#stories 

She was too young to understand what love was. She saw him following her everywhere when she was 11. It amused her to see him riding a bicycle right behind her rikshaw when she went to the market. She saw him close by when she went to meet a friend or he was always around the corner when she walked to school. He looked older, maybe 16 or 17 but seemed young. He always had a smile on his face but never reached up to her to talk to her. Seeing him around her got so frequent that now when she didn't see him she felt odd. Her eyes searched for him through the crowd and to her amazement she always found him standing and looking at her.

She shared this with her friend and her friend told her that this was love. She told her that the boy was in love with her and since she wants to see him around she was also in love with him. This is when she decided that she loved him.

She belonged to a rich family. Her grandparents were doctors and were a well-known family in the city, whereas he belonged to a poor family. His father was an illiterate guy who worked as a night watcher in the neighborhood. He himself was not a very handsome-looking guy. On the other hand, she was a very attractive young girl.

Now that she thought this was love she started to smile at him whenever she got the chance and he smiled back. One day he wrote a letter to her confessing his love for her and threw it at her while she was going to school. She read it, it didn't say much, just I love you with a crooked heart in the corner but it was special for her. She immediately picked it up and stuffed it in her bra, that was the safest place she could think of at that moment.

She came back from school and went to take a shower. Took out the note and kept it on the sink, took a shower, got dressed, and came out. She didn't realize that she left the note over the sink and went out to play with her friends.

She came back home in the evening and found her grandparents sitting in the living room with a serious look on their faces. She immediately knew that something was wrong. Her grandmother got up and walked up to her, and without asking anything slapped her across her face. Her grandfather picked up a stick from the corner and started whipping her. He was very furious and kept saying, "this is what you are up to", "this is what you want to become", "is this the age of doing these shameful things", etc.

She didn't know what to do, she laid quietly on the floor and wept. Things changed from the very next day. Her grandfather walked to the school with her. She was not allowed to go to her friend's house and was forced to stay at home all day. She tried to sneak out to see him once and tell him what was going on but couldn't.

One day after a month or so her grandparents called her to have a chat. They informed her that they were sending her to the USA to her aunt's place. She was asked to pack her things and be ready in two days as they were leaving for Delhi to catch a flight to the USA. She was kept under close watch for the next two days.

They all packed her things and went to the railway station to catch a train for Delhi. She was sitting by the window and suddenly saw him hiding behind a bookstall. She couldn't believe her eyes, she never understood how he knew where she was as these were times when no one had mobile phones to share their locations. She saw him standing there and watching her as always. She felt devastated and found the courage to ask her mom if she could buy a book to read. Her mom walked with her to the stall and saw him hiding behind it. To her amazement, she didn't say anything and turned her back towards them as if giving her a chance to say goodbye.

She walked up to him. Both of them had tears in their eyes but neither of them said a word. They stood there looking at each other and then he handed her a letter. She took it and walked back to the train and the train started to move. She looked out and saw him walking with the train till he could and then was left behind as the train gained speed. She sat on her seat and opened the letter. I will wait for you, and a messy heart in the corner that's all the letter said.

America was not around the corner and they both knew it. She left and he waited. Their love story started and ended within a couple of months.

She came back today, she is 43 and married to a rich businessman. She is a mother of two beautiful kids. She took a cab from the same train station she left 30 years ago. She didn't expect to see him but her eyes searched for him anyway. As her cab turned on the corner of her street she saw him. He looked the same at least to her he did. She stopped her cab and rolled down her window. He slowly walked up to her and handed her yet again a letter. She opened it, "I waited, you didn't". He looked up and saw him standing with that same smile.

She rolled her window up and drove off.

Was it love?