t was back in that era when mobile phone was still a luxury. It was still a time when Orkut was the only social networking site and due to limited internet access, the least utilized one.
It was also a time when she was only sixteen years old – sweet sixteen as they say. A time when her only stress was exams and only friend was her mother. A time when dreams were in plenty and fulfilment of those dreams depended upon her academic performance.
It was also a time when she was debating with herself if she was in love with him; that tall and lanky guy who had twinkling eyes.
And that night was special. She was unpacking and arranging the things in her wardrobe. They were back to home after a week’s stay with her paternal grandparents. It was also a week since speaking to him and she was eagerly waiting for the land-phone ring.
And finally, around nine at night, the landline broke the silence that had prevailed in the house. She rushed like a little squirrel. She knew that it was him.
She didn’t even wait for a “hello” from the other end, but she started with “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!”
The excitement in her voice was unmistakable and she didn’t try to hide how much she had missed him. The last one week had made her realize that she loved him. Love!? That word sounded too big to the sixteen years old. But, who said love has age? Didn’t she love her parents since birth? Doesn’t she still love her unborn brother?
“Shraddha, how did you know it is me?” a surprised Aditya asked.
“Come on, won’t I even know this?” she counter questioned proudly.
But, he sounded impatient. He desperately wanted to tell her something. She also sensed his restlessness and let the silence take over.
Finally, he said, “Shraddha, I wanted to tell you something”
Her heart started beating faster. She felt thousands of colorful butterflies fluttering in her stomach. A broad smile shone in her face.
“Tell me”, she said, as if unaffected by how he sounded and as if unaware of what was going to follow. This is the best thing about telephonic conversations. It is always easy to hide the real emotions and behave differently. She wanted to jump and kick the air. She wanted to hug him tight and feel his arms around her. She wanted to knee as much as possible and pull him down as much as possible to plant a kiss on his forehead. But, she told herself that it can wait.
“Shraddha, I like you a lot”, he finally said. She suppressed a giggle. Now, she was enjoying it.
“Me too”, she replied innocently.
“Uf-oh! Not like I like you. I mean… You know…” he trailed off. She wanted to scream that she has understood. But, she wanted to hear him say that. She wanted to record that moment in her head so that she can revisit that moment infinite times in her head.
“I don’t know Aditya. Tell me…” she sounded disinterested.
“Ok… I love you Shraddha” he said.
A tear which was nowhere around escaped her eyes. She felt as if her life’s path was clear now. She was glad that the man of her dreams has admitted to be the man of her life too. She corrected herself that he is still a boy. After all, he was only seventeen years old.
She wanted to confess her love for him. She wanted to tell him that she has always loved him. She wanted to let him know that he is the Sunlight which create beautiful rainbow-like love in her otherwise rainy life. She wanted to tell him that he is the sunlight that lights up her dark life. She also wanted to tell that she would always want to follow him, for he is the bright light that leads her life and dominates her dreams.
She felt too confused and uncertain about what to say. Words were failing her and tears refused to stop.
“Shraddha…?” his stubborn manly voice shook her from the rapture.
“You know, I watched Main Hu Na and Zayeed Khan reminded me of you… He….” She started blabbering only to be stopped by Aditya.
“I get it. You are sweetly letting me know your disinterest” Aditya said. He sounded dejected.
She didn’t know what to say. As if sensing her uncertainty, he said, “Good night Shraddha. I will be waiting for your answer….”
And he disconnected the call.
And she whispered, “I love you Aditya… Now and forever!”