She stood there, among chattering people, laughing freely and involving everyone in her conversation. I made my way towards the group, hoping to see whether they belonged to my department of study, when she made a brief eye contact with me and asked, "Literature?" I gave her a quick smile and approached the group.
She asked my name and reacted, "Oh! YOU are Nikhil! We saw your Rank and name on the list! You are the topper, eh?" She nudged and winked at me, while we laughed (I was thinking all the way, are they stalkers?). I excused myself from the group and made way to the Admissions Office, but the image of the laughing girl stuck with me. She was strong, too strong for my taste, yet I felt that I wanted to know her more. In the procedural nitty gritty, I let her slip out of my thoughts but when I made my way towards the orientation hall, she was there again, with a larger group of people. I thought she must be some kind of a debater or a leader. I decided to keep my distance. I wasn't comfortable with the ones like her. She reminded me that I would want to be like her someday.
I left the University, after the dinner party, promptly moving on and getting ready for the classes which would begin in two days. I saw her this time, in class and felt an irresistible pull towards her. She wasn't an earth shattering beauty, but she wasn't average either. She had long dark hair, that touched her lower back and it didn't help that she clutched it with a small clip. The tangles and swirls around her face, made me feel like touching her hair and moving them away from her face. Her face.... I couldn't take my eyes off her eyes... they were big and round and alive! I felt myself light up every time she was around, but I still hadn't spoken to her and she always seemed surrounded by people, so I decided to just look at her. It was not just physical attraction that I felt towards her, it was the way she was around people, asking everyone of their problems and offering solutions, knowing everyone's name and making everyone comfortable and just making it all right....I felt an incredible amount of respect and restrain, both for her.
It was three weeks into the University, when she came to me... for some general conversation, I felt unprepared. I let my brain talk and be normal but our interactions increased. I started to feel afraid of my feelings for her. I imagined her with me, talking and laughing and just looking at me... I imagined her telling me that she feels something for me too...but then I would immediately brush away these thoughts and concentrate on studying. One evening, while working for an assignment, I developed a massive headache. We all shared a single apartment with different rooms along the corridor and she was giving head massages to the girls, when one of my friends who treated her like his younger sister, told me to go to her. I refused and said no. If she touches me, I would die, I thought. He called her and asked her to help me out. I refused but she just gave me a look and held my head. After fifteen minutes, I felt like I was in the bed of down feathers and felt the headache disappear. She ruffled my hair and asked me to go to bed. I thanked her once and left. And then I mentally kicked myself for not saying anything the entire time and for just running off like a shooting arrow.
It had been four months since we had been talking, when she had a fight with her group of friends for me. They were teasing her incessantly and she just flipped and they accused her of being mean. I tried to intervene but I messed up too, by blaming her friends for her pain. She was hurt. I didn't see her the hold day. Rohan, my friend came in charging and yelled at me, "Dude, wtf! You made her upset! Be a man and go talk to her! She is my sister and if you do anything to hurt her, I will break your jaw." He threatened me but I saw true concern in his eyes. I got up and went towards her room. I knocked her room door, which was unlatched. I entered, my heart beating like a clockwork. Her back was turned towards the window and somehow she knew it would be me. "Please leave." She said. I didn't. Something told me that if I didn't fix this, didn't tell her how I felt about her, I would lose her forever. I stood close to her and tried to talk, "Look, whatever happened was a miscommunication of epic proportion. I would never ever make you choose. In fact, I would leave now, just came to check on you." But I could feel my heart breaking. I turned to leave, when she spoke, "I didn't believe them that you had feelings for me and I never thought you would tell them first, that you did."
I had never thought, I would cry. I mean, I had never cried for a girl before. I had never ever even taken any one seriously. Heartbreaks in my past had shaken me to the core, to I had decided to stave off love this time. But, I couldn't resist her anymore. I was in love with her and I had to tell her myself. "Umang... I didn't want you to know it that way. But..." I held her shoulders and looked in her eyes, will with pools of tears which had already overflown, "...I love you.I am hard to love...and I have not really loved before, so I wouldn't hold anything against you. I just don't want to lose you..." I held her hand and waited for her to react. I knew, if she denied me now, I will never be looking at love the same way.
"I don't want to lose you either, Nikhil. You are like the other part of me, the better one..." She said and looked at me and smiled, and I knew I had found love.