It happened in high school. We were all in the same class - me, my friend and the guy who used to have a crush on me. It was that phase of everyone making boyfriends, just because it was the cool thing to do. Back then I was a very shy person, I still am but at that time I would not even talk to people in class other than from the ones I had known since second grade. And my friend was the happy-go-lucky girl who would talk to everyone! Absolutely everyone! It was a bit annoying walking down the corridor with her sometimes because someone or the other was bound to stop her for a little chit-chat while I stood there awkwardly.
It was then that this new boy joined our class. He wasn’t that great looking, to be honest, but he was the new guy so he quickly turned into an eye candy for many girls! For him, however, I was the eye candy and the whole class knew about it within a month!
Was I flattered? Yes, definitely! Was I embarrassed? More than anything else!
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As it had to happen, before Amit even talked to me, he became friends with my friend, Aisha, and it became the sole purpose in her life to set us up! She’d get me to hang out with him or talk about him by saying things like, “he is so funny, so cute, so amazing!” In fact, she talked about him so much that eventually when he did ask me out, I said yes.
He was the "cool dude" and it only made sense to say yes when the whole class was rooting for you.
We went around for 2 months, talking on Yahoo messenger when we got home, shooting little glances at each other in class but never talking! Yup, we never talked in school, it was all a hush-hush affair until 14th of February came around. Not that I was expecting anything great but I was expecting something! We were in the same class and it was possible for him to at least talk to me. In fact, I stayed in the classroom during recess hoping he would wish me!
But he didn’t! And that really pissed me off. I didn’t understand what was happening or how I was supposed to react. Once back home, I asked him what was up and he replied “Nothing. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
“Is that it?” I asked, no reply came. Ugh, boys!
We didn’t talk for two days, after which he messaged me explaining how this wasn’t going to work out and...I was fine with it. I mean, I knew it wasn’t going to work out and I hadn’t fallen unbelievably in love with him to care about it much. In fact, it was getting kind of annoying with all the teasing people did in class. So we broke up. Whatever that meant at that age.
A few weeks passed by and things were fine between us, we’d talk if we were both online and even say hi in class until one day, one of my friends who didn’t know about this secret affair told me “Have you heard? Amit and Aisha are going around together!”
“What?!” I thought to myself! “They are dating? Just two weeks after we broke up?” Not that I cared but hey, this was embarrassing! My friend and my ex! Ew! What were they thinking? We are all in the same class! This would be super awkward and neither of them even thought about talking to me about this?
I wasn’t exactly angry, to be honest. I didn’t care who he dated and it didn’t matter that he was my ex but my friend and my ex...that had to be the biggest blow to my self-esteem until then! I decided to confront them about it. They had to answer my questions, what were they even thinking? So we had a conference chat together.
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“Um, I don’t know...it just happened,” he said.
“Just happened? You were dating me two weeks ago!” I typed back.
“Listen, love, I was trying to fix him up with you! That’s how we became friends in the first place but then…” Aisha replied.
“But then what? You are supposed to be my friend!” I replied.
“We just have so much in common and we used to meet up so much and we started liking each other!” she said.
“That’s why I didn’t wish you on Valentine’s Day, I didn’t want to give you hopes.” said Amit.
Give me hopes?!!
“You know what? That’s fine…” I typed. “...I only said yes because of peer pressure anyway.” And then I logged out.
A few weeks went by and things got a little awkward in class. They would try to avoid me and anytime I saw them together, they would get flushed and quietly walk in different directions. Eventually, I actually started feeling bad for them. Come to think of it, I had zero ounce of feelings for this guy, how did it matter if they dated each other? They were right, they had more in common than him and I ever would, so why was it such a big deal?
“Hey,” I said as I sat down next to Aisha one day in class. “Hi?” she said, sceptic about where this was going. “Are you finished with the Bio homework? I haven’t even started!” I smiled at her. She smiled back and just like that a friendship came back to life!
The three of us actually got kind of close, in due course. I’d help him out when he pissed her off or when they wanted to spend some alone time and needed someone to cover for them. When they did finally break up after a year, I was there for her and we've both been there for each other till this date. Because the thing about love is that it comes and goes but friendship...well, friendship is meant to stay.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
Published on Sep 27, 2016