Second year of college came with a lot of lessons for me - and not just the ones they were teaching in classrooms.
I thought I knew what boys saw when they met me - or any other girl for that matter. I thought I knew what they were thinking... Basically a variation of ‘how can I get her in bed?’
But then came along Varun. The guy who made me realize how wrong I was!
Varun and I were introduced at a beach party. It was a long weekend and many colleges got together for a game day. There were instant sparks when we played our first game of volleyball. I was wearing a bikini top with shorts but not once did his eyes leave my face while I was talking to him. And that's something a girl notices - and really appreciates.
He was studying engineering at a very prestigious university across town. He lived on campus and I lived in an all-girls apartment about an hour away. Initially, we met town-side, partying with a bunch of friends. Our groups were merging and that provided a good excuse to hang out with him. We didn’t speak about our affections... It was all very new and confusing. The first time we hung out alone was when we went for a movie none of our friends were interested in. The hall didn't have many people in it and we spent those 2 hours talking rather than watching the movie. We weren't all that interested in it either.
My best friend and I used to sleep over in their campus sometimes, though we always crashed with the girls we knew there - Roshini and Nandita. One such night, we were all drinking at their place, some people were debating a music theory and some were making out in corners. In the middle of all of this, Varun asked me to dance. There was only one lamp on in the room and I don't think anyone paid any attention to us. We were talking and laughing initially but soon we were just swaying to music that we weren't even listening to - while my head rested on his shoulder.
A few minutes (or a few hours, I wouldn’t know) later, he told me he should leave since only so many people could crash at Roshini's. I was disappointed but I tried to not let it show. I walked him out but he hesitated before leaving.
‘Why don't you come stay with me tonight? Only if you want to, of course.’
My mind was blank for a second and then there were a million thoughts there - Does he want to hook up? Was he asking just to get in my pants? Of course he was, why was I even questioning that?!
He noticed that I was struggling to answer and said, ‘Hey, there's no pressure or anything. We can just sit and chill for a while. And then I can walk you back if you like.’
He was trying to convince me and he was doing a good job. I texted my best friend, telling her not to worry and left with Varun. Fifteen minutes later, we entered his room. It wasn't as messy as I had imagined it would be. His laptop and a few books were on his bed but his desk and shelves were so neat! It was about 2 am when we settled in. He didn't have wine glasses so we just took turns drinking from the bottle. He made me listen to a band I had never heard of and I made him watch an episode of Sex and the City with me. We kept laughing and moving closer all through the night. By 6 am, I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and I was way too comfortable, curled up next him, to even think about leaving. I fell asleep listening to him talk about a stand-up comedian he and I both hated.
And that was the first time I spent the night with him. I was much more open to doing this again (and again) in the months that followed. And I loved that the following nights I spent with him were just as filled with conversation and laughter (even if there was a little bit of making out), as that first one.
* Names changed to protect privacy