The letters

My could have been,
I looked at you. You looked at me.
We always had these staring contests in our free time. Sometimes from across the class, sometimes in the lobby, sometimes when we saw each other momentarily in between classes.

That look in your eyes was my light. That was what made me smile.
But one day, you decided to take another step. A step closer to me. You left chocolates and a card in my cycle basket and I was both happy and sad.
I do not like chocolates but I ate those. I didn’t dare to hide that card, I burnt it down.
Why was it wrong to be attracted?
Why didn’t our society accept it as normal?
Adolescence brings those feelings you know. It should be okay to talk, to explore, to know yourself better.
But I burnt that card.
You wrote me a letter.
A letter expressing your feelings. I wrote a reply. Now we weren’t just exchanging looks. We were exchaning letters. Heartfelt, mundane, random letters. They made me happy. I’m sure they made you happy too. Those letters also scared me. I was afraid that they will bring you closer to me. You will have a closer look at me and you’ll see the cracks and broken pieces in the art that you’d seen from a distance.
We never stood in front of each other and spoke. We did not talk on phone. Well, we could not. Those were the days of LAN line and the whole phone thing was just tough.
But, did I love you? Were we friends? Were we lovers? Is there a word in dictionary that describes our relationship?
We weren’t friends. We weren’t lovers. We were just two people who knew each other in a very different way than the others.
It was a start of something. We could’ve been friends. We could’ve been lovers. We could’ve.
But you did not burn those letters like I did and someone found them. That was the end. There were no more letters.
We never held hands. We never kissed. We never spoke to each other face to face. But still if someone asked me if that was love, I’d say…it could have been.

Not the one who got away,

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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