I was in the 10th grade. He was the new boy in class. Shy, quiet, intriguing, cute and smart – he was everything I ever wanted.
While I was crushing on him so hard, and telling all my girlfriends about how much I like that boy, he caught hold of me after one of the classes, on a beautiful summer afternoon, and handed over a note to me. It read,
“Hi. I don’t know if you’d find this creepy. Maybe this is creepy but I find you really cute and lovely. Do you wanna go on a date with me?”
That was the happiest day of my 15 years of life. I felt so happy that my body couldn’t contain it and I broke into a dance, in the middle of the empty school corridor. My navy-blue skirt made an air-tent as I twirled around.
We became a couple soon after. I saved his number as ‘creepy boy’ on my vintage Nokia 3310. We had a lot in common and we simply loved each other’s company. He was my first kiss and, with the exception of a few same-sex explorations during college, he’s also my first and only sexual partner.
We fight, we break up, we kiss, we make up.
In 2012, there came a day, when it seemed like it was the end of the relationship. Our breakups had previously lasted only as long as the argument, before that day. We had been enrolled in different universities and we had started living in different cities. We were evolving into different people, growing slightly apart from each other. We didn’t talk to each other for almost 8-9 months. He never called, I didn’t either.
Meanwhile, my mind was occupied with thoughts of him. Depression and anxiety started taking over my life, back then. I sometimes wonder if I could just hold myself then, I would have spent more time doing things I loved instead of thinking about him all day long. I feel like that was the one time we could have actually gone our separate ways and things would have been just fine. But, in that moment, I don’t think I had the strength or the will to go bring those thoughts into life. Neither did he, so he called.
“I am coming to see you right now. Send me your address.”
Soon afterward, we got back.
A parallel world without him.
I have, in many phases, thought about how my life would have been if I hadn’t met him.
I have sat around on a dining table across my girlfriends talking about the dates they go on, and the kind of experiences they have had, and I would just be there, sitting quietly, with nothing to contribute to the discussion.
I have had a major case of FOMO where I have seriously considered diving out of this just to experience the other life, the whole dating experience. Just to know, you know. This is one reason I think I was never able to completely relate with my single girlfriends who were too wild and free to look for the one and then, stay. This feeling was intense when I was 24-25. I am 28, now. And married.
We got married (recently).
It has been a roller coaster ride, to be honest.
We married because that seemed like a logical path to take. I mean, we had been together for years, we grew up together. I am not sulking but when my friends were getting into new relationships, breaking up and exploring ‘themselves’, I was always with him. We grew up together, which meant I never explored a side of me, without him. No experience I could call completely my own, everything was always shared.
I have been independent but not so much.
I have gone on to do my own thing, not that he is holding me down in any way. But I have never ever been alone. I have never been alone to take care of anything bad that happened to me because he was always there to make it better. Am I emotionally equipped to deal with anything on my own, if something were to happen to him? Am I evil if I think this way?
Has the ‘we’ killed the ‘me’?
He is your first love, but can you ever know ‘love’ without heartbreak?
It may sound cynical but things not working out for you means you know what you do not want. It makes you go, “I do not want this person, or this feeling anymore in my life.” Love should be about finding yourself, did I ever find myself? I will never know.
Have I discussed my feelings with my partner?
Yes, I have. I don’t believe in bottling up my feelings because when you do that, you accumulate shit. The shit keeps expanding and when it finally reaches its saturation point, it explodes. Our relationship has grown stronger, has withstood many ups and downs, but I also know that there is a part of my life I let go growing up because I chose to be with him.