In 2007 I had to change schools and it was at the new school that I saw this guy. I was just 13 at the time and though I’d had crushes before, the way I felt about this guy was totally different. I came to understand what “butterflies in your stomach” felt like and I actually went through all those clichés you hear about. My heart felt like it really did skip a beat every time I saw him ...
Raj was not what you would call conventionally good looking, but I was still really attracted to him. He was one of those guys who had that oh-so-charming carefree attitude. He was also the best football player in the school. I often wondered, why I liked him so much. And what it was about him that made him so irresistible to me. But then half the girls in my class were crushing on him too. Some had even declared it loud and clear that they liked him. I couldn’t even think of doing that, I was really shy back then; only my best friend knew about my crush.
All that changed one day. We were playing Truth or Dare and I got ‘Truth’ and was asked whether I had a crush on anyone. My bestie insisted that I let go of my shyness and confess the truth. She said to me, “Everyone is your friend here, no one will say a word to the guy”. So, being the fool that I was back then, I told everyone the truth, and as luck would have it one of the guys sitting there was Raj’s friend. Soon after, the whole class including Raj knew about my crush.
My classmates started teasing us, in that really embarrassing and awkward way they do in high school. I felt terrible! Now I couldn’t even look towards him, let alone talk to him.Whenever he was nearby my heart would beat faster and my cheeks would turn read.
The only courage I had gathered was to send him a friend request on Facebook a couple of months before everything came out in the open. He accepted the request once he found out and we actually started chatting online after that. Soon we were chatting every day in the long breaks between our Class X board exams. I was over the moon! I felt that we had become very good friends. One of our mutual friends even told me that he had a soft spot for me. Even though we never actually met, we would chat a lot.
On Diwali day in 2012, we were chatting as usual and he asked me, “So, are you dating anyone?”
I replied, “No, I am forever alone”.
He then said, “Okay, won’t you ask me the same question?”
“Did you find someone special?”, I asked.
“Yes, I met this girl,” he wrote and then went on and on about how perfect this girl was!
I didn’t even read half the things he said, I was heartbroken and totally shattered. I could hear my cousins calling me to light the firecrackers, but I made an excuse that I was not feeling well and stayed in my room. I cried for hours while everyone was celebrating Diwali. I had never felt that terrible in my life ever. I stopped chatting with him after that night. And even though there was nothing I could do about how bad I felt, I promised myself that I would never fall in love again.
Today, as I write this as a 20-year-old, I realise how naïve I was back then. Yes, I have never felt for any other guy the way I felt for Raj but that doesn’t mean I will never find love again. I know that I will meet the right guy and will experience what it’s really like to be in love and to be loved back.
You can never give up on love and I am not robbing myself of that chance by making stupid promises.