Nitesh and I dated for almost two years before we decided it wasn’t working out. Why? We didn’t know. He was in an engineering college, I was studying in Delhi University. Our college timings and the distance never left us with any time to actually spend with each other. Of course, when we decided to call it off, it hurt quite a bit! But I was still in college and decided to make the most of my final year, both in terms of my career and relationships. After we broke up, I started seeing a junior of mine. He was exciting, full of life, super charming and utterly irresponsible! He’d be late every time he asked me to meet him, he’d forget about calling me and then would call me late in the night apologising for that. Even though, whenever he was with me, it made me nothing but happy, all this indifference when we weren’t together left me feeling extremely vulnerable.
It was one such day, when I was waiting for Kunal, my junior, after my class that I bumped into Nitesh! ‘Hey!’ I exclaimed, and couldn’t help but notice how great his newly-grown beard looked on him. ‘Hey, you! How’ve you been?’ he asked, engulfing me in a tight hug. I was instantly hit by the smell of his deodorant and that reminded of the first time he’d visited my house and how I could smell him on my blanket for weeks later! He was visiting the college campus to meet one of our mutual friends and asked me to join them, if I wasn’t busy with something else. I tried to call up Kunal to ask him where he was but he wouldn’t answer and in a fit of anger, I decided to hang out with Nitesh and our friend, instead.Surprisingly, it was tons of fun! This reminded me of why I had developed feelings for Nitesh in the first place. He had a great sense of humour and I felt super comfortable around him. Even now, after being exes, there was no silly awkwardness between us. So much so, that even after our friend left, we stuck around for a while… just talking to each other. I didn’t even notice that Kunal never called back. It was a weird feeling that took over me after that evening. I was confused whether I still had romantic feelings for Nitesh or was it just the attention that I craved for? I spent a week, consulting my friends for their advice. Some said I should talk to Nitesh about it, others claimed it was just because I had met him after such a long time, and a third group said I needed to cut off from both men and ‘focus on myself’. All in all, my confusion persisted and how!
In a moment of desperation, I ended up calling Nitesh. ‘Hey!’ I said ‘Hey, what’s up?’ he replied, picking up after just two rings. Another thing I realised I missed about him - the prompt replies. We talked about college and how things were going. He asked me what my plans were after the exams. And then when all the small talk was over, he asked ‘So which poor guy’s heart are you breaking these days?’ I was a little taken aback ‘Is that what I did? Break your heart?’ I asked him. ‘Well, I did spend the last six months drinking away my sorrows.’ he laughed ‘I’m so sorry’ I muttered and to my horror, and began to cry. ‘Hey, I was just joking! Don’t cry,’ he said, I began to cry even harder. ‘I didn’t mean for this to turn out like this,’ I replied ‘I know. Neither of us is to be blamed, it was just the timing that wasn’t right,’ he said. ‘I miss you, you know,’ I whispered.
He didn’t say anything for five seconds, leaving me wondering if this was the wrong thing to say, until he replied, ‘I miss you too, every day.’ Somehow, this confession calmed me down. Maybe that’s all I needed to hear, that someone missed me. After that, we started talking again, Nitesh and I. We met more frequently, somehow making time for each other despite our college timings and the distance. All those little memories started to return to their places and our love life started to make sense again. I realised that I wasn’t falling for Nitesh because of his beard or his smell or his prompt replies. In fact, I wasn’t falling for him at all. Truth be told, I realised, I had never really fallen out of love with him. It was just the distance that we let come in between us. But now that the efforts being made were mutual, it didn’t feel there was any distance at all!Of course, I told Kunal I couldn’t see him romantically anymore and we were much better being just friends! Three months later, when Nitesh asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend again, I knew mine was the story of a simple girl who fell in love with her ex...again!* Names changed to protect privacy.Images: Shutterstock