Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The ghost of boyfriend past

He pursued me relentlessly. I kept bumping into him everywhere. The cafeteria, the library, the common area, on my walk back across the huge field after classes, in that little convenience shop on campus. At first I thought it was coincidence. Later I found out it was by design. He was stalking me.

The first conversation I had with him was when I sneaked away from playing squash with my friends into the campus empty hall to play the piano by myself. I heard this loud footsteps, purposefully headed towards me. I turned around and saw him there. He grabbed a chair and came sat next to me. I remember he asked me about the song I was playing a moment ago and then casually invited me to go to a fair that was in town that weekend. I don't remember what I said but I remember my stomach doing flips and my hands trembling when he walked away.

He was by far the handsomest guy on campus. Tall, broad-shouldered with a lean athletic build. He was the football and basketball star. He'd dated one of the prettiest girls on campus. But it had ended badly. Everyone knew. He was dark and brooding. With careless, unkempt hair and swag. He walked around campus carrying serious books like Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. He was a charmer and a rebel. My heart didn't stand a chance.

He asked me out a few times before I finally said yes. It was to the movie Armageddon and I had run out of excuses to say no. Till this day the Aerosmith song 'I don't want to miss a thing' reminds me of him. He terrified me somewhat with his intensity but thrilled me at the same time. I was enthralled. At 19, he was the most enigmatic person I'd ever met.

Of course I fell in love.

It was an incredibly hot, unbelievably passionate and awfully short love affair. The days and nights were a haze of endless conversation and lovemaking. We did it everywhere. Both, the conversation and the love-making. The phrase waking up making love to the wall made complete sense then, as even the nights not spent with him, I would wake up dreaming that he was touching me. One time I was away from campus for a couple of days, and when I got back he was standing at my door with a box of ice-cream. The look on his face was utter need and we didn't make it to the bedroom, the urgency of our need to be with each other so immense.  

And then one day, as if on cue, he broke my heart.

It was tragic. I suffered a kind of pain I had never experienced before. I rebelliously and somewhat stereotypically cropped my hair so short I must have looked like a boy who wore dark red lipstick everywhere. I bawled, weeped, screamed and thought I was going to die from my broken heart. But I didn't. I survived and started dating again. Even falling for someone else.

Things between us would have ended there but by some twist of fate, he walked into my life again. An older, supposedly wiser version of ourselves gave it another shot. It was less intense, he was less brooding. His hair was tidier, a product of conditioning at the workplace and he was less a rebel and more a responsible adult. But I saw sides of him this time that I only saw glimpses of before; his kind, giving and generous side. He wanted to provide for me and take care of me, not just get into my pants. And I fell in love with him all over again. It was like a grown up adaptation of our previous crazy, passionate love affair. I thought myself to be the luckiest girl in the world to have a second chance at my first love. It was my happy ending.

We talked of marriage and a lifetime together. Then, precipitously, I got cold feet. It got too hard, I had to make too many sacrifices, I met someone new. It was my turn to break his heart.

But he survived and moved on like I did the first time around. And yesterday (cheers to you, facebook), I learnt of his engagement with the girl he moved on to. I knew they were serious, but the news did make me somewhat sad, nostalgic and want to listen to Adele.

It was Jeffrey Euginedes who said somewhere that the greatest love stories don't have happy endings. If that were true, I guess this was my great love story.

A, I wish you the best. x


simplysolo said...

Loved this... thanks for sharing. Beautiful writing.

Kim said...

Sad ending but Yes you have the Great Love Story!