Myriad of feelings, web of desires, hopes and delusions all combined into one word- Love. It looked so easy to draw those little hearts and feel being in love. But reality surfaces like water on fire, and with it submerges the cluster of dreams that one has been building since childhood. Love has multifarious roles in shaping an individual, or destroying him. Believe it or not, true love is indeed hard to find. One without any impositions or conditions. No demands, no complaints.
As I reflected on my opinions regarding love, it began raining. The sultry weather which others considered romantic even though it totally bemused me. Never knew why, but perhaps it reminded me of my desolation and solitude. It felt like being ostracized from a circle of friends who all happened to have found their soul mate. It intrigued me, even though I was not totally oblivious to these emotions, and had known what falling in love was like. Unreciprocated, yet true.
At first, it felt like a mere crush during college. He had deep eyes and a charming smile that mesmerized me, his chivalry and composure that seemed so different from others. We worked on many projects together and his dexterity and efficacious spirit fascinated me more than his persona. He seemed perfect, just like a character emerging from the book of my dreams. He inspired me to aspire high, to achieve more and made me realize the significance of simplicity in life. That's what he was, someone who didn't make me fall in love, but made me rise with it.
College ended, and even though I deeply adored him, I could not tell him what I felt. Not that I didn't want to, with every passing day I dreaded the life I would have after he was gone. It wasn't something I could imagine, each memory reminded me of the times spent with him. More than anything, I feared if I could manage living without him. It felt like a wonderful phase of my life had ended. I could have told him my feelings but honestly, I was scared to hear his response. Scared to lose him, to let all memories fade away and worse than that, I feared that my confession would spoil the magic between us. It felt better to let those emotions persist, to reminisce those splendid years spent with him, to cherish those memories beyond all hopes. Somehow, it felt better to prevent that bubble from bursting.
Years later, both of us met at our college reunion. As he smiled and hugged me, I felt the urge to tell him what had been a secret all these years. Of all the times I had regretted my silence, of the tearful moments spent while missing him. About the times when I had glowed with pride, basking in the glory of his achievements, praying for his well being and success. I wanted to thank him for all that I had learned under his mentorship. I had so much to say, but words eluded me once again. Pictures were clicked, numbers were exchanged, but I was unable to confess.
Letting him go again, felt even more terrible this time. But as I noticed how happy he seemed, carefree and jocund, my intuition gave me an answer. One that I could live by. I was not ready to lose him or to let that smiling face evade me, even after so many years. It felt fine, missing him and longing to be with him, hoping and dreaming. He did not seem to have any such feeling. And I could not force him to. My confession could have ruined the bond of friendship that we shared. I couldn’t afford to lose that.
Maybe, I had presumed things and perhaps the situation could have been entirely different. It was possible, that he would have reciprocated my feelings and we could have lived, happily ever after. But some endings don't need to be perfect. They have to lurk around, without conclusion. My unspoken love could have been the biggest mistake of my life or perhaps my best decision. I don't need to know. All that matters is that I had once unconditionally loved someone who was perfect for me, oblivious to any demands, complaints or reciprocation. And I will, always. I'll remember him with every rain during monsoon and with each romantic song that I will ever hear. Filled with nostalgia, I’ll miss him, but without any regrets. Not all love stories have happy endings. Ours was neither a tragic Romeo-Juliet nor a sweet Bollywood romance. It was like Severus Snape and Lily Potter. Unrequited and unknown, yet the truest of all. Sometimes, the bubble does not burst. And trust me, it doesn't need to!