I am sure you’re wondering why I write to you years after our romance culminated in silent but strong friendship, after a lot of hating ofcourse. I seem to have hit a road block with love and it is imperative I say everything I have always wanted to say to let go and move on.
You were my first. My first butterflies-in-the-stomach. My first walk home from school deliberately stretched long. My first all night call on the phone. My first love letter sneaked in when no one was looking. My first rose pressed dry in a novel. My first shameless smile on a busy school day. My first double check in the mirror to make sure I look good. My first time holding hands. You were my first in every sense of the word.
We were 14. And that, perhaps, is both the funniest and the saddest part.
Our idea of a date was sneaking out on our bicycles to unexplored and isolated parts of the small town we then lived in, making sure we avoided running into either our parents or friends. How difficult it was to act normal and say sane things when we did run into a friend of your mother on a narrow lane very late at night once. How innocent and easy love was, with you. It was in such unpretentious things. Love was The first letter you wrote to me with red hearts sketched into the empty spaces. Love was The reply I sent on pink paper with a flowery watermark. Love was The first rose you got me and had the hardest time actually delivering in the presence of your best friend and sister. Love was The hurried note you left with clover before leaving for your cousin’s wedding to tell me how beautiful I looked at the party the previous night. You asked me to wish everyone the best of luck for their exams on your behalf in that note. To this day I can not forget how important and loved that made me feel. Love was The secret call you made from your cousin’s cellphone to tell me that you miss me. Remember how scary it was when your mother caught you talking on the phone at 4 in the morning? I swear my heart stopped beating for an entire minute. Love was The names we called eachother that no one knows till date.
And then It ended. Just like that. You, in your typical poetic style, left a note with a friend. A note! You broke a 14 year old’s heart with a note? You should have at least taken the pain to look me in the eye and tell me it was over. The way you told me when it all began. How many sleepless nights I spent asking myself pointless questions like What went wrong? Why would he do this to me?
Which brings me to why it was Sad.
We were 14. And when you are 14 and madly in love, you do not know what is right and what is wrong. There is only one thing you know and that is loving and wanting the person before everything else. You do not understand patience and space and rationality and reality. When you are 14, you do not understand that the least you must do when breaking a girl’s heart is tell her so yourself. When you are 14, you do not understand that a guy would not know so or care to find out. When you are 14, you can fall in love but you can never know how much it is going to hurt when you fall out of it.
When “we” went back to being you and me, a period of undying awkwardness set in. Bitter backtalking, half baked story telling and trying to prove self right. You had your version floating under. I had mine. But oh! Life is so unfair. You were,afterall, a guy. And me a girl. So any version had to backfire at me. It ended in me being accepted for a teenage bitch who dated and then dumped guys. Even dating was taboo where we lived, remember? So you can imagine the treatment a girl gets after she has dated AND dumped. Someone who later went on to become a really good friend actually told me the kind of things people used to say about me. I wasted so many tears on public opinion I otherwise din’t care for.
You broke the first barrier of innocence down, Trust.
To this day I doubt it has mended itself.
But this is not to say that I regret it. I do not have an ounce of regret for loving you or for spending tears crying for you. You taught me so much. You made me realise the importance and power of the letter. My first poem was for you, to you, about you. Had it not been for you, I doubt I would have ever picked up a pen to write. And now that time has passed and I am who I am today, I know that you gave me the biggest happiness in bargain for all that sorrow. You gave me poetry.
That and happiness. All those hours spent crying and waiting and wanting and longing can not take away from me the happiness my first love gave me. At one point in life, you were all I could ask for and I will always respect that.
Today we are at a stage where we can talk without wanting to either kill or kiss eachother. I’d say we’re friends. We’re also in the same city again for the first time, 5 years after our break up. And this one is not a small prejudiced town. Maybe we can meet for coffee as friend someday? Or ride our bicycles to unexplored places?