Have you ever made friends over tumblr? Or twitter? Facebook? Fanfiction.net?
If you live on the internet, you definitely have. You may have discussed your life with them, sitting on some other part of the globe. You may have shared inside jokes and laughed at people you mutually hate. You may have discussed boyfriends and crushes and courses, professors, and friends. But did you always know that that was the only dimension you have? The virtual one?
Have you ever been so attached to this one friend that you kind of end up having a crush on them? You imagine yourselves living together years down the line? On a beach house, maybe? Or even a smelly old apartment in the burbs of that big old city? As long as the two of you are together?
Have you? Or am I the only one?
That was the day I went through some old stuff, and driven by the nostalgia of talking to a person halfway across the globe (literally) about Harry Potter for an hour or two, I tried that website again. This time, I was more aware, I think, because I encountered around 10-15 creeps, but I was bored. And that’s when you waltzed in.
We talked about a lot of things, and I discovered you’re not into Television because it sucks you in and never lets go. I agree with you, but that’s the part of the fun for me. I love TV for that. We talk of racism for a minute and then stop, because it’s not worth it. We decide that we like each other to have another conversation soon. We decide on a time, and part ways.
I wait in agony, and excitement- are you going to ditch me? Are we going to find each other again? What if I fall asleep and don’t get up in time for you? What if you get busy? What if you decide I’m not worth the effort?
All questions were answered when you came back for me in that given time and place. And I had never felt so happy in a long time. You were the flickering street light in my dark and rusty rural road. You told me how excited you were to find me again and I couldn’t at that moment tell you how much it meant for me.
We talked of life, love, and philosophy- we both preferred a house with a backyard to settle down in, and an apartment as long as we are free and single; we both want dogs, and love retrievers; both of us would rather marry our best friends, than date a string of people. You loved cars, and I looked bikes. I loved walking, and you preferred cycles. Talking to you- it all made sense- what kind of important things must we have in common.
I had forgotten I could flirt, and open myself up so much- that I could feel so vulnerable and happy at the same time. You called it love, a star crossed something- that we could never have seen each other, or known each other for long, and still feel so strongly. What was it about anonymity that made us behave so recklessly, I’d never know.
Soon, we exchanged emails, and I woke up to your mails- wishing me good morning, or sharing a beautiful quote. I grinned like a fool all day, laughing at the random anecdote you’d shared a day earlier. And soon, I had decided to let you in on secrets I hadn’t told anyone. I told you about my insecurities and you confided in me how you wish your parents just filed for a divorce. I told you about my work, and you about that boring client you tried to get rid of, but couldn’t.
And it grew on and on from there, moving from email to WhatsApp, and Facebook, and Viber, and Skype. It felt a lot like love, but I was still apprehensive. But it felt so right, and so meant to be. Star crossed somethings, indeed.
It was on my birthday, that you gave me the best surprise ever. You called me thrice before I could pick up and asked me for my address. I was expecting a small gift, like the ones you had sent me earlier. I told you, without whims, and three hours later, there you were, standing at my door, in flesh and blood. I couldn’t believe that you’d flown in all the way from LA all the way to Bombay, just to surprise me. But there you were- just standing at the door with my favourite lilies, and a big soppy grin on your face. I let you in, literally and figuratively. And pinch myself to make sure it’s not a crazy dream.
I take you to my favourite places in the city, and you fall in love with it, just as much as I do. I make you eat Indian food and snap pictures of your expressions. And a week later, when you’re about to leave, I just cannot let you go. I know you’re busy and I’m busy, but I wanted us to be busy together- not 11 and a half hours apart. I tell you this and you laugh at me, and I reluctantly tell you goodbye.
Six months later, when I get transferred to New York, you’re there to welcome me at the gate. You have driven all the way here just to make me feel at home. I couldn’t tell you just how hard I was falling in love with you. And when I come visit you on weekends, I am happy to meet your crazy family and crazier friends. And when you visit next weekend, you help me run a really boring R code and wait patiently till it’s done. We talk about life, and love, and everything under the sun, just like we did the very first time.
So when you come back in town the next Wednesday, I’m not surprised. When you go down on one knee, I’m not surprised, and when we both cry, I’m not surprised. I’m not upset when it rains during our ceremony, or when you forget your vows. I’m laughing when you can’t catch the ring your friend throws at you, or when we have to dance our first dance, and I slip and fall, because why do I want one perfect day, when I can have you for the rest of our lives?