My Long Lost Crush
My Long Lost Crush7 mins 176 7 mins 176
Waiting under the shed of the railway station, I stood waiting there for my brother to arrive. No cabs were available in the heavy downpour and the mud was sticking to my boots like a second skin.
Many other passengers were standing in the long shed, waiting for their relatives to fetch them. Just beside me, stood a girl. She had no luggage and looked like a beggar. Her face and clothes were covered in mud, her hair was awry and she looked like she had come straight out of a garbage dump.
Will you stop staring at me? I told the girl.
She still kept looking at me with those big beautiful yet sad eyes of hers, which held a million emotions in them, and still, she would not utter a single word nor would she deter from looking at me unblinkingly.
I said to her, “I am sorry but I have nothing to offer you. I don’t have any money, nor any clothes or food to offer. Not even a shelter over my own head. I can only lend you my ears if you wish to tell me the sad story concealed in your eyes."
She blinked. She blinked and a million emotions flashed through her eyes within a millisecond. She sighed and said," I don’t want money or shelter from you. I don’t even want to hear my pitiful story. I am sorry for staring at you. You just look like someone I knew a long time back."
It was my turn to be surprised, this tattered girl who looked like a combination of a hooligan and a beggar had a surprisingly good accent and the way she spoke, spoke of a good lineage and wealth.
I myself have endured both poverty and wealth in my short life, so I know who has had a strong family background just by the way one spoke. The thought flickered in my mind randomly yet accurately "Don’t judge a book by its cover."
My curiosity was now aroused and I wanted to know more about the person whom I resembled in her mind. She was now not looking at me and was looking straight ahead in the pattering of raindrops, lost in thought.
I didn’t want to disturb her, but curiosity killed the cat. I asked, “So what was the name of the person whom I resemble in your past?".
She was startled out of her reverie and looked me at and said after a moment's hesitation," Aditya."
I stood there dumbstruck. It was like someone had thrown a bucket of chilling cold water over me. I was more in confusion than in shock that how did she know my name? Was it just a coincidence that the person whose face resembles mines in her mind has the same name as me? Or was it that I know this girl from somewhere?
I tried to think and think but her face held no resemblance to anyone I could remember in my life. It might be because of her tattered appearance or the way her face was showing more mud than the skin, but still, I couldn’t place her anywhere in my life.
I asked again, now the fire of curiosity and confusion burning in me. “So Who was he?"
She seemed hesitant and it seemed that she was going through some internal battle whether to tell me or not. She again looked at me, her eyes searching mine, maybe for some ulterior motive or insincerity. But I stood there, looking diligently into her eyes, my curiosity and genuine desire to know, reflecting in my eyes.
She might have seen it too because it seemed that her internal war was over and she sighed and said, “He was someone I knew in school, a very talented person. He was really handsome, had a face with a glow just like his name. I never knew him in school but had a strong crush on him. I don’t know whether he knew about my existence or not, but I was strongly aware of his presence. We just briefly had one short conversation in school in an extempore competition, when we were all participants, and that day I got to know his name.
But shortly after that, he changed schools and my crush was stranded at that point. I didn’t know where he went, neither had any means to contact him. So that was where it came to a standstill.
I looked at her closely and felt like she was talking about me because the events she described matched with. Mine but I had changed more than 5 schools during my schoolbag years and had taken part in more than 100 competitions, debates, extempore, etc., so I wasn’t still sure whether I was her Aditya or not.
I decided to probe further and asked," So if you met him only for such a short period of time, how do you still remember him? And why do u remember him?
She laughed and her whole face was transformed. She looked utterly beautiful and just by the lifting of her lips, everything was transformed. He felt a tugging at his heart, that maybe he knew this girl; maybe he had some connection to her.
She said with a smile, “There are some people in your life whom you can never forget. He was my first crush and he will always remain like a beautiful memory in my heart. He holds a very special place in the heart and that will always belong to him. Whether he knows I exist or not for me he was my first crush, my first love and he will remain so.
He looked at her, the smile making her look beautiful despite the mud-plastered on her face. He felt a pang of jealousy that how could someone love someone so unconditionally. Was it the same kind of live fans have for celebrities. If so, he too wanted someone in his life to love him unconditionally without any expectations and conditions.
He looked at her and started asking her a new question but was interrupted as she said, " Your face resembles his face a lot. I have the image of the 12-year-old boy in my heart when he was fair handsome and a very cute lad. Over the years he has changed, I last saw him in his Facebook Profile picture in about 2010 I guess, so 10 years have passed. Your round face, your specs, and your jawline are just the same as his. The only difference is that he was on the shorter side and your beard."
“Also, I am sorry for staring at you but I was not expecting anything as you might have thought ( she was embarrassed). Just looking at you, I traveled down the memory lane and it might have seen rude, but I was only remembering my first love.” She added.
I felt more embarrassed and ashamed that I had thought she was a beggar and was asking for something. I felt ashamed to the core.
I said," Look, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to..."
I couldn’t finish his sentence because she wasn’t listening. A car (more like a Fortuner) had stopped in front of us and someone was honking at us, I thought it was my brother who had come to pick me up, but I was wrong.
It was someone else, looking directly at her and she shouted and jumped into his arms. She hugged him so tightly that I felt an alien feeling, and suddenly felt angry. I felt angry that she had someone in her life that she was probably wealthier than me, that her love was not directed at me.
She looked back at me and said, "Thank you for listening. You will always be my first love. Take care, Aditya." And she was gone.
I was shocked. Did she know that I was her Aditya? Had she recognized me from the start? If yes, who was she? She hadn’t told me her name; she hadn’t told me anything about herself. Just about me. I felt more confused and shocked than I had ever felt before. I didn’t know why was she looking the way she was where was her luggage, who was the guy who had come to pick her up, who was she?
I didn’t know why, but I felt as if I had lost something that day.