It was just a simple text that made a regular day special for me. I smiled as I read the text from Abhi; he had written that he was coming home. Abhi was my classmate in school when he asked me out, and now it has been four years we have been in a relationship.
He went to another city for further studies and though it was tough in the beginning, we have managed to make our relationship last. I still feel long distance relationships are hard, though.
I texted Abhi back saying that I would meet him at four, after college, near what is called the University Campus Road.
We hugged the moment we saw each other.
"So, what do you want to do?" Abhi asked me.
"Nothing really, why don't we just go for a walk and enjoy the weather?" I replied.
It was drizzling; he smiled at me and took my hand as we walked. We spoke about all that had happened in our life while he was away, complained about the world in general and even managed to have some silly arguments. He cracked lame jokes and I laughed at them as usual. The atmosphere was wonderful.
After about ten minutes of walking along the road, Abhi turned left into a small pathway. It was barely visible from the main road. I followed him - I was looking forward to some alone time with him. We stopped next to what looked like a small boulder behind a thick patch of bushes. Abhi sat down and patted the space beside him. I sat down and bumped my shoulder against his.
The rain got heavier and seeing that I was feeling cold he gave his hoodie to me. He put his arm around my waist and pulled me close. I placed my head on his shoulder and started humming a song, while he ran his hand through my hair.
Suddenly we heard a whistle. We turned around and saw a policeman approaching us with a lathi in his hand.
“What were you doing just now?” he asked, looking at Abhi. “And what were you doing, haan? Do your parents know you're doing all this with a boy?" He directed the second question towards me.
“We're sorry, sir. We'll leave now,” I told him.
“I won't let you go anywhere. This is a restricted area!” the cop said.“What if this boy had done something to you?”
I got really angry at this and was finding it difficult to control my anger.
"Sir, Please let us go" Abhi said. The cop asked Abhi to show his ID, and he handed over his college ID. Abhi kept requesting the cop to let us go but he didn’t budge. He took Abhi's wallet and looked inside. By now, I was sure all this was for bribe.
“Come to the police station with me and pay a fine,” he said to Abhi.
We decided to pay the fine and go as it was getting late.
Then the cop told me, “You go home and I'll send your boyfriend after he pays the fine.”
“No, I'm coming with him,” I said, looking at Abhi. But he shook his head and whispered to me, “Walk to the main road and call Vibhu. Ask him to come here. If I don't come out in 15 minutes, call my dad.”
We exchanged our phones and I walked to the main road.
I called our classmate Vibhu and explained the situation. He lived nearby so he said he would here in two minutes.
I sat down at a bus stop, texting Abhi continuously. I didn't want anything to happen to him. By this point, I was feeling very guilty as I was the one who’d asked him to meet me at the University Campus.
After the longest 30 minutes of my life, I saw Abhi and Vibhu walk towards me. I was so relieved. Later, Vibhu explained how he pretended to be Abhi's father and spoke to the policeman on the phone. The cop let Abhi go only after that call.
The next day, I spoke to my friends in college. Every single one of them had a story similar to mine. These policemen look for chances where they can pressurize students into offering them bribes. This is one experience I can never forget.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Jan 15, 2016