“You can't open a Facebook account,” my mom had told me before she left to be with my dad who was working abroad. And, what did I do? I went and opened an account anyway.
Facebook was my only solace at a time when my 12th boards and IIT-JEE preparations were driving me nuts. I would take breaks from studies and chat with my friends online.
During one such chat with one of my classmates, she casually mentioned her Facebook friend Akshay, who studied in the boys’ school near ours. She said he was a decent guy.
That weekend I sent a friend request to him and he accepted it. We chatted for hours together and I always felt that the time we spent chatting was never enough due to my tight schedule. We would text as much as we could find time for…during the breaks at school, on our way home, at times even during my IIT-JEE class. Talking to him, even through texts, helped me forget all the exam stress and I would feel relaxed. I was having the best time of my life. We got along so well that we would often even complete each other’s sentences.
Finally, after two months, we decided to meet up at the park near my house. I still remember the first time I heard his voice when he said “Hello” - the tall guy under that huge tree with his sparkling eyes...it was instant attraction. I had never felt this way about a guy before. I have heard people say that when you chat with someone for long, often you don’t feel that connection when you meet the person for the first time. This wasn’t the case with us, we felt very comfortable together. We sat on the park bench and had a great time talking about everything under the sun.
That night, I was jumping with joy and then I got a text from him saying “Your eyes are the most attractive eyes I have ever seen.” And a sudden thought popped into my head: “I have never felt this happy before… Am I in love?” But immediately, a fear crept in too - this couldn’t be true. I just told myself: “He is only a good friend. Also he is two years younger…I have to be more mature. Right now our focus should be studies and not boyfriends. I shouldn’t allow any distractions." However, I continued texting him...keeping all these warnings in my mind.
One day when he gave me some good news he’d received, I just texted: “This is awesome... Congrats... *Hugs* :)”
“Hugs?! I don't feel it :P” came his reply.
“Hahaha... It's online hugs... You are not even here :P”
A week later, he came to the terrace of my building and texted me to meet him there. A total surprise, I got pretty excited to meet him and ran up. He was there, sitting on the parapet gesturing at me to sit down. I smiled and sat next to him.
We started talking and then he asked, “I'm here... Where is my hug?!”
I realised that he still remembered the conversation we had the other day. “Why not?!” I said and stood up. He promptly got up and stretched his hands out to me. There was a glint in his eyes which made me feel shy.
“Only for a second... Okie?” I said.
“Okie,” he replied cheerily.
I stepped towards him, careful not look into those eyes. I hugged him and felt his arms wrap around me. He held me tight and I could hear my heart beating loudly. It was the most comforting thing I had felt in a long, long time; it was like my heart was saying, “This where I belong.” I wanted to stay longer and forever in those arms. I don't remember how long the hug lasted, but at the end of it I didn’t want to let go.
Finally, I looked up and saw those beautiful eyes looking at me meaningfully. A profound silence hung in the air as we sat back on the parapet.
My mind was racing, “Do I love him??!” - this thought kept coming to my head. When I turned my head to look at him, I saw this look on his face and his eyes were moist. Then I felt his hands over mine. That very second I got my answer - I was in love with him! The question no longer haunted by mind. And I could tell that he had also just realised this. I moved closer and put my head on his shoulders as we both looked at the beautiful twilight sky...not a word spoken between us but plenty understood.
* Names changed to protect privacy
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Published on Mar 10, 2016