Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this story are purely fictional. Resemblance to any persons (living or dead) is purely coincidental and an assumption of any resemblance between the protagonist and the author of this story is prohibited.
The street-lights gave the area an eerie yet calm ambience. I checked my watch. 21:03 Hours. Two minutes remaining.
It all started on a fine Sunday morning, with a slight drizzle outside my window and The Feminine Mystique in my hand. The only thing missing was a cuppa hot black coffee. But I was out of my stash, and since it was only drizzling, I decided to sprint to the store and buy some, without an umbrella. Chac, the Rain God, decided to turn nasty -He turned the volume up, the very second I stepped into the store. I was stuck in a goddamned grocery store when I could’ve actually sipped my cuppa coffee and had a good read. I cursed out loud, but proceeded to buy my coffee anyway. And that’s when I saw him. He had the perfect chiseled face and I could feel my heart thump loud enough to hurt my ears when he smiled at me and said- “No cover?”
“Me too. Do you smoke?”
“Yeah”, I said.
“Well, do you want to go and get one? I love to smoke when it’s pouring.”
I silently apologized to Chac. He was only trying to set me up. We stood right outside the shop, where part of the roof was our parapet. The water got to us anyway but we were mostly covered, with smoke too. We spoke very little initially, as I didn’t want to sound too desperate to get to know him. He would talk intermittently, inhaling smoke from time to time and pausing to watch the rain and feel the cold droplets against his face as the wind gushed. I was watching him. In fact, I was gawking at him and silently praying that it would pour forever. And it did. Well, it poured for two good hours, at least. And even with all the pauses, we managed to speak enough about life and books and how little we appreciated the beauty around us. I nodded about five times at the latter bit. I let him speak most of the time, probably because I was appreciating every move of his from the corner of my eye. He seemed to like to talk to me, and I know that because he stayed for half an hour even after the rain had died down to tell me about some of his adventures, in life. Yeah, men seem to get really excited about all that. And we obviously exchanged numbers, when we both finally headed our way. He asked me for mine.
But it was I, who called him after a couple of days. I was lonely, and I had been thinking-Of his face, the way he had held his cigarette and the distant look in his eyes as he watched the rain- for two days. I decided to mix the two addictions. I asked him if we could meet up for coffee, or drinks, sometime. I didn’t want to add the drinks part but thought I should let him pick. He picked nothing. He said we could just hang out, and talk. He asked me to meet him at a particular spot he’d discovered, on the street, at 9:30 PM. I didn’t want to get my hopes high about that, but they got high anyway. He was obviously interested. He had invited me to his favourite spot, to bond. I remember wanting to hug Chac after I hung up.
So we met. At his favourite location. Here. The place I’m sitting at, right now. On the sidewalk, below the street-light, eerie yet calm. He brought beer. I hate beer, but obviously didn’t tell him so. And this time, we both spoke to each other like we were old-friends, about death and philosophy, about authors and musicians, about warriors and dictators, about spiritualism and meditation. We’d formed a bond, a really strong one. We met often after that, about twice or thrice a week, sometimes for coffee, sometimes for a movie, sometimes for clubbing, but we’d always end up at the same spot- on the side-walk. It had become our bonding place. We spoke, we laughed, we sniggered at snogging couples who went by. Well, the street was pretty dark. We got closer, as time went by. But we never spoke about love. Never. And I didn’t probe because I figured he was probably like me- he couldn’t open up about love to everybody. Sometimes I tried to find out if there was somebody, but he never said too much, so I assumed there was no one.
Three months had gone by. I’d spent a lot –I’d bought some fabulous looking clothes, so that I could wear them every time I met him. I groomed myself all the time. I washed my hair before every meeting. I smelled great every time. I just didn’t want him to lose interest in me. And I smiled for two whole days and only stopped when my jaw started to hurt badly, when he told me that I had a good dressing sense. He called me his best-friend, but I knew what that really meant.
We’d met a countless number of times, and his birthday was approaching. I was madly in love with him. I knew he was madly in love with me too, but was probably too apprehensive to let me know. So I decided that I was going to take the first step, on his birthday. I imagined him telling me a yes, for the twenty-fifth time, on that day. We decided to meet early, at the same spot, because he was going out with his family for dinner. I reached the place first, about half an hour before time. And when he came, we hugged each other like lovers, and I kissed him on his cheek…just to let him know of what was coming.
But he pushed me away. He was confounded. I wasn’t. He demanded an explanation, in rage. I told him. I shouldn’t have, for I knew the truth now. But I guess somewhere, deep down, I hoped he would ask for time, or for something on similar lines. But he was flabbergasted, and I could see a strange fear in his eyes too. But he stayed and watched me, as two tears had started to form at the corner of my eyes. He took his wallet out, and showed me a picture of his girl-friend, in a bikini. She was hot. I was heart-broken.
I checked my watch. 21:05 Hours. It had been exactly one year since. The last thing he said to me was that he never wanted to see my face, again. He said he was sorry. I knew he meant it. I still love him, unconditionally. I still yearn for him, as I did on that regrettable, wretched day -23rd January, 2009. The day I decided to come out of the closet.
For the uninitiated: You should let out a gasp, right about now.
If you still don't get it- *sigh* http://www.definition-of.com/coming+out+of+the+closet