It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon, blest with the warmth of the shimmering sun and light gusts of cool breeze. The world was brimming with life especially for students since it was the only day of the week that freed us from routine academic tasks and gave us opportunities to do whatever we liked: play games, go for walk and chat with friends. The boys’ hostel where I lived stood facing the nearby maize-fields, as though watching the distant trees and bushes dancing to the rustle of the wind that blew over them. I was chatting with friends on the veranda of the hostel, while some junior students were playing on the front lawn. It was here where a girl who was on a Sunday walk from her school popped in, unknown to either of us that she was to become my first True Love later.
The moment I got introduced to her, I began to feel her charm in every word she uttered. She was a sweet girl of kind nature and polite words. “How fortunate would I be if she were my sweetheart!” I thought. After a few hours of interesting talk that mainly surrounded around our academic studies, home life, family and friends, she was no longer a stranger to me. I began to feel as if we had been friends for a long time. “You are very sweet and interesting to talk to” I told her with a certain level of nervousness on my face. “How do you know that?” she questioned me smiling. I had no proper justification for my own statements. I just said that I know by instinct, and she laughed. She told me that she was studying in class X in Jigme Sherubling Higher Secondary School. I was also studying in class X but I was in a different section. Although I was staying in the hostel in Muenselling Institute, I was a day-scholar at Jigme Sherubling Higher Secondary School with other senior blind students. I thanked God that we were in the same school afterall, because that increased our odds to catch up often.
Since then, we often met in the school during intervals and lunch breaks but never got a chance to talk in private. The more we met, the more I began to think about her, and the more I thought about her, the more deep I got in love with her. We continued as friends although deep inside my heart, I had wanted us to become more than that. I badly wished to let her know how much I loved her and that I was becoming mad for her. She had become an angel of my heart and carried her wherever I went. Finally I came to realize that I could no longer hold the weight in my heart and decided to give it a try. I carefully planned a letter to be sent to her. I had to be very careful because I didn’t want to offend her at any cost. With cautiously chosen words, I began expressing my genuine feelings for her and how much I loved her. Whatever I said, I intended to convince her that I truly loved her , not for her physical beauty or intelligence, but for her kindness, friendliness and generosity. “I don’t mind even if you don’t love me, but I just want to let you know that I truly love you and wish to live together with you for the rest of my life. These are the words of my heart” I wrote. Then I nicely sealed it in an envelope and sent it to her through a friend of mine. My heart began to race as time passed by without any response from her. I was feeling embarrassed and even guilty that I might have shocked the girl and disappointed her. I even thought that had I not sent the letter, she would have continued to turn up to see me often but now she has stopped getting closer. I was very worried how to restore our friendship that had been going on smoothly until recently. I cursed myself. I always felt I was being watched by her from a distance as I walked around the school campus and I felt so uncomfortable even to appear in the open area. I thought that was the greatest mistake I had ever made.
But after a few agonizing days, I was surprised to get a positive response from her. She had somehow decided to accept my feelings for her although I am not sure if she did it just not to hurt me. Since then, letters frequently flew between us and the greatest moments of my life began to finally dawn. After we appeared for the Board Examinations, we became distant from each other, but letters always kept us connected. I don’t know how badly she used to miss me, but for me, I think there wasn’t a single day when I didn’t think of her. She had become a precious part of my life. She was my song, she was my music and she was my poetry. I wrote a number of songs about her and sang on the stage during cultural shows in the school. It was all for her. I think I was too crazy.
In July 1999 when I joined class XI, she returned to Khaling for supplementary studies since she had not qualified to continue her studies in the government school. She had rented a house in Khaling where I often used to go to visit her. It was here where I first openly confessed my love for her and how badly I had wanted to marry her. She hugged me tightly and promised me that she would never leave me. “I would be your dearest wife. I will always wait for you, but please do not get too crazy because it might affect your studies” she told me at one occasion. Those magical words still ring in my ears and I can never erase the sweet memories of those days from my brain. Like an inseparable pair of birds, we used to go for walks along the Trashigang-Samdrup Jongkhar highway, walking hand-in-hand, singing songs, telling stories and sharing jokes. When we were together, I felt as if we had the whole world to ourselves. I saw our future too close and always thought that our dreams would certainly materialize soon. If the roads we walked together in Khaling could ever talk, I am sure they would have a great story to tell about us. Whenever she failed to turn up to see me, I felt desolate and did not even feel like eating or drinking. The moment she was with me, I thought I was in Heaven, with full of music and life. She was the only one at that moment who gave me a sense of wholeness.
However, as we were preparing to leave Khaling towards the end of the year, things began to fall apart mysteriously. The same girl whom I had been considering to be my soul-mate seemed to drift away gradually. I could sense that she was trying to distance herself from me because whenever I tried to sit with her when we met, she would walk away. Once she had invited me to her place for a dinner, but I felt so neglected and humiliated that I had to leave without taking the dinner when she was busy enjoying with her friends inside the room. Later on, I heard from a reliable source that she was discouraged by her friends to get married to a blind person and I think that could have caused her to behave in such a way with me to let me know that she is no longer interested in me. I finally realized that the kind of love she had given me was only a conditional affection afterall. Wincing with great pain and regret, I had to let her go to her own world, the world which could perhaps give her more happiness than she could have got with me. She would never know how much I cried for her and how much I suffered to cope with the loss. Although I felt so dejected, I was very grateful for all the support she provided me during our short and sweet days of relationship. She was very good at sharing things and treated me well at least within the period of our love affair. So, although I ultimately managed to let her go out of my life, the wound she left took a very long time to heal. I realized that she was definitely my first True Love because I had never loved any girl like that before. Only when she left, I realized how deep I had been in love with her. I was left wondering how such a generous soul could change itself overnight. As Sheryl Crow sings “The first cut is the deepest”, so was it for me. I learned a big lesson out of this bitter experience.
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