And then came the farewell party. We were in class 10 and were soon to part ways. I had always thought of myself as a very emotional person. However, as the farewell party (our last day at school) approached, I kept waiting for the feeling of sorrow – of separation. But for some reason, I didn’t feel a thing.. May be I will feel it after the party, I thought.
The day of the party, I wore a sari, for the first time. Black was my favorite color then so I chose a plain black sari with a thin purple border. That day I took extra effort to dress myself up with neat, light make up and no jewellery. I hate jewellery (even today). I feel women look so much sexier without jewellery. Black color went well with my fair complexion and curly brown hair. Of my features, only my smile is worth a mention, so I had make up take care of my other features. And I won’t deny that the result was quite good. I was looking beautiful.
I entered the school party hall along with my friends. As always, my eyes searching for him (secretly of course). He was no where to be seen, may be he’s just late I thought. As I was enjoying the music, Karthik, one of our classmates (sorry correction: one of our most good looking classmates) came to me and started chatting. He asked me for a dance and I agreed. I anyway love dancing, I can do it anywhere, anytime with anybody. At first I felt conscious of the sari, but as I realized all eyes glued to us, I felt a sense of pride and then for the next twenty minutes, I thoroughly enjoyed with Karthik. He was a charming young guy, really very charming. And as I was taking a full circle, hand in hand with him, I suddenly saw my entire group of friends staring at me, as if they had caught me stealing money from the Principal’s office. I wondered what was wrong and then I suddenly saw him – oops, I just realized I haven’t yet told you his name. Its Sagar. Sagar was sitting at the end of the group and staring widely at the ground. His eyes were red, I could make out in spite of the distance. I couldn’t complete that circle that I was taking with Karthik. I left his hand and just slowly moved towards the group. Some of my other friends started hooting, in an attempt to tease me with Karthik and that only made things worse.
He was looking at me with angry eyes. As I walked towards him, he suddenly turned his face away – with hurt and anger. That gesture did not go down well with me. I thought why the hell should I be apologetic! Firstly I haven’t done anything wrong, there was nothing between me and Karthik (There couldn’t have been even if I ever wanted to – I was like booked for Sagar, according to him and our full group). And secondly, there was even nothing between me and Sagar, actually! At least officially. My guilt suddenly turned into disappointment and then anger. I stood in front of him, looking straight at him. He refused to even return my stare. I looked at our friends, they made a helpless face – Sagar was known for his short temper. But I didn’t care, anger took over me and I left from there abruptly.
I was actually considering leaving the party altogether, and go home but didn’t know what I would tell my parents about why I came home so early. So I was just thinking of an alternate plan when another guy – Tanveer (the richest guy in class) approached me. He had a card in his hand, I noticed. I could barely manage a ‘hi’ – when he handed over the card to me. Since I had nothing better to do and desperately wanted to while away time looking busy and not bothered, I decided to read the card right away . It read “I never had the courage to say it, but since its farewell today, I couldn’t help but tell you that I love you, have loved you all along. But I always thought something might happen between you and Sagar. But since nothing has happened so far, you having maintained your stance of rejection for him, I thought I must let you know how I felt about you…”.
As I read, I could see Tanveer getting tensed from the corner of my eyes. I thought may be he is afraid of rejection. But in a moment I realized what was making him so tensed. I saw Sagar walking upto us. And before I could even read the rest of the note, he took the card from my hand, read the first sentence and suddenly caught Tanveer by the neck. Tanveer struggled and tried to hit back. But Sagar’s height and built was unmatchable so Tanveer gave in. One more blow, and Tanveer was on the ground. Girls started screaming as four other guys pulled Sagar away from Tanveer.
I was just too stunned. They took Sagar away and started to talk to him – all at once. He just looked down, still angry. I was still standing where I was. Not knowing what to do. Surprisingly no one thought I needed any help, so I quietly moved away and walked to the backyard. I was unable to decide how I was actually feeling at that time. I felt sorry for Tanveer and anger for Sagar. What was wrong with him? How dare he, he didn’t own me.
It was dark there and I was engrossed in my thoughts when I suddenly felt someone standing behind me – close, very close. I turned back, startled. It was Sagar. The anger in his eyes had vanished. It had all come in my eyes I think. I opened my mouth to blast him, but I had barely started with “What is your problem Sagar – “, he suddenly put his finger on my lip. That was the first time he had touched me – I mean in that way… I just froze… I kept staring at him, his eyes in mine… He then held me around my waist and pulled me even closer… his other hand was gently putting the curly strands of my hair away from my face.. I didn’t know what was happening, my hands and feet went cold and my knees felt like jelly. That was our first touch…. And I had to admit, it was better than anything I had ever felt earlier in my life. My anger had vanished and my face showed helplessness.. I didn’t move, I wanted to hug him, but my limbs had lost all connection to the brain. He then smiled.. a small, soft smile… A smile that said “See I got you!”… He then whispered.. “I had come here to ask you something… to ask you for the last time if you had any feelings for me.. but I won’t ask it now”. I looked down and could only manage a meek “Why”… Putting his other arm also around me he said “Coz I think I have found out the answer”. He smiled again. I could feel some weird current flowing right through my heart. I was feeling so shy I couldn’t even look up. I knew he was right… He had got the answer and so had I J He then pulled my face up with his finger under my chin, and said “But still, I want to hear it from you” and then gave a wider grin.. This time it was naughty.. I could only manage a shy smile ..
I didn’t know what to say and before I could figure out, we heard footsteps. Someone was coming that way. I pulled myself away from him and ran away straight into the party, not having the courage to look at who had come, or even to look back at Sagar.. It was the happiest day of my life…
(more in my next post)…