It all started on my first day in college. My college was not only one of the oldest in Mumbai, its architecture had a gothic touch to it too. The classrooms were huge, and corridors were long and puzzling. I felt as if I was trapped in a maze. On that first day, it took me more than 45 minutes to find my classroom. And then I had to walk into a room filled with new faces. You have no idea how awkward I felt!
The first empty seat I spotted, I sat there immediately! When class got done, some students got up and started mingling with the rest of the class. A few of them came up to to me and, to my surprise, we hit it off really well. I had found my pack!
Like our group, there was another one in the same class. Not everyone was fond of them because they consisted of bullies. They cracked lame jokes, picked on students for the fun of it, and pulled off pranks that pissed most of us off. Our group hated them. However, there was one guy from that group who kept staring at me and watching my every move - right from the first lecture itself. He never tried to talk to me - all he did was stare at me, like how Edward Cullen would stare weirdly at Bella in Twilight. I was creeped out!
I did not want to ask him what his problem was because I didn’t want to get into a fight. As the days went by, he tried making small talk with me, but I ignored his every attempt because I didn’t like his vibe. It got to him so bad that one day he randomly picked a fight with one of the guys in our group. I finally lost it and I asked him straight up what his problem was. He argued for a while, but he apologized at the end of it. He said he just wanted to be my friend and agreed that his approach was flawed. I told him I wasn’t interested and the only way I would be his friend was if he changed his aggressive ways.
To my surprise, he took my suggestion quite seriously. He started hanging out with other people in the class, taking active part in college activities, started focusing on his studies and, most importantly, started treating people better. It felt as if he was a changed man! So I decided to give him a chance. It seemed like he wasn’t as bad as I had thought he was, after all. Every time I bumped into him at college, we would talk for hours and then go to the canteen and talk some more. I slowly began falling for him, and I knew in my heart that he felt the same way about me. About us. My friends and his group of friends could not make sense of what had happened in such a short period of time. But it made sense to us.
We eventually put a tag on it, and everyone from college came to know about it (including the professors!). It was awkward at first, but we got used to it eventually. Our relationship was sailing smooth till our final year in college. It became patchy not because of our studies; it was because of a new girl who joined our class. She was pretty no doubt, but I could not say the same about her intentions. I’d never been the possessive kind of girlfriend, but suddenly I noticed my boyfriend and her exchanging intense glances in class.
One day, my boyfriend and me had a huge fight. We were on the verge of breaking up. There was a cold war in class - our friends and professors could tell that there was something wrong. Over the next few days, my boyfriend stopped attending class. It bothered me because I didn’t know where he was and why he wasn’t around. Nor was the new girl anywhere to be seen. And then I got to know from a classmate that he and this new girl had gone on a trip to a nearby hill station. I was shocked! I couldn’t make any sense of it. What the hell was happening? When did they even start talking? Questions like these were driving me CRAZY!
After a couple of days, I walked into class late, and found everyone staring at me. I was confused. Until I spotted my boyfriend and this new girl sitting together in class and acting like the new "it" couple. It became clear to me that he had moved on and had already got a new girlfriend. I was furious! I went up to him and asked him why would he do something like this, after having been with me for so long. He didn't reply. Instead he rushed out of the classroom.
I knew that day that we were done. For real. I stopped waiting for an explanation from him and decided to focus on keeping my life on track. I felt numb. Went to college, attended my lectures and returned home straight away. I stopped hanging out with everyone to escape their questions about what happened. Even though it killed me every day to see the guy to whom I was deeply attached be with another woman, I was determined not to let it show on my face.
I felt like all the time, energy and love that I had invested in the relationship meant nothing. From lovers we went back to being strangers, like we were on the first day of college. If I had known then how it was going to end, I would have never signed on for it.
If life was wanting to teach me a lesson, it would be to not forget the people who stood by my side when times got rough. No matter what happened with him, my friends and professors stood by me and helped me get past that bleak phase of my life. I still hold these people close to my heart, because they’re the ones who are worth fighting for at the end of the day.
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Published on Sep 08, 2015