It was terrible to love someone and not know what that person is thinking or feeling. She thought she could handle it but as the days are nearing in, she felt that sudden pang of panic. What if this was how her life was going to be? What if life doesn't get anymore interesting? What if he loses interest in her? He hasn't always been the appreciative or admiring kind and that was something she knew about him years ago when they first met but these days how she longed for his nod of approval, only she knew.
It was Meera's second day of college and also her birthday. She was glued to her book since she had sat down in her seat and nothing could distract her from it. Except that she did get distracted that day, by her friend Ramya. Ramya couldn't contain her excitement as she looked out of the window and exclaimed, 'oh how cute is that guy?' to which Meera just nodded and glanced outside only to get a glimpse of his back. He had managed to get into their bus and Ramya was giggling all the way. Meera being Meera just ignored it all and got back to her book.
Lunch time, it was time for gossip and wandering about the canteen with her best friends. That particular day Meera hadn't got her lunch from home and she wasn't hungry. So she figured she'd just have a chocolate. She was about to take her first bite when she heard his voice, "Is that your lunch?" and she looked at him. Rahul went on to tell her that he'd noticed her that morning sitting in the bus too engrossed in her book. She just managed a laugh. Her friends were eyeing her from their table as she was walking towards them and noticed that Rahul too was about to join them. She didn't know what to say as she didn't even know his name yet but he saved her from that trouble and introduced himself to everyone at the table and to her too. Today thinking of their first meeting, Meera could still smile about it. What a charmer he was? Little did she know what she was getting into. And this was nearly ten years ago.
Today their parents were planning their wedding while he didn't have anything to say. He wasn't there to share her excitement or plan things with her like every other couple. Things were never normal when it came to them. She was in her balcony, gazing down at the park down the road. She could see people walking in to the park with prams, babies and their dogs. She could also see few old couples walking arm in arm, and few of them on their own, probably sitting there reminiscing their past, missing their better half. She wondered then, if she would end up growing old with Rahul, hand in hand, sitting in a park. She tried to picture it but then reality hit her hard. She couldn't picture it. She could see herself sitting there alone, all old and lonely. She didn't want to end up growing old and alone. She loved Rahul didn't she? She had him. For today, that was the reality, she had him, he was hers, she told herself.
She thought maybe things will change. She decided to go for a walk. The weather was nice and she'd have loved it if Rahul was there too. She didn't mind being apart from him because it was only for a few months, it gave her some space, to think about things, and most of all, she wanted to get some paintings done. She was in awe of the the place and to this day she'd say this was the most beautiful place she'd ever been to. Yes, she was in France, for a break, She wanted to pursue some art before she started her Doctorate in the UK. She wanted to live life a little. She had had it all sorted except for the wedding part.
She missed him. She missed the old Rahul. He'd changed so much for her, for better. He wasn't the jealous one anymore, but she missed it in him now. All he spoke to her now was about work, and friends. He was excited about his career. He was happy for her too, that she was going places. The old Rahul would never have let her out of his sight. This was what she wanted, for him to be happy for her, let her go where she wanted, do what she wanted. She hadn't liked it when he used to be possessive about her but now, that was what she longed for. The two of them used to have fights if the other didn't say 'Love You' before they hung up on the phone, but not anymore. Rahul was always around, taking her places, getting things done for her, to such an extent that she never had the time for her friends. He didn't want to share her with anyone. That too was not the case anymore. She was the one who fought with him about it. She wanted him to back off. She wanted to spend time with her friends, go places herself, do things that she wanted to do without him hovering around her. One day, he gave her just that. He let her go, although after a fight. He saw very little of her after that day. He backed off. He gave her the space she wanted. He spoke to her when she called him, if she didn't call, he simply waited. He even tried his best to stop her when she told him she wanted to go to the UK to do her Masters, but let her do it as that was what she wanted. All Rahul had tried was to make her happy. He changed for her, because of her and now she wanted his old self back.
She knew what she had done but a little too late. She longed to go back to those days, the bittersweet ones! Meera and Rahul had become quite close friends, travelling in the same College bus, going to the movies with her friends, hanging out in her friend's place. She remembered the first time when she went out with him on his bike. That was probably after just the second week of their first meeting. There was no one to drop her back home after a Prize giving ceremony. Her parents were out of town and none of her friends were available to go with her and the only one who volunteered to do it was Rahul. He offered to pick her up after the ceremony. She felt nervous and awkward. She'd never been out with a guy on a bike other than Gautham, but then she'd known him for a long time and she'd been comfortable with him. Gautham had moved to Delhi for a few months for a training, so now her only option was Rahul. He was prompt to pick her up and she guided him to her house all the way. She was terrified of the traffic and ended up holding him. That was the beginning. After that, he was always around for her, as a friend but how they ended up going out as a couple was another story. Even today, she could think about it all and laugh. How naive they had been. If only she could go back in time, she would stop herself from changing him.
Meera then looked at the time on her watch and realised she'd been sitting on the park bench and gazing at nothingness for more than an hour. It was time to go home and she was pretty sure she'd have missed calls on her phone from her parents. They were very excited for her wedding, they probably had been planning it for a very long time. She didn't want to disappoint anyone or hurt anyone. She knew it was a big deal for everyone. Perhaps tomorrow she'd feel happy, it could be a brand new day just like how she hoped that Rahul wouldn't be as insensitive as he was now. She hoped he'd join in and be happy for them- together. Meera could never have prepared herself for whatever happened but then she was a strong one- the golden eyed rapunzel!