Hey, I want you to imagine being in the story as if in first person, because that's the only possible way to understand it.

I don't know what love could be like...but I'm sure once in a while we meet that person where we put in all our efforts to just bring that pretty smile on their faces., where we want to stare into their beautiful eyes all the time.

Love is something I'm not good at, but once in a while you meet that person who makes you feel alive. Maybe love is just love. Maybe it’s something we don't understand but feel. Maybe it’s not something, but someone. Maybe not you, not me, but us.

I still remember, when I saw you for the first time my Spidey Tingle told me for sure that, dude, she's the one!

But the universe had some other plans and we sort of started hating each other. The youngest mind of Gen Z, as I like to call myself, had the worst plan to get her attention. I used to tease her. And now when I look back, gosh. I know you know that feeling.

Eventually it all worked out and hate turned into something else. Another day, another ray of hope. We had this trend of talking on Google Hangouts back then and everybody had an account, so did she. So I texted her. I was nervous but I had to start with something catchy and I started with “Sorry”. I don't know why but I had to ask for forgiveness, teasing her was too much. But it seems like she never had a problem with it. I felt like I had played an Uno reverse towards the universe at that time.

I was happy we had started talking and we were on the same bus. Luckily, we used to look at each other all the time because she was not in my class and the bus was the only place we could see each other regularly. Those couple of moments felt like spending my entire life with her, believe me, we could literally talk with our eyes. A couple of days passed and we were having silly talks about our favourite colour and other such stuff, and I had that urge to match everything that she liked. Then came that moment where she asked to meet me and I said yes. We both were very excited but it was not easy as she had strict parents and wouldn't allow us to go out without parental assistance. Luckily, we had another common place where we could meet.

My football practice and her dance studio were very close so we decided to mrrt there. I thought that that was my moment. I had two friends who were good for nothing, but were my friends, so I called them and told them everything. Now they were excited too. We went out to buy a ring, because that was the real plan - I was going to propose to her and we just wanted to be happy. The evening came and it was my big day. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, here comes the climax. I was a nervous wreck, planning to propose to her but also prepared to fail. Come on you guys, this young heart had big ambitions.

She came and that heavenly moment can never be forgotten. We were standing under the garden's street light and ‘Closer’ by the Chainsmokers was playing in the background. There was a calming breeze and love was in the air. I'd say it was PERFECT. Our conversation started with the typical hey, what’s up, and then dead silence. Believe me mate, I was as dead as a person in a coma for years, and at that very moment, she said that some friends of mine had told her that I liked her. It was then that I knew I had f*cked up. Then she said, “Don't worry, be honest with me, do you like me?” and I said yes, with my eyes closed. I was terribly scared. We had a moment and then she said, “So do I!”.

I was...I was just happy and excited and felt like the luckiest boy alive. I gave her that ring and she was very delighted to have it. I said the right things at the right time and wished to stay in that moment forever.

Days passed by and almost everything was going right for a few months. Then bad things started happening. I can't tell you everything but I can tell you that nothing goes as planned in this accursed world. Eventually it got worse as her parents got to know about us but we never broke up officially. I wasn’t sure if we were together or not, and since we had to stop talking to each other for some time, I used to ask my best friend to check on her. I cared a lot for her.

In the next few months I got to know from my very best friend that they were in a relationship and they had kissed. I still don't believe in the kissing part but I wasn't there so it was hard to believe anything. Everything was hard to believe at that moment. I had to accept it, the betrayal.

I don't understand why I had to act so f*cking mature at a very young age, I guess it’s all part of the typical Gen Z traits. I was young, dumb and heartbroken. You say whatever you want, but I loved her dearly and believe me, she loved me back. But I had to f*cking accept that they were in love and that it's okay to fall in love with whoever you want and....and I don't know what else to say. I thought about every possible way she could put her story forth, because I never knew her part of the story. You know that feeling right?

Like in UNO, where you are sure you're going to win, left with only one card, but then your favourite person pulls out +4 and nothing can cancel that +4 and you have to take it. You sure hate them for some time, but you love them, right? You can't stay that way forever. We love them and it's our part to play.

My dad worked for the government, we had to move every 3-4 years so we left that city and my story with it. I had to start fresh, it was hard to move on. It took me a couple of years to move on. I was scared to be in love and to be loved again. The hopes were always high and the right person had yet to come.

So I'm doing great right now and we talked after that. It didn't go as planned. I still don't know her story and I also don't blame her in any way. I'd like to meet her, have a talk, give her flowers and her favourite chocolate for sure and tell her thankyou for every beautiful moment we shared together.

Things will surely happen to you, good or even bad, but you always have to face them and remember everything happens for a reason that either we don't understand or yet to be understood. Live life, love someone, be loved.

All the way down; hope dies within us. The hope which kept me burning now fades like the dream I have seen. She used to say I had matured..

If I could talk to her, I’d say:

I still remember how crazy you were, holding my hand and saying “I love you”. Now we have grown up differently, things will never be the same. But what if they could be?

You know what, your write-ups are as beautiful as you are. Hope my writing shows all of me and everything that I needed to show you. I love you, I miss you, I want us to be together, and I'll never find someone better.

Now it all ended and it's been a few years. I hope you're happy, and that you know that I'll always be there for you and your crazy stuff. Just need to say sorry for the last time we stopped talking. I put you through so much and all of it now feels so melodramatic. Now I need to love myself like you used to do, look after myself, something you used to profoundly do. I love myself and so should you. I'll always be there for you.”

Author: Shantanu Chavan

Editor: Ananya Chaure

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