A clear and sunny Saturday, already a good day for reminiscing over precious high school memories and to carry out ‘ THE VENTURE ’. I am supposed to be meeting Kabir, my best friend of school days in our beloved high school at noon and I’m already running late. I rush through my last minute check-up of the presentation for a meeting today and hurry up to catch the cab which already arrived downstairs minutes back. I genuinely hope I make it there before him.
On my way to school, my head is flooded with memories. Memories, which is my most treasured possession till date. Some fun & some sad but all of them are simply unforgettable but who knew it’s the happy memories which hurt the most. Surprisingly, I reach on time but he is nowhere to be seen. I show my 10 year old identity card to the guard on duty, exchange warm smiles and heartfelt greetings and he lets me in telling there in no-one in the school. I smile nodding but little does he know I already knew that, that’s the sole reason we decided to meet up today. I walk the familiar pathway with the tin roof to the basketball court waiting for him to show up. I remember the last time we all were here, it was scribble day, inking our favorite random weirdness into t-shirts, immortalizing our friendship, making invaluable treasure out of pieces of cloth. Making promise which would remain incomplete for years to come. The very last moments of school days , I spent here with Kabir, was at this exact spot, sitting , facing the outside world leaning against the pole and opposite to the entrance , we were planning and envisioning our future life, our dream jobs , dream vacation together , dream wedding venue . Anything and everything we could imagine of was outlined that day. I’m doing exactly what we talked about on that very last day. That was the last time I saw him. He was my dearest friend , my counselor , my therapist , my support and also my rumored boyfriend, emphasis on rumored, whose leaving left me with void , hollow till date . We spent 11 good year of our life together through the ups and downs till we didn’t. I was deep in thought when I was interrupted by a light voice,
“you missed me ?”
It’s him !
Afcourse I missed you, you idiot .
“You are late as usual and no I did not miss you” lying as I turn back to face him. He doesn’t look a day older then he was back then. Round face with hazel brown eyes sparking with life , half covered with those messy dark hairs and that mesmerizing smile haven’t matured a bit .
“Checking me out ? All this time but you still can’t get enough of me right !” He says with a smirk .
“You wish , I don’t need to check you out “
“Yeah right , you prefer the roles reversed. Speaking of checking out , who is that geek guy you are going out with nowadays , the one who’s exactly not your type ? “
“Jealous enough ?” I say teasingly
“You wish, he is no competition for me !” He says throwing back his shoulder .
“Sure , he is just a colleague and I’m not going out with him” I say convincingly.
“Whatever ! He isn’t your type anyway and, It’s not like I care” , breaking of our eye contact. It’s adorable when he gets annoyed like this .
We talk about a zillion things from filling him in to my life which he already knew about somehow to revisiting school days to current affairs to the dynamic turn this world took to our shared hopes and desires . Nothing feel off topic with him . To feel understood around someone’s energy is a rare kind of intimacy . After talking for endless hours and hitting a saturation point , there comes a moment where we are engulfed with silence, welcoming it and letting the realization sink in. It’s been 10 years.
10 drastically long years.
After what felt like an eternity I say “Kabir I miss you , you know” barely louder than a whisper, avoiding his eyes.
He meets my gaze with his reassuringly contagious smile and says “I know”. It’s in the way he says ‘I’ which tell me otherwise, as if he is screaming pain and rage . I open my mouth to ask him what’s wrong , is he still in pain but before I could utter a word , he holds me by my waist and pulls me closer. I gasped when he pulled me closer by wrapping his hands around my waist and in a milli-second without either of us realizing i was deep in his embrace my one hand at his arm and another around his nape of the neck . The distance between us reduced to none. I felt the weight of his gaze shift between my eyes to my mouth and then back to my eyes. He demands me, not to worry with his magical enchanting eyes. So I a mere human unable to break the enchantment abide to him . I can feel his chilly cool skin under my fingers , like your body feels after a delicious ice cream on scorching hot summer day. The whole ground was filled with fresh smell of nectar and recently watered trees. Insects buzzing , birds chirping and leaves cracking and falling in the ground. He closed in , I reached for him. I felt a subtle brush of lips before locking of our lips . Our mouths were hotly pressed together. His hands moved from my waist to my back and back to my waist . He pulled the hair clip I was wearing from my hair , my hair spilled freely onto my shoulders and were dancing under wind ,the clip rattling on the floor, he gently pushed my hair behind my ears and whispered softly
“For however long you want me I’m yours , only yours but you have to let me go . Say yes to that geek you are impressed with and pretending not to be. He is trying hard plus he is your type, your boring type .” He retreat teasingly with a wink . A heart melting wink . My heart was beating faster than I thought was humanly possible. I look into his eyes and lose myself over and over again in there unable to escape or better unwilling to escape , terrified as if I break the contact it would be lost forever and I’ll have to wait for another year. I don’t have it in me to let him go again and wait for another heart wrenching long year .A phone rang in the background suddenly , it was my phone .”probably the geek you want me to get with , must be checking up for the presentation , give me a second , just a second I’ll text ! “
I text and turn back almost immediately to ask him if he still loves me but…he…is….not….there . He vanished in thin air as if he wasn’t standing here with me a second before , as if he didn’t kiss me a minute before. He left . Again. He left me alone again only to wait for him for another long year. I wave through air hoping I can pull him back in reality from dust. I crave his presence like it’s the only thing keeping me alive . My phone , my stupid phone is flooding with unread notification for prayers for peace for Kabir. It’s his 10th death anniversary today . Everyone is resharing his photos with ‘Rest in peace dear friend, you are missed ‘ . We lost him today to unforeseen heart wrenching accident. This day ‘scribble day’ , 10 years back , he left me forever.
“Rest in peace, Kabir !”
I say out loud for him to hear from wherever he is . I take my bag and return through the pathway I came . The ground still buzzing with bees and bird chirping , the sound of ordinary .