Yours Truly (1) can be read here!
Yes, like it or not, I had a terrible crush on him. Since when? I don’t know. When did this feeling start growing? I wasn’t even aware of that. I was the last girl he would speak to, though we were in the same class. I was non existent in his self centered world. Rather it was not self centered, it just was that he was the center of the world for the class. Any thing you didn’t understand, John was there to help you. Anything you needed, John had it or the way to acquire it. You name it, the solution lay in John’s hands.
I had memories of my eyes stealing glances, looking at him play basketball while I read a book in the library. I remember him doing everything to please others. And every girl seemed to just offer her heart on a platter to him. Even then, I did hear of stories that he rejected many girls. He just wasn’t interested. Girls had bets about who could kiss him first, or make him declare her as his girlfriend. But all was in vain. It was termed as his high handed attitude. When we were in the final year at school, rumors were that either he already had a rich girlfriend outside the school, or that he was heartbroken. Some even thought he was gay! Now that I knew was ridiculous. Somehow I just couldn’t accept that theory.
Years later when we met in his office, I had recognized him in an instant. As he sat on his revolving chair, probably holding my file in his hand, his eyes were lowered towards the papers and scanning the words there. A gasp escaped from my lips. I tried to control myself and my heart which seemed to beat like a drum in a concert.
Come in, he announced.
When he sensed no movement from my side, he raised his eyes. They locked on mine. He tilted his head, with a quizzical look. Suddenly, that look changed. A broad grin spread on his face, as he shrieked, Sanddraaa, is that you!!
I was shocked, surprised and a mix of all emotion.
What knocked my senses however was that he remembered me by my name. It wasn’t like – Have we met somewhere? Do I know you? I’ve seen you somewhere!
He remembered me by my name! Butterflies fluttered in my stomach and fishes squiggled in my blood.
And began my work as his secretary. Everyday we were together but slowly the excitement started withering. Somehow, at the end of two weeks working with him, I started to believe that it was just a school time infatuation.
We had lunches together whenever he was in office else he would have a sandwich as he rode towards a meeting with the client or would just skip it.
Slowly I started knowing him. I knew his likes and dislikes, his choices and preferences. He was committed to just one thing. His career. His profession. He wanted to become the best lawyer in the city, the country. Nothing stayed on his mind except for a passion to be the best.
Things were improving between us, but it was all professional and cordial. No lovey dovey looks shared or eyeing each other. Rather I found him suddenly turn cold if anyone tried to get closer to him. So I avoided it, lest he treat me in that cold manner, that lawyers can easily develop.
Things got clear one fine day. We were having a quick lunch, when he asked if I would join him for an official party. It was important for him to attend it. He didn’t want to go alone. He could order me but he left it to my choice.
Why don’t you take your girlfriend? I said, trying to wring out an answer from him.
I don’t have one! He replied casually.
Stop fooling all of us John! I said in a mocking tone, Since school, girls have been falling all over you. In the final year, there were rumors that you had a rich girlfriend, so you rejected all the girls at school!
Oh! Really? I never knew that! He smirked.
C’mon John! You can tell me now atleast, I insisted while I took a bite of my veg sandwich.
Sandra, I don’t have a girlfriend. There has been just one love for me. And I want to give my 100% there, he said in a flat tone, neither can I give love to anyone else. I mean, I wouldn’t want to fall in love with anyone. It would just complicate my life. I’m happy pursuing my dream.
He paused and then stated, Specially not anyone at work!
He stressed hard on that word – anyone!
All the ceilings and walls of the building seemed to come crashing on me when I heard those words. Suddenly the lunch room seemed too small for me to breathe. I felt claustrophobic. My throat went dry. I took the glass of water before me and gulped down the food stuck in my foodpipe and the lump of my heart which had broken and risen, blocking my breathing.
With it went down the little tear that had escaped from my eye.
And that ended the love story of mine. A love story which never began!!
(To be continued. . . .)