We were family friends and knew each other since childhood. We had been the best of friends once upon a time. Since the time we were toddlers, we used to play, fight and share everything with each other - things that all best friends do but I never realized how deftly he drew me in and how I fell for him, in due course of time.
Inadvertently, I began harboring feelings for him in my heart but I knew he did not feel the same for me.
He used to flirt with other girls- the usual popular, beautiful chicks, who were the apple of everyone’s eyes and I was far from attaining their standards of beauty and perfection. Eventually, he started ignoring me.
He used to talk to me only when he needed help in completing assignments and home works, as I was the rank holder of the class. Even the few minutes that he spared for me would brighten up my day and I would always look forward to such situations that would bring us closer. I wonder if he had ever noticed me gazing at him in between classes and turning away when he made eye contact. After 10th, he opted for commerce and I chose to pursue science.
I knew I would rarely see him after that but I thought it would be the best thing for me as we had no future together, whatsoever. I thought distance and lack of communication would put an end to my heartache but I was far from being right.
In spite of my repeated attempts, I failed to erase his countless memories and the feelings I had for him. One day, I got a call from him. He asked me how I was doing and merely listening to his voice made me feel exhilarated. I was on cloud nine. We talked on the phone for over an hour and that day onward, he started calling me once every week.
All of a sudden, his calls stopped altogether and that really vexed me. I inquired from his best friend, who told me he had entered into a relationship with another girl.
My world fell apart. I realized that all the castles that I had built about my future with him had vanished into thin air.
Thereafter I decided to focus completely on my studies and tried my best to forget him but the memories from the past and thoughts about him kept haunting me day in and day out.
I moved to Pune for higher studies but even there, I had no peace of mind. I felt lonely and since I had never been without my parents, it became all the more difficult for me to keep up with the pace of city life. I felt dejected and depressed. I felt as if all the happiness was sucked out of me and it was then that I realized how much I missed him. If only he was with me.
When I could take it no more, I made up my mind and called him. I asked him about his girlfriend and he told me that he had broken up with her. I couldn’t find a better moment to profess my love for him. I pounced on the opportunity and confessed that I had always been in love with him.
He did not see it coming and was completely taken aback. He told me that he respected my feelings for him but could never reciprocate the same. It did not hurt me much as I knew he took me for a friend and nothing beyond that could happen between us. Even though I sounded desperate, I pleaded with him to give me a chance. I tried to persuade him to give the relationship a try and I also assured him that with time, he too would probably fall in love with me.
That was perhaps the biggest mistake of my life. You can never enforce your love on someone else and expect them to reciprocate the same but I learnt it the hard way.
That night, I was extremely happy. He had finally consented to giving me a chance, barely realizing that true love is selfless and pure and stems from genuine affection towards another person. I never realized how I was enforcing my love on him and expecting him to do the same.
Next day onward I assumed the role of a dominating, typical girlfriend who dictated terms to her lover. I would check on him every hour, perhaps because I was apprehensive of losing him again.
I would tell him about the minute details of my day to day life and I thought I was so in love with him but with time, I realized that he did not feel the same way. He would not share anything with me at all and whenever I called him, he would hang up, giving some excuse or the other.
I didn’t realise that I was stifling him with my obsessive love for him.
I was not one to be discouraged so easily. I thought time would bring us closer and that he would come around sooner or later but I was wrong. Things got worse when he became possessive about me. He began dictating terms to me- telling me what to wear and to avoid talking and hanging out with other boys.
Things escalated to another level when he started abusing me and he didn’t even spare my family. He would chide and belittle me in every possible way, so much so that I began to doubt if this was the same man I had fallen in love with. He was turning into a nightmare for me.
Even my tears couldn’t melt his hardened heart. I did bear him for a year and then one day, when I could no longer put up with his tantrums, I finally broke up with him. The change that had come over him was terrifying. He wasn’t the guy I had so sincerely loved all these years. I had lost my childhood friend somewhere long back and I knew I had to let him go.
Today, I am a different person and I have moved on in life. It would be a lie if I say I have forgotten him because I still believe that he was and will always be “My first love”.