My name is Aj, tall-dark-not so handsome guy. I was a mediocre student, post-graduated, who got placed in one of the 'big four'. And you know when you get placed from campus you feel you have almost achieved everything in life. And I was extremely happy that I was going to earn my bread and butter finally.
I was in a relationship during my college days. You can blame my bad company, but I flunked in a subject for the first time in my life then, and had a year back.
That’s when I learned failure is a better teacher than success. It surprisingly made me a better person. I became serious about life, learned what family actually means. I got placed with 12 other classmates of mine. Though I had quite a few interactions with them, I wasn’t very close to anyone in the group. In fact, I didn’t even know that a few of them even existed in my class.
One amongst them was her. She was just like the girl next door. My company - green lush lawn, a pool, luxurious interiors, cabs to commute, sophisticated pantry (which had a jar full of little hearts), and horrible traffic. Life seemed pretty perfect.
On day one, I wasn’t great at handling my laptop. We had a day-long orientation and stuff. I was not able to follow quite a few instructions. I had doubts about everything, they thought. Thankfully she saved my day always. In fact, she helped me copy in tests. She was generous, caring, and funny and everything a guy needs.
We exchanged numbers after a couple of days and it was September 13th when I texted her first. From then on, we spoke every single day. She always had simple solutions to complex problems. Arguing with parents was the most complex among them. Still I never had any feelings for her. Training got over after a month and we were deputed to different teams and clusters.
Come what may, all 12 of us used to catch up for lunch. One thing I learned during those days was that everything seems perfect when you have a support system. These 12 were my support system.
Everything was fine until the busy season started. There was no time for us to visit the pool or gym. My skype, however, always had her chat on. We were connected 24*7. Busy season sucked the life out of us. My team was the worst. I used to slog till midnight, working almost 14 hours a day.
There were rough days when we got escalations besides working hard, comments for “future improvements”. While at home they started asking me to quit the job and start up a business.
There were days when I have almost cried sitting beside her. She was my lifeline. My support system. She stood by me, supported me, ensured to put the smile back on my face. But I always failed to understand her. I started feeling insecure about her. I was all set to quit my company but the thought that we wouldn’t be the same once I leave my company gave me chills down the spine.
I learned and adjusted to extended hours eventually, sometimes even stayed till 2 AM in my office. Almost everybody used to leave for the day while I slogged. I worked on Saturdays till midnight. Canceled trips with family. I made so many adjustments because this was the only way I could be with her. I had pinned her to my skype contacts. Seeing her offline gave me heartaches, a sort of pain that you can’t express but only feel. I used to stare at her empty desk at times.
Days changed. She had a set of friends. Not that she ignored me. But I felt so. We used to have quite some arguments. She used to console me even when it wasn’t her mistake. Her skype chat used to have other names. Slowly she wanted to drift apart because she wasn’t able to handle my insecurities because of which I started becoming more vulnerable. I used to roam around alone.
On one such day, I heard a familiar voice. It was Vidya. One of my batchmates. I felt very connected to her. Very sweet and fun-loving girl. Not to mention, she was the one who taught me how to smoke. She had already dropped her papers. We both used to take breaks together and on one such day, we had a deep conversation. And meanwhile she finally stopped texting me.
I started hanging out with her another friend. Watching them together often made me feel suicidal. We barely spoke. Things started hurting more. I started smoking quite often. The place for which I made so many sacrifices seemed like hell. Every day waking up with a fear of sadder than the previous day made me feel weak. I wanted to run away from everything. Or maybe get shot in the head.
I wanted to cry aloud. I wanted to die. I wanted to booze and puke my guts out. Meanwhile, Vidya’s last day at my office arrived soon. Vidya spoke to me for quite some time that day. She somehow understood what I was going through and suggested to me that I should think about my passion.
Passion is the one thing that makes life easier.
I gave a stupid reply to Vidya. I said, "Someone somewhere said that love makes you do stupid things, and staying here lifelessly is one among them." I still remember what Vidya said to me that day. She said, "When you have an option between choosing passion and something else, you should always choose passion." Those magical words had an impact on me. I started giving it a serious thought.
I always wanted to stand on the dais and teach accounting for at least 10 minutes. I realized my passion. Appeared and passed UGC-NET. Got a job in one of the top-notch colleges in the city. Left the company in which I worked. Leaving it was never easy. Still forced the hell out of me. Even today I stay late at my college and enjoy working extra hours. I love helping my students.
I love conversing with different people every day. There’s no plush lawn or gym or even a pantry. But as long as I am in my college I forget everything else (even her memories). That’s what passion does. But there are nights when I wake up at 2 AM, the only thing I remember is her.
From exchanging Netflix/Prime passwords to barely talking to each other, how we fell apart. We both used to ensure the other reaches home safely every single time. It’s been 6 months since the last time I spoke with her, I still see her in my dreams making my sleep worthwhile. If I could see her in my dreams, I would sleep forever. My mobile gallery has both good and ugly collections of her pictures.
Whenever I see her picture, it just feels like I'm home. I still feel so connected to her. It’s not for some flesh below the neck or something in between the thighs, it’s something divine which only a person who falls in love can understand.
The irony is that people who love madly are the ones who get hurt most. Even today, I have muted her status because her beautiful face makes me fall head over heels again and again. Still, even knowing that, every time I open Whatsapp I check for her status.
Not even a single day passes without thinking about her. Does she even think about me? After all she had once said, “What we had was the best”. I tried flirting with a few girls to replace her. But efforts go in vain.
Nobody could ever hold me like she did. She is irreplaceable. I don’t know if I could love anyone like her. Due to the quarantine I have forgotten how to forget her. I wish lock-down gets revoked soon so that I would make an attempt to wipe out her memories finally.