The First Love
The First Love12 mins 609 12 mins 609
It was 1990, Amelia had just stepped out of school, a safe haven, cocooned by a small world which began and ended with her 28 classmates who grew up with her. 12 long years in a small girls school, teachers, family and small neighborhood. College was a rude awakening for this adolescent.
Amelia was all of sixteen, dark skin, sharp nose, huge eyes, full lips and slim body, largely unaware of the charm she wielded, in her trendy yet demure style of dressing. Amelia’s self esteem was not something to write home about, thanks to her mother’s orthodox and tempestuous nature, it never assuaged her feeling of well being. Her father was busy running a business to notice or even protest against the parenting flaws, which were almost never questioned! The lady was the boss at home! Period!
Stepping into a new world which was much larger than the one she grew up in. College seemed quite intimidating with a big Gothic building with never ending archways, which stretched into eternity. The sheer size of the institution was sea change from the small two floored school that she attended as a child.
Growing up with a giggly group of girls, who knew each other inside out, was so different from the huge hall with unfriendly long benches filled with both girls and boys. Boys were definitely a problem! She did not know how to interact or relate with them. It was weird to talk, let alone greet each other in the huge archway. Amelia was a shy girl and she walked with her gaze to the ground, and it was very awkward for her. Much to her relief, the boys were asked to occupy the left side of the hall, while the girls were on the right! Smiling to herself smugly at the advocacy of women being ‘Right’ always!
Amelia was shy, but slowly made friends with Dana..the two were polar opposites of each other, but Dana recognized the fire burning in her core, waiting to explode and show the world her true self! The goddess of charm, someone who was the epitome of womanhood, waiting to enslave the world with her beauty! Dana was busy checking out the boys, and how many of them she was able to slay with just a look, and of course her miniskirts!
The boys would keep their distance from this shy, withdrawn girl, all the same they adored her and she was nick-named the ‘black pearl’! Amelia was not aware of how beautiful she was and the effect her beauty had on her admirers who watched her sashaying from one class to the next.
As the days flew by Amelia had her first crush on a boy in her class. She looked at him with such an expression that on rose day, everyone was sure shy Amelia would propose to him. The object of her ‘not so secret affection’ was aware of it, and did not return the feelings. He crushed her yellow rose, as soon as she handed it to him, bringing reality crashing down all around her.
Amelia stayed at home for almost a week, pretending to be sick, till Dana reached out and dropped by at home, telling her it’s OK to come to college. While they entered the huge archway, Amelia turned a shade of dark red-brown, which only enhanced her looks. Amelia was back to her normal self. Amelia decided none of the boys including the stupid, wiry thin, curly haired boy Anish was worth it at all!
The years winged by, it was 1995 it was the last year in college; Amelia was friends with very few which included boys whom she greeted with a shy smile even after such a long time. Ravi, Mitul, and Laxmikant were the few lucky ones. Ravi was an ardent admirer of Amelia’s long shiny mane, and would wait at the college gate to grab her fancy hair clip, and run away with it. Mercifully, he would re-appear at the end of the day, when Amelia was on her way home, to return the clip. He would try and make huge ceremony out of it, but would cut it short, because of Amelia’s embarrassment.
Lectures had ended all the students even the lord of the last benches, and ‘out-standing’ ones were seen with books. Amelia was attending coaching classes with her other friends. The race was on, even between best friends, on who would score higher to get a better job! Amelia’s mother was worried she was not putting in enough efforts, and had a cousin, Trevor, who taught in one of the better known colleges as a professor. Trevor was hungry for success, and indulged in physical and verbal abuse of the students, if the students failed to give the right answer in class. It was quite traumatic for sensitive Amelia. However, in a bid to be a devoted daughter, she trudged on!
One day, Uncle Trevor caught her off guard, and noticed a small mistake in the answer she was writing in her book. He screamed at her, and rapped her knuckles with a wooden scale in front of everyone; Amelia melted in tears and ran out of the classroom ashamed. To make things worse, he called at home and narrated the whole incident to his sister. Needless to say, Amelia was berated by her mother for being ungrateful for the help she was getting.
Amelia was not aware that she had strummed quite of few heart strings as she ran out of the class, she bumped into Supreet Karkera the business magnate. Her tears blinded her, and even though he apologized, Amelia just ran out! Supreet, had joined the professor’s batch to get his degree in order to sign up for an MBA with a business school in Germany. The school required fifteen years of formal education, so he went back to the books despite leading a flourishing export business.
Supreet tried showing his sympathy to Amelia the next class, but he was ignored by Amelia. Trevor noticed Supreet trying to get her attention, during an explanation...So after the class Supreet was called to another room and curtly asked to leave the class. Supreet was surprised, and asked what caused the whole reaction, to which Trevor informed him that the ‘whiny girl’ Supreet was trying to ‘win’ over was his niece.
Supreet was taken aback, he promised that he would refrain from making any contact with Amelia during class or otherwise. Trevor had unknowingly fanned a desire which was just the opposite of what Supreet assured him. Supreet was a rich spoilt kid, he also was very stubborn and always got everything he laid his finger on. Now Amelia was one of those ‘things’. Amelia, blissfully unaware of the new admirer, was struggling to cope with her vicious uncle’s violent methods of teaching.
Next day after class, Supreet found Amelia walking right ahead of him, and he stopped and introduced himself. Amelia shyly said ‘Hi Supreet’ and realized how attractive she found him to be! She turned a deep shade of red brown, and was completely tongue tied in front of him. Supreet was suddenly aware of the effect she had on him. It was nothing he had ever experienced before. The innocence of her eyes, the lovely face and the quivering lips were too pretty to forget. She kept spinning in his thoughts all the time at work that day.
During class, they exchanged brief looks at each other, aware of the electric environment that it created between them. Supreet caught up with her after class as Amelia slid into her car, and asked her to come with him for a coffee later that evening. Amelia arched her eyebrows and said – ‘Are you asking me out?’. Supreet loved the confident avatar of Amelia’s even more than her demure one, he said ‘I am!” She just sped off from there after giving him the loveliest smile saying – Done! See you at 4.00 pm at Seaside cafe. Supreet stood there for a few moments a knowing smile. The bait was taken, he chuckled to himself. Professor Trevor, she is your niece, isn’t she?
The two of them met at the swanky new cafe on Bandstand. Amelia looked lovely in fitted jeans and white crop top, which allowed him glimpses of the slim waist. She was wearing her hair clipped high in a lovely ivory clip, she made a pretty picture. He could not take his eyes off her all evening. He could feel the familiar throb coursing through his veins. He offered to drop her home, and she wagged her finger and said playfully, ‘Already want to come home on our first date?! She made him ache! If it had been another girl, she would already be in his bed! But- she was Trevor’s niece. Take it nice and easy, he reminded himself, how much he needed Trevor.
Amelia realized Supreet was much older than her, but his reassuring personality, his tall, dark, handsome looks took her by storm. She was so elated; he made her feel beautiful, a woman. The amorous looks he gave her all during the evening made her like him even more. Amelia decided not to breathe a word of any of this to her best friend. After all, it was nothing but, just a coffee.
The next few days winged by, everyone noticed a spring in Amelia’s step, change in demeanor. She was caught off guard more than once by her friend, Dana. Ravi even asked her, teasingly who she was thinking about. Amelia just shrugged it off saying she was thinking of the upcoming exams.. . Amelia kept to herself of late, she wouldn’t even return any calls. Dana decided this behavior was just temporary, did not give it much thought, when one day Amelia’s mother called up asking where Amelia was? Amelia had informed on a call that she would be home from Dana’s a couple of hours ago. Dana quickly covered up for her friend assuring Amelia’s mother that Amelia had just left from her home. They were working on a project submission, and the two of them had not realized it had been so long. After she hung up, she fervently prayed Amelia would reach home in the next few minutes.
Amelia did not know her mother had called Dana’s home the previous day. Luckily for her, Supreet had just kissed her good bye at the gate of their house just as her mom hung up with Dana. Supreet called her Ame for short, and she revelled in the sound of that name from his lips. This is what first love is all about.
Next-Day in college Amelia sauntered in a little later than usual, her eyes carrying the usual vacant distant look. Dana caught hold of her and cornered her immediately. Amelia, the least you can do is to let me know if you are using me as an alibi! You idiot! Amelia shuddered and asked Dana, what happened? Dana narrated her mom checking on her the previous evening. Amelia admitted going out for a long drive with Supreet. Dana just nodded knowingly. She said, ‘I knew it!’ It had to be a boy! I want to meet him!’ Amelia was taken aback by the request, but she agreed, saying he would be picking her up for lunch after college, so Dana could meet him then.
Dana was shocked to see the 28 year old, heartbreaking machine at the wheel of BMW picking up her best friend at the college gate, she was alarmed. She recognized the 'love machine' as the tabloids described his sleazy encounters. Dana was very courteous to Supreet, but she cut short his invite to join them for lunch and walked away from the car. She signed Amelia that they could speak later that evening. Amelia just shrugged her shoulders as she drove off with him.
Amelia called Dana just after Supreet had dropped her home that evening, they spoke for a few minutes and hung up. Dana tried warning her friend but to no avail. Amelia was very naive and had a childlike innocence even at 19. Dana wondered how Supreet came to know her friend, especially since Amelia was not one of the page 3 crowd. She knew SK was one of those rich brats who painted the town red, and nothing in a skirt was safe anywhere around him. He had her best friend ensnared in his charms.
Dana asked her elder brother Dono, who was a journalist with a leading newspaper to check up on SK’s latest affair, surprisingly not a single girl was found around him. He had even begun treating his secretary with a lot more respect than before. Dono, even heard that Supreet was to be engaged soon. Thus, when he came back with the news, Dana did not know whether to be concerned or be happy for her friend. The next day’s morning edition carried the answer to Dana’s worst fears!
The next day the newspapers carried Supreet’s photos with his business partner’s daughter at their engagement party. Although Supreet did not look happy, it did not matter. Dana hoped Amelia had not read the paper that morning. Dana was right! She knew her friend only too well!
Our dream girl was in her own world. She did not even hear the sound of her dreams shattering. Just the previous day Supreet had taken her to his farm house in Khopoli, and there in the midst of nature, they had made love. The most sensuous lovemaking he had ever experienced, Amelia had gifted her flower to this man! The elation was plain for anyone to see! She was now a woman. His woman.
She was in early, that morning and had not even bothered to cover the marks of their lovemaking. She was eagerly waiting for him to come, he had assured her, he would come early...Did it really matter?
Dana found Amelia daydreaming at the corner of usual table in the canteen. One look at her best friend and she knew it was too late to warn her friend. She glowed with pleasure of a girl who had transformed into a woman. Amelia wore an olive green dress, which set off her skin perfectly. Her eyes done with a lot of care to look perfect for her beloved. Her BELOVED!
It wrenched Dana’s heart, however, better now than never thought Dana, as she put her hand on Amelia’s shoulder, and it brought her out of her trance! Hieee...went Amelia, as she was about to launch into a gleeful greeting, Dana folded the paper on the canteen table in front of Amelia to see!
No words were needed! The thick curtain of love, dreams of being his woman... slowly raised itself in slow motion before her eyes! Tears streaming down her face...she walked out of the college gate, Dana tried to stop her, but Amelia was too hurt to hear anyone or any words...
She walked on in the rain.. Soaking her to the very core of her being! She knew not where her steps took her... The pain that she felt, the shaken trust, and lost faith in the word ‘love’ would never be restored. She never allowed herself to love again. The real Amelia is nowhere to be found..and no one knows her even today.