He Said Yes - Part 2

The Second Yes

(Part 1)

She was twenty-five, he was twenty-nine.

It had been five years since their official break up. Two since they had actually stopped talking.
The relationship had lasted a glorious few months. She was always smiling, and was certain that he was too. She hadn’t known if it was fair to be that happy and ridiculously content with life. The days were brighter, the birds sung sweeter, food tasted better and everything was just right.

They broke up one morning. It wasn’t that fine. The morning.

It had been so sudden. One minute they had a silly disagreement on where they would like to settle in the world, and suddenly it was about the future.

“I’m thinking somewhere in the UK … maybe Scotland…or Ireland” she’d remarked dreamily

“You don’t want to come to Japan with me?”

“Erm…Japan…Ah” Well, she’d always known he wanted to go to Japan, but they had never spoken about the future. And suddenly putting it that way… She was just 19!

“Nothing. I was just kidding” he did NOT at all sound like he was kidding.

“You know actually Japan sounds interesting. We should talk about this sometime.” She said, trying to appease his obvious irritation.

“You know what, you’re right. We want different things. And yeah … my mother wouldn’t be happy about a girl from a different religion” he had said. “Let’s stop this when it’s still going good, and we don’t get too attached to each other or the idea of us” he had continued.

Words had buzzed around her. It was so sudden and too abrupt that she had numbly agreed. Too young and too hurt to shout and scream at him, ask him why he didn’t want to fight for them.

Maybe if he had, they wouldn’t have broken up.

Maybe if she had, they wouldn’t have broken up.

But they did. Just like that.

And they weren’t going to let a small thing like a break up come in-between their friendship. They were best friends after all.

She left to a different city to go to university to do her masters. They continued on, updated on each others’ lives 24/7. They sometimes laughed about the relationship that was. Sometimes pretended it never happened. Never spoke about the other men/ women in each others’ lives.

Both secretly wistfully wished what-if to themselves.

Yet, eventually, they moved on as best as they could. Or at least she did. They had felt so much closer after the relationship, than during, maybe because they knew they could overcome anything.
She was twenty, he was twenty-four.

She got done with university, came back home. With news that she had to move to a different city for her job. That’s when he had brought it up.

“Let's talk to our parents”

“About what?”

“About us”

“What about us…?” she had this sinking feeling in her stomach.

“Don’t you….aren’t we….?”

“You said we should end it…” she stammered

“You held on” – “Or so I thought”

She was speechless. Never in all those lonely nights at her hostel had she ever imagined this day might come. But it was during those lonely nights that she had slowly but definitely moved on from all the hurt, and learnt to accept him as a friend again.

“So you’ve moved on. And I was the only one stuck here, believing there is still hope like an idiot”

“It wasn’t like that….Oh God…”

She wept. He obviously hurt. But she hurt that she had really moved on, despite that, she loved him. She would always love him. But he had broken a part of her, that young gullible part of her that had believed that he was the rock that would always be there for her, one she could always rely on.

He was her best friend; that would never change.

Could he be more now?

Had it been so always… Just never spoken?

She couldn’t tell for sure. She lived with that doubt for a long while.

Much later, too much time later, she would realize that in retrospect, when she had gone off to university, apart from the once that he had seemed to express a tad bit of jealousy at the sudden inflow of men in her life – when he’d told her not to tell him about any of them, none of his otherwise behavior had ever indicated of anything more than rock solid friendship. There had never been a single “I love you” uttered or any romantic gestures. Yes, he had been there for her, but hadn’t he even before they had fallen in love?

Anyway, he didn’t give her the opportunity to even explore the possibility of more at this point. He immediately went into grieving, and she repaid her debt of being the sounding board.

It was in a way heartbreaking to watch him so, but yet again, he hadn’t fought for what could have been – he had waited so long apparently, and yet didn’t fight – so she let it go.

She moved to a different city on work. Just once did he lose his calm and tell her how difficult it was for him to be there alone, when he had thought it would just be 2 years of her being away. She quit and came back home not long after.  They were both again in the same city, and both working this time. They met often, spoke all the time, and were as close as ever. Closer than ever.

Time calmly went by for a while.

She had been twenty-two and him twenty-six

He had just got news that he was to work out of Netherlands for a couple of years. She cried. He consoled. They vowed that everything will be alright.

He went, and it was alright for quite a while. Almost.

It started off as small things. Having quit her fancy job for one that didn’t pay quite as much, she couldn’t afford frequent calls abroad. He still wanted to talk almost every day, and she didn’t feel right with him spending so much on calls to her. He didn’t want her compromising her sleep to accommodate to his time zone.

It was any small thing. Or just the unspoken pressure that her parents gave her to get married, one he was well aware of.

Things had changed between them now. Their conversations were as friends. But their fights were as ignored or jealous lovers. She knew at some level they both still wanted the same thing. She hinted at it many a time, and he replied cryptically all the time. And they were both too proud to admit it.
In the end, the pride won over their friendship… or more.

She told herself she couldn’t take the push and pull anymore. She told him the truth finally. She told him that she couldn’t be confused over him anymore. That she needed…probably they both needed to stop whatever it is that they were playing at. Both their families wanted them to get married soon, so they should just let it go.

She didn’t fight for him either.

And he didn’t reply to that email.

She was twenty-five, he was twenty-nine.

It had been five years since their official break up. Two since they had actually stopped talking.

During those two years, she had thought about him quite a bit. Sometimes it was often. Sometimes she went weeks without thinking of him. Sometimes even months. Sometimes everyday or every other day. She had long since deleted his number, so she could never check for his profile picture or any such thing. He had deleted his facebook account. Which was sad but she decided it was good for her.

He was her happiest memory of ever being in any relationship, and she had let him go too. And that was not good for her.

But a decision had been made. Communicated. Implemented. By both parties. Quite frustrating in one way, but such is the ways of men and women.

There were times when she missed him real bad. Hoped he missed her too. Wished she didn’t so much.

Things had been going in this way.

She didn’t like any of the boys her parents introduced. None of them felt right. Like it had with him, from the very beginning.

Those very thoughts (inspired by a vivid dream of him) had her itching to reach out to him. Someway, anyway possible!

It was his number which he used when back home that she tried first. Some lady picked up. Failed attempt. Undeterred, she e-mailed him. No response for almost a day. Her last and only option was to unblock him on the SNS and ping him there. Unblocking, she found that he was online.

5:02 pm :       Her         :“Hey…. There?”
5:03 pm :       Him        : (typing…)

( Part 3 )