Next morning I awoke, even before he came to wake me up. Some shrill sound had broken in my sleep, like I was discovering groggy eyed as I sat up, had broken in everyone’s sleep. Mr. Obnoxious alarm was crazy. Loud and crazy. I immediately looked over to his berth, and there he was awake like me, looking straight at me, I was suddenly very conscious of how I looked. He smiled , and said “Morning. Some alarm huh? ” I laughed and said “No one can sleep through that...”, starting to get down from my bunk.
We were up and ready in half hour, and we walked out near the door. He was about to leave in a matter of minutes, and I still hadn’t figured a way to stay in contact. Damn me. Then suddenly it stuck me - what the hell was the use of email if not here? As the train pulled into the station, I began “Listen if -”
He turned, and took a step back instead of going forward. There was a line of people waiting to get down, and he let them pass. The narrow passage was crowded of people, and the next thing I knew, was that I was standing close enough to see every fleck of gold in those brown eyes. It nearly damned brought my heart to a screeching halt. He looked very shy, as he said “I can get down at Hyderabad too.”
I gave him a broad smile. This was going to be easy. If these weren’t the signs then I didn’t know what else were.
We went in again, to get my suitcase. There were less than 5 people in the entire coach. We were standing near the door again when he said anxiously “Listen, don’t get me wrong, but when you are staying here, if you need anything, info or anything about places to visit, you could call me.”
“I don’t have your number” I said smilingly. I tore the last page of my diary and divided it in half. On one part I wrote my email id on it and gave it to him. He wrote his number on the other part and gave me. I could actually feel the floating sensation in my tummy. In that moment I decided to stay in contact. Always. There were a lot of maybe’s in my head. Maybe this would happen. Maybe that will. Maybe...
The train came to a grounding halt at the station. We both got down. Looking at each other, I couldn’t believe that this was someone I had met only a few hours back. He smiled and said “I had a lot of fun talking to you. It was very nice to meet you , you know. ” I shook hands with him and replied “Same here. Stay in touch, ok? I’ll call if I need anything ok?” he nodded, and pointing to the direction over his back he said “I go this way ok? Where u headed to?” “My Bhaiya‘s driver must be waiting outside.” I looked around for an exit sign and said “I go this way.” half disappointed that I had to go the opposite way, and half happy because I had his number, I smiled a little and started to pick up my suitcase.
“Should I drop you till there?” I didn’t know if my Bhaiya was to come to pick me up or not, so I told him No.
As I started to walk away he said “Heyy..”
I turned and looked at him, with a questioning glance “hmm?”
“You talk too much.” we both laughed. He added “Don’t change that about you, ok?”
I smiled and said , “You got it. Bbye.”
We walked in two opposite directions, that cold March morning that year. And you know wht? I never did call him up. I reached home, had a wonderful stay, checked my email. He had sent me a mail barely 2 hours after we had parted. Like I had asked him on the train, he had even sent some pictures of him with his silver-red fighter plane, and another with him in complete army uniform. He looked, if possible, even more gorgeous than I remembered from just a few hours back. I sent a thank you and reached safely sort of email to him.
But along with the mail, was a mail from my ex, begging me to forgive him, and take him back. Which I did. It ended soon afterward anyway, but at that time, he was a very important part of my life. So amidst all this, I didn’t reply to any of the further mails that he sent to me. Which were quite a few. After some weeks, the mails stopped. And after some months, he was forgotten.
Till now, when I started to write this down. I took out my old diaries and reading the entries of a 17 year old girl in them, made all the memories come flooding back. One of my friends, when I told her about this incident before I started to write it here, asked me, why didn’t u guys stay in touch? Maybe it could have lead somewhere.
To which I replied, if it would have happened, I would have discovered something not so perfect about him. Something I wanted to change or didn’t like. Something that wouldn’t be right. But because I didn’t know him further, he is perfect. Just as he met me that day in the train, because that memory of him wont change ever. Hes probably happy someplace now, with a wife and kids, and I m just a 21 year old, with changed views and changed ideals. Life is good. And because I never stayed in touch, he remains as one of my fondest memory...
Maybe we parting ways the way we did, on the platform that morning, was the best ending there could have been for our story. :)