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It was seven’ o clock in the morning the boy came hastily down the stairs of the second floor of the hostel. On coming to the street he realized that it was indeed a fine morning .The narrow street leading to the university main campus was just aside the hostel. He is a student in the university for about two years now and quite accustomed with the campus. When he first came to the place he was bewildered by the vastness and the complexity of the accessibility from one point to the other. But after all these days he has spent here, made him know the campus as like the lines of his palm. His eyes burned and had turned red as he remained awake all through the night .To anyone it may seem as an unnecessary feat to be achieved. But to the boy, how could he sleep with the burden that he was carrying in his heart.
The morning as fresh, as pure and as innocent as the girl he dears so much. She has been his classmate for two years now and for two years he always searched for an occasion to tell her much how much he loves her. Perhaps it is foolish to meticulously arrange a day for proposal. But he was not proposing the girl and neither wanting an answer which would bless him with such a wonderful acquaintance that he so cherished. He bore the idea to confess before the girl, that he loves her. Nothing just a confession, which would be a life-time achievement for him. He thought of these issues as he walked along the street .The gentle morning breeze proclaiming its presence to the boy when he would often put his hand into his trouser’s pocket. After remaining awake for the whole night he was already cold. He kept his head low so that he doesn’t glance at a certain bird without a companion considered as a bad luck. He was quite superstitious on certain matters and this was special day so better to be aloof of the surroundings no matter how exquisitely beautified with the morning sun. It made him feel that there are some aspects of life which must be handled with bravery. The fact that he was going to tell a girl that he loves her was giving him a feeling alike a medieval knights chivalry. When to approach a lady with open heart and proclaim of love was a very much a gentleman like act. He knew there was no wrong in this and perhaps this was the best among all other which young men take and things turn over and odd. He was half the way now to reach the ladies hostel.
All the night he fancied himself of the actual situation right in front of the girl looking to her eyes and telling her (rather acknowledging) the three worded complete sentence ,which is considered one of the most widely used messages of romantic conversations. His romance was elsewhere, his form of self-pride was deeply rooted into the idea of his act of bravado that he so acclaimed and worshipped within. He at this time also wished no one he knows of, appears for unnecessary intervention when he and the girl will be in talks. He prayed for the conversation to be undisturbed, peaceful and private .Let for this day The Almighty leave his path cleared and reserved. Infact he has so many things to pray for but at the top of it lies this simple and yet humble request .He has learnt how to arrange his prayer in order of their priority. But right now he needs to clear his mind of useless thoughts that keeps on floating. He should now, as he realizes must concentrate on his attitude when he converses with her. Perhaps it is the best analysis of the fact that he truly is in love. Nervousness, which usually creeps in when he is infront of the angel. He recollected the first time he meet her and talked to her. He was reluctant to approach and talk to her but then he thought that it was a good chance that he has got. The girl, all by herself in the library, turning the pages of a book with no one that he knows of close by. This was a real chance that shouldn’t be missed. Thus, he roused his confidence, breathed deep and marched towards her.
As he neared her, he thought of the first sentence he would say. In hurry he actually didn’t organise his conversations and now it must come by sheer smartness.
‘May I sit here?’-he said in a soft voice. The girl lifted her head off the book and replied with a smile ‘Oh yes please’.
‘Sorry for disturbing, anyway isn’t this the book Mr. Brookes recommended for mechanics’.
‘Oh yes he did and I was just having a glance at it. It would take years for me to finish this. How can people write such an enormous volume?’
‘Perhaps they just love writing or may be that they just want to put something about all they know’.
The girl nodded her head as a sign of agreement.
‘I am Tom by the way’- he said as an introduction.
‘I am Lisa and I am from Greece’.
‘Greece is a wonderful place. I went there once and it was really a beautiful experience’.
‘Sure it is and why not people from all the country flock there in summers to spend holidays. But to me it is quite a feeling of delight to be from there’.
And so began their story the boy was trying to pull up almost everything from his knowledge so as to keep the conversation prolonged and alive. He also made sure that the topics he put would be easily understood by the girl and she would participate. At the onset when he started about his liking of literature she said that ‘I like classics’. Which the boy immediately responded by mentioning works of Gorky, Gorky brought Ostrovsky ,Ostrovsky pulled Tolstoy ,Chekov followed Tolstoy and concluded by Alexander Pope. She said that she has certain liking of everything which was Russian or German. It was so for the boy as well and then he could plunge into the world of Beethoven. Bringing Wellington's Victory, Die Ruinen von Athen , Die Weihe des Hauses and sonatas like Sonata quasi una fantasia into the discussion which the girl enriched by adding Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. Both found amazing congeniality in their tastes on arts popular culture and even beliefs. The boy discovered that the girl was a great listener for when remarked on Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Alcibiades, Aristophanes and Socrates she listened with her hands folded to her bosom and it seemed she swallowed everything he said. Such an ardent listener is rare to be found. May be these topics are too heavy to be discussed in first meet. But becomes full with exuberance and enthusiasm on the part of both narrator and the listener when they are deeply devoted to these subjects.
The boy noticed the girl had a hairstyle that was trendy. Her hair was short made curly at the end and reached her shoulder. She had an eyebrow with clear signs of feminish touch and style. Her complexion was fair and she had a splendid smile that every time she smiled it enhanced his affection for her. They had every reason to have a successful story. For the boy always liked someone as a confidant as who would be well versed in literature and contemporary knowledge. He entertained himself with discussions the likes of which, any one normally would find boring, that often his friends mocked but every time they were in need of any particular information they clung to him.
The long and enchanting conversation ended when the girl glanced at her wrist watch for a while. The boy immediately took the sign as a silent gesture that she wants to leave. Receiving the gesture immediately he said that he must leave since he has some work. And they parted for the day but promised to meet again and share such interesting topics.
He cherished this conversation to be a wonderful one and wished for more of this. So whenever he had a fair chance to speak to the girl undisturbed he took full chance of that. Carefully avoiding the notice of his friends and her friends so as to avoid a unwanted fuss about their interactions and all the innovative stories that could creep on either side of their friend circle. Sometimes the two would discuss about their personal matters regarding family and aspirations. But they always admired each other whenever the situation made one of them rule over any aspect of their lives that they had so famously mastered. Therefore they became great friends .And the boy never thought of telling the truth to her fearing that the girl may think of him as any ordinary young men waiting and planning a relationship. She also may be forced then to terminate the relationship instantly and the good times that he has spent with her will shatter like glass pieces.
Rather he looked for signs that would predict that the girl has some kind of inclination or affection for him. When she said - ‘It seems you smoke quite often.’ He would foolishly look at her and with a slight smile would promise which all passionate smokers in the world would say in this occasion –‘ I am thinking to quit.’ The girl understanding and being one step practical than the boy said ‘If you can’t quit then lessen the number’. May be this any of his friend would request him or alert him about. But as the proverb goes-‘eyes see what it wants to see’, the boy would find a charm in this. It made him feel that the girl is a bit concerned with his addiction and this would fire his dreams of getting her.
Sometimes he thought himself quite possessive and tries to control himself on this. Whenever there was any formal or informal occasion when all the students used to gather his eyes constantly kept a vigil around the girl. With all of them she spoke and roamed about, everything didn’t escape his notice.
He knew to keep his secret and therefore wouldn’t’ allow anyone to know that he has liking for the girl. Even the closest of his associates would never doubt him on this .His intentions were safe in his heart and he didn’t want to spoil all the hard labour he has made to build up a rapport going wrong. Infact he loved keeping secrets to himself.
The road if viewed form a bird’s view would seem like a string passing through the vegetation. On the two sides of the road there were trees which acted as a canopy above the road. On a stormy night anyone passing through this place when the streetlights are off would tremble. But the mornings are always different when everything is clear and quite pleasant to walk through. The boy now was just about to reach the ladies hostel. He could see the hostel it was a three storey L shaped building with an accommodation for more than two hundred ladies. There was a small garden beside the hostel where students during there free time could idly sit and relax with their mates. Generally it was a place where all the couples used to sit and have a long chat. Wooden benches encircled the garden where now no one was sitting. A rare sight indeed at other times one would find couples sitting two feet apart and relaxing. To him it seems that they didn’t care for privacy or may be that the place was too pleasant to resist. As he neared the garden the benches were wet with the morning dew. This may be well another reason why no one is sitting now he thought. But he was marvelled to see that in one of the benches sat a young lady with her head down, eyes starring at the grasses below at her feet. Her hands crossed and resting on her thighs. She was wearing a blue vest top, a plain one –which to him looked quite familiar. He stopped for further inspection .By God it was she! But why at all should she wake up early in the morning and sit in a wet bench all alone. Is something wrong with her .She is not even wearing a sweater or a shawl which at this time, at this place and in the month of January is quite indispensable in this part of the country. She seemed to be in deep thought and she didn’t move for a minute. The boy started to imagine – may be she has received a bad news, may be she isn’t well today. His apprehension now knew no boundary it went unleashed and he allowed himself to be carried away with all sort of negative things that might have occurred to her. This finally made her succumb and sit all alone in the desolate place. He had never seen her alone any moment either she would be encircled by her friends or she would be with him engaged in long conversations. He thought ‘poor girl’. Honestly it made him feel that he was slipping off with the preparations that he carefully planned over night for telling her the truth he felt about her. He thought in any case if the girl is in anxiety he must help her at the moment and to let her overcome the grave situation she may be in. He bettered the idea to proceed towards her and have some talk than to stand like a spectator. Few steps towards her and he got rid of the idea to tell her about his feelings and more to act like a friend in need. He came closer to the girl and when she could not perceive the presence of his, he took a long breath and ’Hello’.
The girl seemed bedazzled even with his calm voice and the terrible silence that broke her deep thought. Turned her face to the boy and looked blankly to him. She was looking weak and it seemed that she would take thousand of years to speak. She had such a kind of anxiety in her face that would let the boy take her hands onto his and draw her close and ask her in the most affectionate manner ‘ what has happened ?’
The boy sat beside her. ‘Hello’ she replied clearing her throat. It appeared that she hadn’t had a good sleep.
‘Are you alright?’- He inquired.
‘Yes I am, just didn’t sleep well last night so.’
‘How long you have been sitting here? It’s quite cold and you don’t have warm clothes?’
‘Even you don’t have a sweater ‘- she said with a smile that negated his idea to advice her than to understand the reason of her being here and at this time.
‘Is anything wrong? It seems something must have happened to you and it’s implied. But I can assure you if you share it with me we both can come out with a solution ’.
‘I must tell you something.’ as if she was eagerly ready to share her anxiety. ‘But you must understand me well’- she continued. The boy was unable to decipher what she was trying to explain. He instead thought to go with the natural way of her explanation that best suits her.
‘Yes you can tell me, take your time’.
‘You know me as I am, never quite able to express myself fully; I cannot help thinking on matters which concern me so much and which feel at this time very important to say. Perhaps it’s better to accept the truth than to hide it’.
She took a break .The boy kept starring at her perplexed by the dynamics of the situation.
‘Do not think that I am expecting an answer from you neither I long to get a comment on this …..And I have spent almost two hours here all alone, sleepless all the night …thinking of telling you whenever I meet you that…’
She stopped perhaps to gather strength and closed her eyes with her fingers still crossed, her hand still resting on her thigh. She said- ‘I love you.’