I was in love then.. and the air felt so different.. I used to stay up all night thinking about her, writing down crazy stuff and imagining how things would turn out when I express my feelings to her and she accepts.. but what if she doesn’t? Oh but she will.. didn’t the bunch of random things she did for me (which any human being would have done for one of their acquaintances ) like offering a Band-Aid when I fell from my bicycle or calling back saying sorry after seeing 7 missed calls from me, indicate that I meant something to her? Maybe something special too? And basically, if it didn’t, that could only mean two things.. either I am over-reading into things or.. she isn’t human..
So I forgot there was an activity such as sleeping or maybe even eating… frankly I didn’t even feel like sleeping… and at 4 a.m. in the morning I used to think that its late enough and lied down to rest my back on my bed.
But my mind… and my heart… never rested…
Restlessness is such a profound feeling…you can never truly experience it without falling in love… you might feel restless about your exam results, about your favorite team’s performance in a tournament, or maybe about what you will be holding in your hands after ripping open your Christmas presents… but you aren’t experiencing restlessness per se… because none of the outcomes are in your hands (the exam results might be, but I choose to think otherwise.)
In this case.. everything depends upon how you behave, how you dress in front of her, how you talk to her, how you treat her friends and her dog, how many questions you answer in class, and God knows what else… You keep fine-tuning all these little things, so that, in the one instance she looks at you during class, you aren’t found with your index finger inside your nostrils, poking away with perplexed fascination.
After half an hour of resting my back on my bed, I would give up, and go out for a walk or a jog, and I tell you, the air felt so different at that time of the day… The sun used to come out by the time I was on top of the partially constructed parking garage located right across the street from her house.. I used to sit in the same corner every day, that strategic spot which offered maximum visibility and minimum exposure. When the sun came out, I would start my day by peeking through the window into her sunlit room. She would get up, stretch a little, cuddle her dog, and after about 15 minutes, she would come out to jog. After she would go beyond the horizon of my sight, I went along my own separate way, back to home. I was always in a dilemma about whether or not I should join her on her jog. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic way of getting closer to her? Imagine commencing your day by meeting a person every morning.. How romantic a thought, it’s probably the precursor of being married.. The very thought just thrilled me.. but what kept me from doing so.. was this one question she might ask: why do I come to jog in her neighborhood when I live like 4 miles away. Until the time I came up with a good answer to that, I wasn’t revealing myself.
So I would jog back home, imagining all the while that I am jogging along with her, and kept imagining things that I would have said to her, if she were alongside me. But she was there, maybe not in person, so what? She was with me..
I smiled a lot those days, I sang a lot, and the sun seemed so much brighter then. The road on which I used to jog back was lined with trees on both sides.. I shouldn’t call them trees as theywere more stick figures than dense masses of foliage, but yet they seemed beautiful in their own scantiness.. They reminded me of myself: inadequate creatures always trying to grow taller and taller so that one day they could touch the Sun.. even though they knew they never could, they never stopped trying (as a kid I thought the trees were in love with the Sun.. what else can explain this amazing phenomena of something going against the mighty force of gravity and standing there high and tall for hundreds of years?).
The trees gave me motivation and every time I felt things were hopeless, I would turn to them for inspiration.
So after a lot of time had passed and I had fallen in and out of love with her a considerable number of times, I finally decided to express myself to her. To bare it all. When she came out to jog that morning, I joined her and she recognized me. She asked me how I was in the neighborhood even though I lived on the other side of town. I said I was visiting my grandparents, who lived nearby. We kept jogging, I started talking and I noticed something very odd: for someone who goes out jogging every day, she had pretty bad stamina. She started huffing and puffing in under half a mile and I found that pretty weird. She said she wanted to stop. We sat down on a thin patch of grass and she was noticeably out of breath. I asked her if she’d just started jogging recently, and she said that she went out to jog every morning.
To which I asked if she had any medical problems and she instantaneously spat back “It’s not a problem OK?”
She looked at me and noticed that I was visibly startled and she said (in a much repressed tone) “or at least I don’t think it is..”
“What’s wrong?” I asked
“Can I trust you with something? Please say yes..”
“Yea sure.. with absolutely anything.. I cross my heart and I..”
“It’s… this very weird feeling that I get.. every morning.. ”
.. And then she continued.. and it was the most heart-breaking thing I’ve ever heard in my life.. She said she had feelings for this girl who lived on the other side of her house.. and every morning she woke up and saw her sleeping, she would feel this strange attraction towards her.. and she would run away from her house and come to this deserted place where she would sit and cry and try to convince herself not to think about her..
I stopped paying attention to what she was saying after about 5 minutes.. The only thing going around in my head then, was the amazing irony that the very day I’d decided to reveal myself to her, she had revealed herself to me..
I gave her every inch of superficial concern and apathy I had and consoled her, saying it is very hard to deal with these feelings etc. I never talked to her after that day. I also became an atheist.
Quite amazingly, after many, many years, I met her a few days back on a running track near my house. We talked briefly and then went along our own ways. I noticed she has much better stamina now. Now I know, God exists and he has a wicked sense of humor. That girl she had feelings for is now my wife.