I was fourteen. He was sixteen. I liked him.
I was fifteen. He was seventeen. He liked me.
I was sixteen. He was eighteen. It was time for him to go.
I was seventeen. He was nineteen. He called to tell me that he liked me.
Something that was neither expected nor required.
I looked at it like an infatuation that made my heart dance every time I saw him. The butterflies in my stomach made my lips curve every time I spoke to him.
I met him in the corridors of our busy school during our recess. I saw him from afar during our morning assemblies. Sometimes I caught him looking at me and smiling.
For me that was enough.
For me it was first experience of these feelings that made me alive. With all that was going on in my life, this was the light at distance that kept me going. I wanted it to stay at a distance so I’d have motivation to keep walking.
Afterall they say it’s about the journey and not the destination, right?
His presence made my journey beautiful and that was all I needed.
But that confession! It took that away from me.
I had to make a choice. A hard one.
In my heart I knew that I had a lot of time and my journey was going to have a lot of stops before the destination.
This did not feel right.
But now that the unspeakable words, the words that should have remained hidden in a chest locked and the key thrown away, were spoken. And they sounded like the end.
The butterflies flew away making room for emptiness. The answer was no. Because it was too early to commit. Because in my experience, breakups weren’t acceptable. My tender heart thought love is forever and hence I ran away from it. Forevers felt difficult. Forevers were painful. All the forevers I saw around me, had broken me already.
“No” I said and he did not ask why. Only if he had. I would have opened the trunk full of words and feelings and emotions I had hidden from the world.
“Okay” came the answer. And that was that. No calls. No letters. No messages. Nothing. Silence.
Just like that something that was my hope, my lifeline, my ray of light on the dark streets of life was gone.
There I was…standing hopeless…wondering what’s next.