It was the year she turned 14 and Simran had her first taste of love. The innocence of it still leaves her smiling.
He was going to complete his high school and she was a year junior to him. The Cupid stuck them at a wrong time, or may be that was the best time.
He would be leaving school in a few months’ time and those were the days the world communicated via snail mail.
After a month or two of those silent eye contacts every time they passed each other he finally proposed her. He had already started his exam leave and the proposal came via a letter sent through his younger brother. She was on cloud nine. All she dreamt was about him and how they would meet. However, at that time, they could never meet.
Her mother soon found that letter hidden in her bag, and threatened her with serious consequences. She convinced them that she would not contact him again. She was knee deep in love and ignored her warning. Though she became careful from then on.
Love, be it any age is like a sweet nectar. Once you have drunk it, you want it more. The adrenaline rush is enough to keep anyone going.
He shifted to another city after the results came. Even though there used to be no mobile phones, or what’s app like these days, they still managed to be in touch through the snail mail, and the now obsolete landline phone.
It used to be difficult in those days. The snail mail had to be handed over to trusted keepers and phone call could only be connected if no one was around. “Same here” was their secret passcode for those three magical words.
They hardly ever met. May be less than 10 times in a span of 3-4 years. Yet, they were head over heels in love with each other. They never shared more than a hug that too just once and it still leaves a sweet smile on her face. “The perfect couple” as they and everyone who knew them thought.
During that time, they both were preparing towards their careers, and with each other’s support and encouragement they did manage to reach their desired professional courses, though it landed them in cities miles apart.
From there started the downhill. She broke his heart, into million little pieces. She knew this because he took a long time to get over it.
A social recluse, she had always been. Once she entered hostel, it became clear to her, that she won’t be able to make friends.
How to make conversations was what she seriously lacked. After 6-8 months of having not been able to make even a single friend, she panicked. She started missing him sorely. All she wanted was him. She waited for the snail mail. She kept waiting for his calls. She tried calling his hostel every single day. She wanted him to come and convince her that she would survive all these years without him. His call never came. Hers never got connected and the snail mail came far too late.
Miles apart, He too was adjusting in his new place. However, he was her complete opposite. When she could not make a single friend, he had loads of them. Where she sat sulking in the corner of her shared room, he was the heartthrob of his college festivals.
So even before the 1st year ended, Simran one sidedly declared that she no longer would continue with him. Alas the long distance relationship could not survive, she thought it would be too difficult to carry on for long. She was 18 then. They had survived 4 years in the long distance relationship, but she had lost all hope by then.
He must have been left bitter by this. He wrote her a few times over the next year and then stopped. Years later, when the Internet café became popular they came in touch briefly and later befriended each other on Facebook. They remained cordial to each other and she asked him sorry for what she had done. He might have understood by then because he forgave her . Today they both are happily married not to each other but to their respective spouses but still if the thought crosses her mind, it leaves a sweet fragrance behind.