One fine Thursday afternoon, Shruti was busy working on her new project when her colleague Rohit called her for lunch. She took her lunch and left for canteen, but forgot her cell phone at her desk. About 15 minutes later she returned and realized she missed a call from Shlok, she instantly called her back, but couldn’t connect. Later she got busy with her work and checked her emails in routine, surprised to see one from Shlok, it read
I know it will be hard for you, but this is the only option left with us. Breakups have never been easy. But it is for the best for both of us.
She stared at the email message on her computer, her mind racing so fast that the words blurred together and no longer made any sense. Just three lines, but enough to make her life-the life she’d worked so hard and sacrificed so much to build-begin to crumble around her.
She just couldn’t accept it, the first thing she did was call him, but obviously, she couldn’t reach him. Shlok knew that this wouldn’t be easy for her to accept, he needed to be stronger and cut this off completely, so he changed his number, disconnected from all social networks, told all his friends not to attend her calls, did everything he could to stop all the communications with her.
Shruti was an ordinary girl, bespectacled, a book-worm, basically a nerd. She usually, focused on her present, had very simple dreams, didn’t really focus on the bigger picture, just wanted to score better in next exams, wanted to go to a better university for higher studies, but was hopelessly romantic, thanks to Cecelia Ahern and Nicholas Spark, she was just waiting for her dream love story, no matter who the hero is, but the story should be perfect, both should be crazy for each other. But, little she knew about her destiny. She was perfectly fine with her monotonous life until she met Shlok.
She was getting all these flashbacks all of a sudden, the day she met him, their first date, their first kiss, their first fight, all those moments. She could never forget that day when she asked him out.
Shlok was a typical Bollywood hero kind of a guy. He was tall, smart, handsome, famous, a little self-centered, but he was damn important to everyone. Either people were friends with him, or wanted to be, he was too charming to be dis-liked, loved even by the folks of his friends. He was born and brought up in a middle-class family, which was hard to guess by his personality since he always managed to look classy by the way he dressed up, his etiquettes, his linguistic skills, he was just perfect, in every possible way. Humble to the extreme extent, but never dreamt less than owning a C-Class Benz before he turns 25. Money, power, fame, he wanted it all, would rule the world, if he could. In a way, Shlok and Shruti were quite opposite to each other.
Shruti and Shlok were together for four years now. It’s hard to define one moment, one eye contact, there wasn’t any fairy tale moment in their story as we read in books, and instead, their friendship just grew gradually. It was mutual, both of them developed some feelings for each other at some point in time but didn’t realize that. They felt kind of connected and their friendship grew faster.
One day, Shruti got upset because Shlok got busy with his other friends, and went on non-talking terms. And Shlok could not see her like this, so -
“Hey Shruti, come down, look what I brought”
“No, go meet your other friends, I don’t want to meet you”
“Please Shruti, ok at least come down, I am standing in front of your hostel and won’t go back until you come here”
(Secretly Smiling) “Hmmm, o.k.”
On seeing him, she could hardly control her smile, so she tried not to look at him directly. Both of them sat on a bench, Shlok apologizing to her and Shruti looking at everything but him just to control her smile.
“Shruti look, I brought your favorite Silk chocolate, please forgive me”
“No, I don’t want any chocolates, you didn’t even tell me and just went on this stupid outing, without me!”
“Sorry Shruti, but they were all my classmates, so I didn’t ask you.”
She slightly peeked to see the chocolate, then turned towards him.
“Just one chocolate won’t do.”
“I will bring more Shruti, but have this one first.”
“No, I don’t want more chocolates”
“I want you one day, only you and me, no one else”
“Done. Whenever you want.”
And suddenly Shruti realized, what did she ask for, and he agreed as well! This was strange about her. But this was the best part, there was no such thing as uncomfortable talks for Shruti and Shlok. Nothing seemed wrong between them. Next day, they actually spent the whole day together, just roamed around the city together, talked, laughed, and had one of the best time so far. And after coming back, Shruti had this unstoppable urge of going back to him, it was then when she realized, she had fallen for him. She couldn’t wait for the next day, so she decided to call him. He didn’t pick a once, so she texted him –
“Shlok, you are the one.”
Suddenly she thought how stupid it was to text someone like this, and she was not ready to face the consequences, so she turned off her phone. Next day, as soon as she turned it on, Shlok called and asked her to meet him immediately. And just like that, they started their journey together as officially “a lot more than just friends”. But the strange part was, this didn’t seem strange to both of them. Once, Anais Nin (a famous writer) said-
“You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate and what’s written in the stars.”
They were fabulous together, inseparable, the perfect couple, people envied them, no matter what, they were always seen together. They were crazy about each other, time, space, distance, nothing was a hurdle for these love birds.
In a blink of a moment, they completed three years together. Shlok was preparing for state exams since always, and one day he achieved his dream, one he always longed for, and all he wanted to do was fly home and live with his family, his best friends, and his people. During all this excitement of the new job, moving back, he totally forgot about Shruti. Shruti was more than happy for him but was also afraid about their relationship, she knew that this might be a major turning point, due to the fact that once he moved back, things would not be same. But, she consoled herself, spent a long weekend with him, and bid adieu.
The coming days were like a test for their relationship, daily conversations shifted to weekly, monthly meetings became bi-monthly, half-yearly, the graph rapidly deteriorated, both of them were not happy in this relationship anymore. Shlok was totally absorbed in his work-life, friends, family, and compromised all the time with Shruti. She was fed-up of his ignorance, he was fed-up of her arguments. But both of them tried really hard to save this relationship. They kept on explaining to themselves that this is just a phase, and it will pass. They accepted this as a general routine, fighting, not talking, and being normal again. Then a couple of times completely irked over their situation, Shlok suggested that they should break up. And every such time, the world turned upside down for her, and she cried, argued, begged, and managed to make him stay. And even the vice-versa happened sometimes. Somehow, she accepted this situation, and did not realize that she had taken him for granted, and believed that they will never break up, this phase will go once they get married. But Shlok was not on the same page. He understood that breaking up with mutual understanding was not an option. So, he decided to just cut-off all the means of communications with Shruti.
Shruti read his email again.
After a couple of hours, Shruti wiped her tears and understood the fact that he actually did cut her off from his life. It would be wrong to say Shlok didn’t love her or was inhuman, he was just a lot more practical. He loved her a lot, but lately, he didn’t feel as he used to, these unending fights, arguments, drama, he felt constant poking from Shruti. And that wasn’t all. He had other reasons. When two people love each other, they tend to accept the other person’s both positive and negative habits, which is very important, without adjustments, no relationship can stand. If we talk about Shlok, he was the benchmark for adjustments. He just expected loyalty and respect. Rest, he was ready to accept every other quality of Shruti, whether bad or good. And is what kept coming back to Shruti, how can someone like Shlok quit? He did not believe in break-ups or divorces, he was quite sorted in his life, no matter what, people have to adjust and compromise, then why not compromise with the person you are? Then what led him to this conclusion, when did she become a mistake of Shlok’s life?
She couldn’t sleep for the next two days, she just kept recalling, where did she go wrong, how did she lose him? When she told her best friends about this, they were blank. How can the most perfect couple break-up? They just consoled her saying that she is great, it’s not about her, it’s about him, and he is unjust here. She listened to them and couldn’t control her tears. She was not ready to hear anything negative about him. She loved him the most, no matter they are together or not. And she decided that she will not simply agree to his email.
She did not want to pressurize him emotionally, but couldn’t just sit back, she was unable to talk to him through any means, she knew if she met him, he might just agree to see her tears and again continue their relationship, but that is not what she wanted. She wanted his love back, his feelings back, his happiness back, with her. She started writing to him. Emails were the only means of communication left now, she couldn’t know if he saw her emails or not, but she would write to him daily, one love letter each day. She wrote her heart out, she started reminding him of all the time they spent together in these last four years and also informed him about her current day. Their romance, their laughter, their tears, their anger, their love. While writing these emails, she herself relived all these years, and laughed and cried with each letter. She kept writing for seven months. After 214 letters, she was tired of waiting for his reply but did not lose hope. One day, somehow, she ran into one of his friend’s randomly. She had a tear in her eye at the instant he asked her about Shlok. She was shocked to see that he didn’t know anything about their breakup, he wasn’t in India since a couple of months. She told him everything over a cup of coffee, even about the letters. And requested him to talk to Shlok and inform him that she still longs for him. He assured her that he will talk to him.
When he met Shlok, he asked about their breakup and heard his side of the story.
“Why didn’t you reply?”
“I changed my contact number, so didn’t get any calls or texts”
“No, she wrote you”
“But I didn’t receive any letters?”
“No, she said she emailed you, every single day”
Shlok was completely surprised, he never got any emails. He rushed home, and checked his emails, checked every folder, couldn’t find anything. Then he recalled, he added her email to a spam folder, so as to not see anything from her. He checked his spam folder, was full of thousands of emails, he filtered for hers, he found exactly 215 letters. Started reading all of them, in the next 2 hours and 30 minutes, he cried like a baby when he relived all those memories with Shruti. He lost his ability to think when suddenly he got his 216th email. It read
I still miss you baby. I am sorry for all the moments I have ever hurt you. I am sorry for the hard time I gave you. I still wish I could see you once, I could touch you once, I could kiss you once. I promise I will make it ok. Please give me one more chance.
P.S I love you.
He cried a little more, ran to call her, hoped she didn’t change her contact. But, a mere phone call would not make up for the last 7 months. He wanted to see her, feel her, touch her, most importantly, wanted to see her happy when they finally meet. He could not stop smiling since he started imagining the moment when she will see him again. He rushed to book the next flight. Next 8 hours were the longest of his life. He was excited to be with her again, but at the same time petrified about the thought of this space between them. It dawned on him, how much she must have changed, how much things between them have changed, what if she is a totally different person now? Wouldn’t another breakup be a bit too much? What if it doesn’t work out again? But then, what if it does! It was worth trying again, it was worth trying a hundred more times.
He literally ran from the cab to her apartment, restlessly rang the doorbell a couple of times. Her flatmate opened –
“Hi, I am a friend of Shruti, is she there?”
“Umm, yes she was but she isn’t in her room right now. You can call her!”
(Sighs) “Ok, thank you”
Of course, he could call, but didn’t want to. After 7 months, 2 days and 9 hours, the next couple of minutes were worth it.
“Actually, I have her other number, which is not reachable, can you rather just give her a call and ask her where she is?”
The phone call –
“Shruti, where are you?”
“On the terrace, why?”
“A friend of yours came”
To Shlok “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”
“Hey excuse me?”
Back to the call
“Shruti, he ran to the stairs, I don’t know maybe he heard that you were on the terrace, hello, Shruti, are you there? Hello?”
Before she could complete the call, he was there, in front of her, gasping heavily.
(Wiping her tears) “You could have used the lift, you idiot”
(Catching his breath) “I know, forgot the number of floors in excitement.”
Shruti couldn’t speak anymore, she just broke down into tears. Honestly, she had imagined this moment in her life a hundred of times initially, but day after day, getting no response for her emails, and no initiation from Shlok, she somehow accepted the situation. She had an eternal love for Shlok, her feelings were too deep to define. But in the last couple of months, she was getting used to the fact that maybe it was a one-sided story. Maybe Shlok didn’t feel the same way for her. This unexpected arrival of Shlok made her anxious.
“What the hell is going on? Where have you been?”
“I am really sorry baby. I was too harsh on you. But as soon as I got to know about your emails. I was sure I want this, I want you, I was stupid enough to just walk out like that. But now I know I am doing the right thing.”
“I am not sure anymore”
Shruti walked away from Shlok,
“Wait, what, what do you mean?”
“I am not sure if I should make tea or we should go out to our usual place.”
Both laughed and hugged it out.
“Shruti, I missed you.”
“And I missed us.”
This is the peculiar nature of love. It never ends, it just keeps on increasing whether it is for a person, a pet or a thing. We all have an unlimited amount of love, which we keep on sharing with our parents, siblings, friends, and children. But, when it comes to soulmates, it much beyond love, it’s a connection you feel to a person you never even met, who is not related to you, who has nothing in common with you, but that feeling is mutual. Every relationship has its problems, but what makes it perfect is if you still want to be together when things go wrong.