Story

Look of love.

You are not human if you do not hate the sound of your alarm that goes off in the morning. That moment of excruciating pain when the blissful peace of dreams is slowly being stripped away from you is probably one of the worst ways to start your day with. But then there are those days, days that you can count using just your fingertips when we are wide awake even before the alarm goes off. Just lying there, waiting for it to be the right time to get off the bed so that you can do what you’ve been looking forward to doing.

Today is one of those days. Oh, how long have I been waiting for this day? I had picked out the perfect suit and tie for today and everything seemed to be just right. It felt like I had spent years just preparing for this very moment.
So that’s what I did. I got up when the clock struck 8 and I took a shower. It was an oddly peaceful morning, there were no distractions and everything was going smoothly. Ironic I suppose.
I wore my best white dress shirt and I put on my suit and after what seemed to be an extremely long hour of accessorizing myself, I was finally ready for the big day.

The drive to the church was a short one, but today I knew I couldn’t do it alone. That’s why my brother drove me.
Jimmy asked me multiple times if this is what’s going to make me happy, and each time he asked me I was more certain. I’d been looking forward to this day since the moment I had met her.
We finally reached the church after a short 20-minute drive and I was reluctant to get off my vehicle.
Was I getting cold feet? Did I not want this anymore? Should I leave?
A million thoughts flooded into my head as I took a step out of my vehicle. I looked up to see a lot of familiar faces all of which were smiling at me. Along with my favorite suit I had also equipped myself with my favorite-people-smile, a weapon I used only for such awkward occasions. Today was going to be a good day for all of them and I was more excited than ever. I walked towards the church where I was greeted with flowers by cute little flower girls who looked like they had just been dropped from the heavens above.
The church looked so beautiful. It was so well lit, just the way I liked it. It had flowers on every single bit of spare wall, just the way she liked it.
Wow, it looked perfect. Everything was perfect but then why was I getting scared?

I guess it was normal. I had been scared every single time I imagined a future with her before, it was only right to have that feeling magnified on this special day. There I stood, patiently waiting for the church bells to chime and for the choir to play the wedding march.
And so, it did. The church went silent as the bells chimed through the monotony and the familiar sound of the wedding march opened the main doors of the church.
and there she was
My Rose.
She looked so breathtaking in that long white gown. Her hair ever so perfectly made into a bun. Her cheeks glistening like roses and her eyes which made her seem like no one in this world deserved her.
And as I saw her walk toward me, I felt my entire world flip upside down. I saw the way she walked so gracefully down the aisle and I wondered what I had done to have had someone like her in my life.
That’s when I remembered the first time I saw Rose.
Oh, we were so young, wild and free. We were both classmates and we were doing Engineering.

The thing about Engineering Universities these days are that the people who actually come there to do Engineering are about 20%. The rest of us are lovers, poets, artists, dancers, and dreamers whose dreams have been stripped away by the communal pressure of succeeding in life with a B.Tech degree.
So what do we do? We study Engineering and at the end of four years, we find families. We come as strangers hailing from different parts of the world and when we leave we leave as a single organism that’s been formed by a thousand countless nights of memories.
Rose was always the gorgeous one in the room, I’d know because getting her to like me has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. There are a lot of things that people envy about me, but the one thing I never mastered was the ability to tell the people I love what I really want to tell them. She was a tough cookie, throughout the 7 years I’ve known her, I had seen her rise above the ashes on multiple occasions and her fear of commitment had been the greatest one of them.
She and I had been through so much together and none of it would have happened if I had never seen her walking down the stairs during that first week of college.
Seems like I have a thing for her walking, eh?
You wouldn’t understand how she never failed to blow my mind every single time she walked into the room. I fell in love with her long before she even began to fathom the idea of her falling in love with me.
But I never gave up on her because I knew that one of those days she was bound to see how every time I looked at her, I could see an entire universe flash before my eyes. She had to know that her mere existence was why I went to class every day. She had to know how every time she looked at someone else, my heart wished I hadn’t seen that.
She gave me love and she gave me heartbreak and then she gave me more love through the heartbreak. That’s the thing about people that are meant to stay in your life. Irrespective of the number of times you try to defy the universe by pushing them away, they’ll still find their way back to you. That’s what I was in her life, the universes kick-ass way of teaching me the lesson I’ve failed to grasp every single time.
It’s not about you.
Things weren’t always peaches and oranges with us. Things were hard sometimes, sometimes harder than I’d care to admit. But knowing that we could get through each and every one of those things was enough for me to hold on.
That was it.

We were together for four years and they were literally the most exciting four years of our lives. So here I stand in the church awaiting the girl of my dreams to take her position at the altar.
She gave me a very familiar warm smile as she passed by me and took her place at the altar. And at that moment, all I wanted to do was hug her tight.
Suddenly, the church bells chimed for the second time and that was when reality finally struck me. It was never my wedding. I was here just holding onto the last bit of my past and I was stretching it out as much as I possibly could because I thought that once this moment got over, I’d never had it back and she could never be mine ever again.
Rose was the best girlfriend anyone could ever ask for. Yes, she had her flaws and she took her own sweet time to do things but when she did them, she did them so perfectly that you’d love yourself for not giving up on her.
She was perfect in every way but I wasn’t.

I made many mistakes along the way, some of which I wish I could take back. But some people cannot hold on as much as other people can. So, she left and I fell apart.
I blamed her for a very long time for what happened between us but I realized that things actually happen for a reason. They may not make sense at that moment and they shouldn’t and sometimes the best thing to do is sit back and let life unfold before our eyes.
Things were clearer now. The bells stopped chiming and the wedding march began again and there walked someone just as beautiful as the girl I once loved. She was beautiful too, I guess, in a way, I could never fathom. I never really liked Elaine. Obviously, who would like the guy who came after you? But my case was different. There was no guy after me. There was no guy before me. There was just one guy and that was me.

And then there was Elaine. As she walked past me and stood beside Rose at the altar I finally saw what Rose saw in her. She loved Rose very much. I knew because I used to look at Rose the same way Elaine did now. And maybe, just maybe, it was okay.
That’s how funny life is. We may have the most perfect of people already in our lives. But because of the tyranny of temptation, even the best of us fail to give those amazing people the best that they actually deserve. We go chasing superficial things and find momentary happiness in people who are just meant to be temporary. And in that process, we lose the ones that gave us their everything even when they absolutely didn’t have to. If you’ve made a mistake like this, or if you are making a mistake like this right now, you’re probably as dumb as I was with Rose.
The wedding was sweet and a short one and I knew I’d remember it for the rest of my life. I used to think I’d remember it because It’d be my wedding, but now the reason would be that the girl of my dreams found the girl of her dreams.
Funny how we just find things, isn’t it?
We spend so much time every day wanting things to be perfect. Wanting the chords to rhyme the way we hear it, wanting the hair to look exactly like how it looked in the movie or even wanting that special person to look at you the way no one has ever looked at you. We spend so much time every day wanting a lot of things, but how much time do we spend every day doing something the way someone else wants it?

Only the really lucky ones get the girl. Really, only if you’re the luckiest person on this entire planet, the person you love decides to love you back.
There’s just something about the way you look at someone you love. I’d like to call it the look of love.
It’s said that our pupils dilate by 80% when we look at someone we love. It happens so that the receptors in our eyes can accommodate enough light to see that person we’re with.
That’s science and nature coming together as an accolade for the existence of love.

The drive back was one of the worst ones. I wished I was drunk so I could have an excuse just to ram the car into a post and end this life which was going to be completely uncertain. But as my legs moved toward the accelerator, I remembered my promise.
I’ve always been big on promises and maybe that’s what drew Rose to me in the first place.
So, I drove back home because after what seemed to be an eternity, it finally felt like I got closure.
As I walked back into the house I heard the laughter of the people I now loved inside, and as I closed the door behind me, I knew that it would be the last time I’d ever revisit my sweetheart who brightened most of the days of a past I’d never forget.
As Rose faded into the depths of my memory, I knew a part of me would always love that girl who made me who I am today. And for that, I’m eternally thankful.

Those thoughts faded as she ran towards me and hugged me.
All my little girl wanted for Christmas was for daddy to come home with her favorite socks.
The way her eyes gleamed at the sight of her favorite socks reminded me of someone who I should probably forget.
I just hope that little Rosie doesn’t grow up too soon.
Losing one of them to someone else is probably enough for one lifetime.