Life has been really harsh after you left. George left me while I was seven months pregnant, and child birth has wrecked my health. I know I wouldn't survive this…

I would have long gone by the time you read this.

But, I'm not afraid for my daughter, you know why? Because I know you will love her more than what even I could have.

We were 15 when we first became friends, isn't it?

Life has given you the same opportunity once again. Be friends with the fifteen- year old new me?

Does she not have similar eyes.

I am proud of you Bella, you know, you are the best godmother.

I missed you all these years,

Yours Always,

Lisa,”

By the time Bella reached the end, she was already drenched up in her own tears.

‘Why did you not tell this to me before?’ she asked Daniel.

‘Because you were 15, when you and Lisa first became friends, weren't you? he answered smiling.


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