I had been running away from my college memories. But today they hit me like an arrow in the back. I logged onto facebook, it was a lazy Sunday afternoon. There was nothing better to do and I decided to deal with the pending friend requests. Some I confirmed right away, little unsure I left some unattended, a few I bluntly ignored. But this one request, I accepted with lot of hesitation and reluctance. It was a classmate from my graduation days.
I had started hating myself back then, because of this one guy. Arvind Thripati, the name sounds pretty normal but he was a charm. His wit and smartness had caught the attention of all, including mine. Being the little wise and rational girl I was- I could differentiate between a general liking, an infatuation and love. I was positive and still am sure that I just liked and admired the young man for how he carried himself. I often found myself battling this need that had captured my mind. I wanted a friend. A friend as witty and as cool as him, a rational mind to talk to. And, we did talk for a while.
Suddenly he had withdrawn. Not only that, he refused to acknowledge my presence and say a simple hello. I had spiralled into emotional labyrinths analysing what had gone wrong. I was a blunt, straight forward, no bullshit girl and I never saw any reason for anybody else to be otherwise. Why couldn't he just tell what's wrong? I needed to know. I had even confronted him once to which he gave a how dumb can you be smile and walked off. It had stayed with me for days- that disgusted look on his face. Finally, after loathing myself for almost stalking the guy and nearly begging for his company I snapped. I decided to hold my self respect high. I too ignored him refusing to see his face or respond to any general queries. I hated him for being hurtful. I even deleted his number and removed him from the friends list on social networking sites. It seemed like a brave achievement at seventeen.
Even after that day, I always questioned myself, pondering maybe, I wouldn’t have behaved appropriately. Perhaps I clung onto him too much, gave him a wrong impression. Did I like him? I did. But I don’t anymore. Did I love him? I didn’t. I never did. But it mattered, because I, I was ignored and I wasn't told why. For the rest of the college years- I had learnt to be little aloof, giving space to people, sometimes more than they require. I never entertained many friends. I didn’t need them. But once I moved out of college I bounced back to normalcy with ease and learnt a worthy lesson or two. Yet still, college became that word which reminded me of my dumbness in dealing with people and made me feel less sure about myself. It wasn't a pleasent memory.
This, was that discomforting time of my past I never wanted to think about. But, today out of the blue- like a disowned memory always does, it strayed into my present and itched my mind. I wondered- why now, after ten years Mr.Arvind Thripati needs to have me on his friend list? Was I a puncture to be patched in his list of friends that he suddenly felt the need to deal with? My anger raged and I changed my mind about adding him and was about to block him out when, a messaged popped up.
Sorry, for being the person I was. God knows why I was like that college. You were more sensible than me back then. I feel terrible about how I behaved.
So how are you? What are you up to?
And there is was- all I had wanted to know. It wasn’t all my fault. I was not as stupid as I thought I was. There still are a few things I wished I never did. But, I can live with that. We all are, in our own ways a little unprepared for every situation and stage of life. How easily we feel miserable without the knowledge of who and what the person is all about- burdening ourselves with self doubts. I felt bad about myself all this while but he inturn was regretful about how he had been. We both felt that the other had handled the situation/college better. It became all clear at once. Like I needed mine, he needed a closure too. A reply, saying- "It's okay." or "I understand" was all he wanted. An eternal peace rushed through me as my senseless insecurity, harboured overed years disappeared from the dark corners of my mind.
I re-read his message with a smile and logged off without responding.