I belong to a middle-class family with strict parents much like every other Indian girl. We live in the city of Bengaluru. I've always been the apple of my father's eye and he told me to stay away from boys.
My father's exact words were, "We have seen many families disgraced by such actions of their kids. Please don't make us go through it."
But I guess I had the rebellious streak in me.
I had my first relationship in the 1st year of PU and broke up the very next year. Things changed when I started the 1st year of my BE course. I wasn't particularly good at studies and had always been a below average student.
I got an F in one of the subjects in my first semester and that's when I met him, my sweetheart, Abhilash (name changed). He was one of the talented students in our class. He was from Mumbai and had come to Bengaluru to study Computer Science.
At first, I, like most others in the class, thought that he was arrogant.
However, my perception of him gradually changed. Slightly overweight, he wasn't exactly handsome. But he was good at what he did, and he knew it. He helped me with my academics and I was highly grateful for his help.
I don't know if I could have improved without him. Who else would have devoted his time a night before the exam to teach me the entire subject? He was the only one who could do it and still get an A grade in his exams the next morning.
I often asked him if he had feelings for me. I told him not to fall for me because he would end up getting hurt.
I didn't believe that our relationship could work and I didn't want him to get hurt. To me, he was the 'stuff of legends' and I was a no-good delinquent. But he always said that I was important to him, though he couldn't explain why.
Instead, I chose another guy who was a delinquent like me.
He was a volleyball player with an F in a few subjects. He wasn’t interested in studies and spent all his time in the gym. I met him in the second semester and we started dating soon after. It was the rebel in me, I guess.
I cleared my F grade in the extra attempt with Abhilash's help but my boyfriend couldn't. That proved to be the nail in our relationship.
He started getting insecure as I improved in academics and he couldn't.
Every time we were assigned a project, I had to work on his project and mine while he skipped classes and went bike riding with his friends. I guess I felt sorry for him, which is why I helped him.
He often tried to get physical with me, but I knew I wasn't ready.
It was extremely annoying whenever he tried to drunk kiss me. He’d say that it would feel great if I just got a little drunk. Abhilash, on the other hand, had accomplished a lot by then. He had done multiple projects with our seniors and also landed an internship, which was highly unusual for a second-year student.
Also, he hit the gym, lost all the excess weight and even took up kickboxing. I often wondered how anyone could find time to do all these things? But Abhilash was always special.
It was a week before my external examination when my boyfriend came to my class and asked me to come out. I had stayed back late in college to complete a project. As I walked out, I realized that he was drunk from one of his trips with his friends.
The moment I stepped out of the class, he punched my face, dragged me by my hair and slammed me into the wall.
There weren't many people in the college at that time and those who were there were not willing to get involved. My ears were ringing but I could understand that he was verbally abusing me. I noticed Abhilash cutting through the thin crowd. He had a 'this is interesting' smirk on his face with malice in his eyes.
He walked up to my now ex-boyfriend and said, "Why don't you pick on someone a little stronger?" My ex-boyfriend looked at me and asked, "Is this the guy you have been f*****g?" Before I could say anything, Abhilash replied, "I can't remember if it was her or your mom", with a smirk on his face.
And then there was a fight between the muscular guy and the average built guy trained in kickboxing.
I was so worried for Abhilash that I didn’t realize I was bleeding until a friend offered me a handkerchief. Luckily, Abhilash won the fight with just a bruised face and knuckles. He took me to the doctor and kept consoling me, as I couldn’t stop crying. Obviously, the school authorities informed my parents and I received the silent treatment at home for a month.
I knew my parents were disappointed in me.
Abhilash was supportive as always. He kept grinning and said, "I practised jabbing with my left hand, so I could write the exam with my right one.” My parents also thanked him for his help. Eventually, the semester came to an end.
I don't think either of us asked the other one out.
We just started spending more time from the 5th semester, and one day, I realized that I was in love. I still don't know how to thank him enough for all the support he has given and continues to give me.
I just want to be with him forever.