December 13, 2008
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Even in the beginning, I had known it could have led to trouble. I had known it could have made my parents stop trusting me. Known it could have changed my life completely. But still, I let it happen because somehow, I had also known that losing him would have been worse than any consequence I might have had to face.

At first, Ankit and I liking each other wasn’t a big deal. Well, not a big deal to me. Basically, the two of us just talked to each other online a lot and hung out together with our friends when we could. My parents, however, wouldn’t have even been okay with that. They thought hanging out with my friends was taking away from my studies; they didn’t like me being on AIM; and they definitely didn’t like me talking to boys, let alone going anywhere with them. So I did what I thought was best. I simply didn’t tell them. After all, it’s not like I hadn’t hidden things like that from them before and gotten away with it.

Then, last winter, on December fourth, Ankit finally asked me out. It didn’t come as much of a surprise, seeing as we already knew we’d liked each other, and I said yes, of course. It’s not like I was going to ask my parents if I could date him. I already knew the answer. No. Anyways, I figured if I had hidden things from them for a month already, it wouldn’t be any harder to hide this one more thing. And I was right. That didn’t change.

Other things, however, did. Even though nothing changed with my parents right away, things changed between me and Ankit. We got closer than either one of us could have imagined, but neither of us minded this. It gave us both someone to trust and talk to and someone to confide in about problems we were having, whether it was with friends or family or school.

In the past few years, even before Ankit, my parents had gotten so hard to deal with. They were forever trying to control my studies, the people I hung out with, and where I went. Basically, they began taking over my life. What I did, when I did it, who I was with, where I was—everything became their business. I was tired of having to deal with it all and I wanted to have my own life. Make my own decisions. After all, in a few years I would be going to college. They’d have to let me go eventually. I loved my parents, but I was sick of them trying to invade my life, and I was tired of trying to keep all my frustration with them to myself. This was one of the reasons why Ankit was so perfect. I could tell him anything and even though his parents usually weren’t like mine, he always seemed to understand. He’d find ways to help me cope and he’d try his hardest to make me feel better whenever I was fed-up with my family. He was always there for me and I tried to be there for him. We liked having each other. For the longest time, everything seemed absolutely perfect.

But after a while, my parents started suspecting things. At first, they just thought I just liked him a little. It never occurred to them that their sweet, innocent, perfect daughter would really, as they would say, “get involved” with a guy. They didn’t bother me about it too much initially; my dad asked me if anything was going on between us once, but I denied it. Yet, slowly, they realized that Ankit and I did like each other; and though they never mentioned it to me, I knew that it was the reason they started checking up on me when I used the computer and stopped letting me go out as much.

And then sometime in early April, I messed up. Big time. My dad had just come home and had asked me to get something from upstairs. I had been on AIM on one of the computers downstairs. Usually, I would have signed off while I was gone, but I figured it was pointless signing off for just a few minutes. I mean, what were the chances I would get caught. Apparently, very high. I came back down not even five minutes later to find both my parents staring open-mouthed at the computer screen in front of them. They were stunned, speechless in fact, just looking from the screen to me and back at the screen again. My heart sank; without even a single glance, I knew what they had seen.

I reached over to the mouse, hoping that I could exit out of the window without them seeing anymore, but my attempts failed. My dad, now fuming, held his arm out. I couldn’t even reach the mouse. I could however, see exactly what they had seen of my conversation with Ankit. In bold, all-caps font were the words “I LOVE YOU”.

I was forced to sit through a two-hour talk that night with my parents. Basically, they told me that they didn’t want me to talk to Ankit anymore. At least not until we got over our little ‘crush’, as they called it. They also told me to tell Ankit what they thought about our whole situation.

Reluctantly, I told him, fully expecting him to agree with what my parents has said. He made me happier than I’d ever been before, but as much as I didn’t want to lose him, I didn’t think he’d be willing to deal with my parents. After all, what guy would want to stay with someone they’d barely get to talk to and rarely ever see outside of passing periods, right?

But I was in for a surprise. Instead of accepting my parents’ decision and choosing to slowly stop talking to me, he pulled me into a hug, held me and whispered, “It’ll be alright. We’ll find a way.”
It hit me then how lucky I was and I smiled, trying not to tear up.

We’ve been caught a few times after that, and every time the consequences have gotten worse. The second time, when they found out that he had come with me and four of my friends to lunch, my parents decided to hold a meeting with the me, my friends and their parents. They decided that we were allowed to hang out with guys as long as we told them and they okay-ed the guys that would be there (which, quite honestly, is never). The next time, they held a meeting with me, Ankit and his parents. Ankit’s parents were fine with us being together. Of course, they still thought we were too young to date, but once they saw that we were happy together, they were okay with it. My parents, however, decided that we weren’t allowed to see each other or communicate with each other at all over the summer. And then this most recent time, a couple days ago, when they suspected that we were still talking (which we were), they decided that I was only allowed on the computer when they were there and they forbade me to talk to him at all.

Of course, after all that’s happened, I have no intention of listening to them about that. I don’t quite understand why they won’t just give up and let me go out with him. If they had never said anything against us liking each other in the first place, I think there would have been a better chance of us breaking up and being just friends. Going through all this with my parents has just made me and Ankit closer. The fact that he’s still with me, even after everything that my parents have put us through, has just shown me that he cares about me and that no matter happens, he’s not going to leave me. Not now anyways; not when I need him.

Sometimes, I wonder whether being with him is worth going through all those troubles with my parents, but then I realize how happy he makes me and that I want to be with him more than anything right now.
Everything that we’ve been through together has changed both of us and the way we feel about each other. Although a lot of people would say that we’re too young to know what love is, I honestly believe that I really do love him. I wouldn’t leave Ankit for anything.

This experience has made me accept the fact that not everything is going to work out the way I want it to, and if I want something, sometimes I’m going to have to make choices that have unwanted consequences. Sometimes, to be happy, I’ll have to give up some other things to get what I want. True, I now have much less freedom, but I’m also happier than ever. In my mind, having freedom without having him is pointless. No matter how many times I have to choose between him and more liberty, I’ll always choose him.

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