For some reason I was excited for this day; I knew the reason, but I preferred to ignore it because that was the very reason I was dreading this day. I got up in the morning feeling restless; I could hardly wait to meet them all. But that wasn’t the reason I’d been freaking out, rather I fretted about meeting him.
The moment finally arrived; I stepped inside my high school and there they were – my classmates, my once best friend, the girl I hated the most and the boys I once had crushes on. I smiled, flashing back to the moments I had spent in there with all of them.
My best friend noticed me first – “Hey, you came!! I was looking forward to meeting you.” She exclaimed. We hugged and sat down to chat for a while. She talked about her husband, her kids, and how difficult it was to handle them. I lost interest within five minutes, but kept nodding approval to whatever she said anyway.
My eyes wandered around the vast auditorium looking for someone, who I dreaded yet was most excited to meet. She noticed me looking away – “are you looking for someone?” She asked.
“Where are the teachers? I want to meet them.” I lied.
She took me where the teachers were seated; I met them all one by one, but my eyes kept wandering away.
I met almost everyone present over there and we spent the entire evening reminiscing the old days, pulling each other’s legs and trying to catch up with each other.
As time passed, I became sure he wouldn’t come; I could feel twinges of disappointment inside, yet forced a smile and pretended to pay attention to everything they said.
“Arnav isn’t here yet…is he coming or not?” The words caught my attention and instantly I looked at the boy who said it.
He was Arnav’s friend; I couldn’t recall his name though. I wanted to know more about Arnav, where he was, what he was doing, whether he was coming or not but nobody cared to answer him as they were too busy with their chit-chat.
I couldn’t hold my curiosity any longer and elbowed my best friend Neha – “Is Arnav coming today?”
“I don’t know…I heard he left country for higher studies. I hope he got the reunion invitation.” She said, then looked at me intently. I remained silent as I could feel the expectation and hope being broken deep inside my heart.
“You were looking for him all along, right?” She asked.
I swallowed hard – “Uh…no…”
She cut me short – “Listen, I know you’re lying, so don’t!!” Grabbing my hand, she took me to a corner. “Do you still…”
“No…are you mad or what!” I cut her off; all I wanted was run away from there and bury my head in my pillow. Seven years had passed but the silly girl was still alive somewhere inside of me, waiting for her first love; I cursed myself for asking her about Arnav.
“I gotta leave now…keep in touch, okay? Call me and reply to my texts…you’re always busy with kids and family.” I forced out a smile and hugged her.
“I believe he loved you too…I can try to get his number for you…” She whispered in my ear.
“I’ve waited long enough. If he’d loved me, he would’ve said it, right?” I replied which seemed more like asking my own heart for a confirmation.
I left without waiting for her reply. Tears rolled down my face as I stepped out of my school and looked back at it.
“Arnav!” His friends shouted excitedly and ran to him as he entered the auditorium.
Neha turned to him and sighed. “…couldn’t he come a bit early?” She muttered.
“Sorry guys, I’m late…I was caught up in something urgent…” he said as his eyes hovered around the room.
“…looking for someone?” Neha asked, coming up behind him.
His eyes lit up seeing her. “Isn’t she the same girl who was Shreya’s best friend?” He pondered.
“No…not really.” Arnav replied, controlled his emotion and looked around expecting to find the girl who never left his mind and heart all these years. The teenage boy deep inside craved to catch a glimpse of that girl.
“You’re late Arnav…as always and she left with a broken heart once again.” Neha said and turning around, she left.
– Chirasree, a dreamer.