Dumb Love

By Tamanna Yasmin

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “love”? Probably your first ever crush, who crushed your heart into a million pieces. Or the boy who was head over heels for you took you to cloud nine and BOOM! Smash you to the ground. And then comes the “mature one”, who acted all grown up but ended up being nothing different than an amalgamation of the previous two, or maybe even worse.

I have a lot of stories to tell. The loves that made me grow or to the ones I could not show. But today, I’ll share a piece of my life that one might not consider a love story. We barely spoke. Didn’t know our last names. Damn! I doubt if he even knew my first name.

I was twelve and I guess he was some three years elder to me. We met in my dance class. He was an orphan. My Guruji being associated with a few orphanages started bringing him along to our classes. It might sound cliché but those goddamn eyes! I couldn’t help but stare at them every chance I got. He used to do the same. I wish I could pen down the way he made me feel.

I wanted our classes to last all day long. I still remember how I wished for my mum to be late for picking me up. I could notice the sadness in his eyes when I had to leave. It felt like he wanted to say so many things but stood there like a hapless Romeo. My condition was no different.

None of us had the guts to strike a conversation. God knows how many times I had rehearsed in front of the mirror. But the moment he was in front of me, it was like I had forgotten all the well-prepared answers to my favorite subject’s test. I was a little mad at him too for not trying. But well, maybe it was the same for him, who knows?

And then, it happened! He finally surprised me. During one of the breaks, we were sitting on a bench. He approached towards the bench, sat beside me, and OH MY GOD! Pushed a tiny piece of paper under my palm. He didn’t stay there for one more second; ran away from the room faster than a cheetah. I couldn’t react but my heart almost came out of my chest.

Although it was very obvious what’s written in that paper, I couldn’t wait to go home and see it for myself. It was “I LOVE YOU” with a heart sign in place of the “o”. And now nothing on earth had the power to stop me from speaking to him. I was determined that the next day, no matter what happens, I will talk to him. He had shown his courage, now it was my turn. Waiting for a weekend had never been longer! Every second felt cruel. I wished that I could run the clocks real quick and fast-forward to the next Sunday.

Finally, it was the day. Once again, I was all prepared. And this time, for real. I couldn’t wait to see him. But when I reached the class, he wasn’t there. It felt like the universe was against me. I was so mad. Well, then I convinced myself that no worries, he would be here next week. I just had to wait a bit longer. But who knew that the wait would be never-ending?

It had been over six months. Then, I just had to ask guruji. Nothing has felt crueller than the words that came from his mouth. I learnt that he had terminal brain cancer and had passed away a few months back. I just sat there, absolutely numb. I couldn’t figure out if I was heartbroken, angry, or shocked. Maybe a fine mixture of all.

It has been almost eleven years now. But that day is still crystal clear and so is our little enchantment. I would trade anything in the world to just see him once and tell him how I felt about him. But I have lost my chance.

So, don’t wait to tell that boy or girl how much they mean to you before it’s too late. In Marvell’s words, you don’t have world enough and time.