a story by pushkar prabhat
He had grown fond of his routine of standing on his balcony, waiting for her to pass his house, on her way to her classes. It had started only a month ago when he had accidentally seen her and couldn’t take his eyes off her. He didn’t use to stare at girls, like other boys of his age but with her, he almost had no control. It seemed like he knew her from before, and yet at the same time she seemed like the ultimate secret, the he had the supreme duty of knowing.
No, it wasn’t her bosoms, or her clothes. In fact, he hadn’t even had enough of her face and hair. But he had noticed her shoes for some reason. He had contemplated the possibility of him, actually meeting her one day. It wasn’t the idea of him climbing down the stairs, waiting by the door and saying ‘hi’ to her that was frightening. It was the shame and embarrassment of having to explain what a creep he had been, standing on the balcony every day that was keeping him from doing that, or so he thought.
From the moment she would appear, from around the end of that lane, to the moment she would disappear around the other end, it would hardly take her two minutes. And by now he had calculated a definite fifteen minute window, in which she would definitely appear. But still, the thought of missing her, made him stand there, almost an hour early and for however long, after she had passed. And even though he knew he was early, he used to get excited on seeing any shadow approaching from that corner. And given the fact that that was a fairly busy lane, no wonder he was left exhausted till she actually arrived. But he was not the one to complain, he loved every bit of it.
Today, however, she didn’t show up. He stood there for three hours before he decided to go looking for her. He did not know her house or her name. He knew, it would take dumb luck to find her, but he just couldn’t take that mix of strange feelings of anxiety and betrayal. So, he decided to be stupid. There was the simple explanation that she must have taken the route she had been using for her return trip or maybe she was just sick. But he needed to be sure. And part of the reason perhaps was, he didn’t want to lose the best moments of his life to a different lane.
He kept going, as if she would be waiting for him. He examined different turns, different routes. He was sure that she must not live far from his house. It must be in her walking distance. By the time he had exhausted the possibilities, apart from being exhausted he felt dejected. He knew he was overreacting, and this was too dramatic but this seemed too valuable for him to be reasonable. And adding to his frustration someone dropped a ball of paper on him. With all that anger and frustration bubbling inside him, he frantically picked up that ball to throw it back up. And as he looked up, an even bigger rock hit him. It was her, standing on her balcony. He felt crushed but blessed. Their eyes met, she smiled and although he didn’t knew this but he too was smiling, ear to ear. She enunciated ‘Hi’. His stupidity had paid of splendidly. No wonder love is crazy.
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