If ………………….

I was 18 when I had a crush on someone. It was like a forced crush. I wanted to be loved and appreciated and I was in a rebellious mood.

My interaction with the opposite sex was limited, so if a guy smiled, compliment me, gave me attention, I got overwhelmed. I met this guy while I was in college. Let’s call him Ajax. Ajax was a few years elder than me and was studying in the business school opposite my degree college. He made me feel oh so wanted. He used to look deep into my eyes while talking that hypnotised me. I looked forward to meeting him. We used to meet after my classes in the college library or cafeteria. 

One thing I didn’t notice was that Ajax would get very touchy when we were alone. I kind of thought it was ok. I had seen my peers indulge in such behaviour with their friends and since I too wanted to be accepted I went with the flow. Now when I think about it I realise I liked him touching me. There was nothing erotic about the touch, but the holding hands, his arm across my shoulder, it felt nice. 

So when Ajax asked me out I agreed. He wanted to take me to the beach. When I asked him what would we do there? (yeah, I was obtuse and naïve) he said we would have fun. Now we both had different ideas of fun. My idea of fun was walking hand in hand on the beach, talking etc.  Well, his idea of fun was not so innocent as mine. 

The beach was close to my college. The next afternoon it was drizzling. He got very touchy in the rickshaw (a three-wheeler vehicle) giving me a wet kiss on my cheek and neck, his one hand was playing with my hair, while with his another hand he was drawing slow circles on my stomach, with each circle his fingers kept going higher. I knew something was amidst and my muscles tightened when I understood where this was going. I was a virgin and had not been touched or kissed erotically. I could feel a mixture of sensations some known and some unknown going through my body. I got a mild panic attack. Maybe he sensed it too as he massaged my neck and shoulders and brought up the topic of my stutter and how he would help me overcome it. Damn, that was my weak point. I melted closed my eyes and nestled in his arms. 

When we reached the beach it was empty, now mind you beaches in Mumbai are never empty I don’t know how that area was empty. It was drizzling when we sat on a bench. I am a chatty person and when I nervous it aggravates, so I was ranting about something when I felt his arms around me and another hand on my thigh. He leant in towards my face and asked me for a kiss. Now when I think of it, it was chivalrous of him to ask for a kiss. I mean come on how many guys do that? My reaction was instant, I jumped off and refused; I blabbered something about me taking him as a friend. 

He backed off and apologised. I walked away from him. When we stopped by for tea near the beach he said, ‘You’re innocent, the next time a guy gets touchy with you and calls you out be sure you both are on the same wavelength.’ ‘Why did you want to kiss me, if you thought I’m innocent, is this what you like to do to innocent girls,’ I blurted out with tears in my eyes. All he did was smile.

I was numb, my brain could not process what had happened. On my way back it rained hard, in spite of that, I walked home. It was a long walk, I usually took a bus. I was drenched and sobbing. I was disappointed with the guy. Maybe I would’ve kissed him, but I wanted hearts and flowers and a proposal. Casual hookups were not something I had heard of. 

We met socially after that but I kept my distance. 

The same evening I cried myself hoarse to a friend I had met almost the same time I met Ajax and this friend would change my perception of life and love. 

Years later I saw him again, but this time he was on the cover page of a business magazine. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we would have kissed?

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