first love story first kiss childhood sweetheart crush teenage romance old school Love

Even After 28 Years, My Heart Skips A Beat, When I Receive A Text From Him...

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

My first love is not about kissing, cuddling, hugs, candlelight dinners, Valentine's Day celebrations, birthday celebrations, exchanging gifts, or daily text messages. It is about how someone can make you skip a beat. It all started in 1995 when I was in 8th grade, and he was in 10th grade. He came to my house for tuition. He was like Adonis (the Greek god of beauty), simply the hero of my school and the dream boy of every girl. He used to come a little early to my house, and we talked a lot about cartoons. I loved talking to him.

I was too young to understand that it was love. Every day I waited for the evening to spend a few minutes talking to him.

In 1996, he completed his 10th standard, and I was in 9th standard. I met him at a project expo. He did a math project and was explaining it. I was there looking at him, unable to understand a single word, but I kept looking at him. After his explanation, we moved on to the next project, but a huge surprise awaited me; he called me by my name, and we spoke for a few minutes among the envious stares of my classmates and seniors. That was one of the proudest moments of my life.

In 1997, I was in 10th standard, and he was in 12th standard. When returning from school, he dropped me off on his scooter. One day, when returning from school, I saw him waiting for me at my house. I was overjoyed thinking he came to see me, but he didn’t come for me; he wanted me to pass his slam book to his friends in my school. I last met him in school during the candlelight ceremony, a tradition where we sing the song "Till We Meet Again." I was in the school choir singing this song, a silent longing in my heart.

In 1998, I was in 11th grade, and he joined college (afternoon shift). During my 11th and 12th standards, I frequently took leaves just to call him (only landline); all our conversations were perfunctory (maximum of 2 minutes), but I was never sad; just hearing his voice was more than enough for me. My place in school was on the last bench near the window.

I chose this seat just to look at him, but I saw him only three times in 2 years.

In 2000, I joined a college in Coimbatore (my hometown was Chennai). Within a few months of joining college, I was pranked by an email asking to enter the name of my crush, and it would calculate the love percentage. I entered Rahul Dravid and his name, but the love percentage was not calculated; instead, the names were sent to the sender of the email. Everyone in my class assumed I was in a long-distance relationship, which I didn’t refuse but accepted happily. No mobiles, no emails, no communication, but never a day in my life has gone without thinking about him.

Finally, we were able to communicate through mail; he was working in Kerala. We had very little communication. I always felt this relationship was touch and go. We were not frequently in contact with each other, but with each passing day, my love and adoration for him kept growing. I never expressed how I felt about him, as I feared being rejected; I always felt inferior to him (I am simple and plain-looking). Even with limited communication, we never lost track of each other.

In 2004, when I was in my final year, I met him at Chennai railway station. He came to see me. I was very happy; this happiness can never be expressed in words.

When he was about to get down from the train, he kissed me on the forehead—my first kiss by my first crush. Even today (May 2024), when thinking about that kiss, I still blush, and that was the last time I saw him.

In July 2004, I started my first job. He was in a remote place, and calling him required trying more than 20 times, which I did just to hear his voice. We were in constant touch. There were a few common friends who advised me to move on, but I couldn’t (though I knew we would never end up together), but my love for him grew by leaps and bounds. Towards the end of the year, we lost touch. My sister got married in December 2004, and I received a few marriage proposals. To delay my marriage, I told my parents that I wanted to study M.Tech.; fortunately, they agreed.

In January 2005, I made a very brave decision to move on. I changed my mobile number, but my resolve was broken in just 10 days. I shared my new number with him. We were in frequent contact with each other. To pursue my M.Tech., I submitted my resignation, which was not accepted. I was returning home from college by bus when he called and asked about the resignation, which I said was not accepted.

He said, "Tell management your marriage is fixed and the boy lives in Kashmir." These few words will never be forgotten till my last breath. I had a glimmer of hope but couldn’t think beyond.

In 2006, we lost touch. He got married in December 2006, but I couldn’t move on. I still loved him. In December 2007, I got married, but my love for him never vanished. Finally, from 2009 to date, we are in contact with each other.

The best present for my birthday was "Happy birthday, my love." I love the way he calls me "my love," but I’m never sure whether he really means it. Still, these words only strengthen my feelings for him.

In April 2020, during the pandemic lockdown, I confessed my feelings—nothing much; I just wanted him to know that I love him. I never asked him how he felt about me or wanted to know because I was very sure he didn’t have feelings for me.

In May 2024, almost 28 years later, I had a heartfelt conversation with him for nearly 1 hour and 30 minutes (our longest conversation), and he said that he liked me.

My feelings were like "Indha urchaagam podhum Saaga thondrum idhae vinaadi" (a line from a Tamil movie song—this excitement seems to be enough to test this). I was waiting to hear this from him, and I finally heard it. I never dreamt that I would hear it from him; my only wish is to always be connected with him. Even after 28 years (I am 42 years old), my heart skips a beat, and I blush when I receive a call or text from him. I consider myself very blessed. Never a day in my life has gone without thinking about him. Even if I don’t see him or we don’t contact each other, my love for him will never vanish.

Just a question to ponder: how many of us know the status of our first crush? The first crush is very special. I will cherish this relationship forever. I am madly and deeply in love. I will never stop loving him. The day I stop loving him will be the day my heart stops beating. (Mudhal kadhal mudhal mutham endrum marakkuma—Do you ever forget the first love and the first kiss?)

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