[The following story was inspired by my friend Dechen, and my falling in love with her, I don’t know why I did it, but I fell in love with her and these lines became a solace to my parching heart]
Dechen pulled up her car in front of the wayside restaurant at Lingmithang and went through the curtained door. The hot gush of the summer heat followed her through the door. Blinking her eyes to adjust to the dim light of the lone bulb in the likewise dark room she moved towards the counter.
‘Can I help you?’ someone asked.
‘Yes . . .’ and she could not continue further. She was looking at a boy with pitch-black hair. Was it a dream? Was it a reality? She blinked twice. . . No, he was standing in front of her, exactly with the same posture, with the same expression, and he seemed . . . terribly young, at around 12. Nevertheless, he was the Nima Tenzin that she knew . . .almost the same.
Nima Tenzin, she had a friend by that name while she was pursuing her B.Ed. course at NIE Samtse. She had been in the first year while he had been in the third year. She had noticed him by the pitch-black hair that he kept neatly parted down the middle and his peculiar walking style. He also had an expression no different than Brad Pitt’s or Beckham’s, or even Eminem’s for the matter. They had become close friends, introduced by someone neutral; always together, and always a subject of a thousand jests but deep down she had already fallen in love with him.
Yes, she had fallen in love with him and it had been made complicated by the fact that he treated her like any of his other friends. And he didn’t know it , even if he did he choose to ignore it .
Every morning she would wish him `Good Morning’ in front of the mirror and every night it would be followed by a `Good Night’.
`I love you . . . I love You . . . I love you . . . I love You . . .’ she would shout to him, in front of the mirror and her image would shout it back to her- I love You.
Thus the year had ended. It was time to go.
She had brought her things up to the front of the men’s dormitory where the loading process was going on, and there she had found him, waiting for her.
‘Where are your other bags?’ he had asked.
‘I am only taking these two bags ‘, she had answered. She had been holding her tears since last evening and now she found it impossible to hold them back.
‘Aren’t you going?’ she had asked him.
‘Silly girl, remember. .? I have to attend my convocation.’ He had been trying to lighten the sad moment.
Suddenly she had not been able to hold back and had cried in front of him.
‘I love you . . I’ve been doing it since I first found out what a wonderful person you were. I love you and you only. I have loved you every single day up to today . . . .’
Looking at his surprised face, she had cried ‘I love you. . .’
‘No. .no . .don’t cry . . please don’t cry.’
He had held her by her shoulders and said in a nice and soothing voice, ‘Listen to me very carefully . . we have been the best of friends, the very best, but look at the relationship that we had shared. We weren’t meant to be made for each other. . . One day you are going to meet someone younger and smarter than me and your heart will say ‘ Dechen, this is the man for you,’ and at that time you must not hesitate to approach and bare your heart.’
With a hurt expression, he had simply left her.
The next two years had been the hardest year for her with no one to guide her.
Then had come now. Now, she was a teacher having left behind 10 years of teaching experience.
‘Haang Zhey ley laa?’ what would you like to have? The boy asked.
‘Oh. . Nothing. . I just came to meet Nima Tenzin. He is your father, isn’t he? Is he in?’ she asked, quickly gaining her composure.
‘Ama, this madam is looking for Apa’. He shouted through the door.
A beautiful woman emerged out of the door, which led to a back room.
‘Laa?’ she enquired.
‘May I speak to Nima Tenzin, la?’ Dechen asked to the woman.
‘May I ask who are you?’ she was countered.
‘I am her schoolmate from our training days,’ she replied.
‘He’s at home. If you want I could call him.’ Seeing Dechen’s eager looks she picked up the phone and dialed a number.
‘Hello? There is someone who says that she is your training mate from Samtse . . her name is . .
Dechen . . ‘ She handed the phone to Dechen.
‘Hello? . . Hello. . Nima? . ?’ Tears filled her eyes.
‘Hey! Dechen? Dechen Lhamo??…….. How are you?’
‘I am fine…….. How about you? ……You know what . . . ? I see you in front of me this very moment’
‘Now don’t you dare fall in love with my kid’