I am a Bengali boy and Amrita belonged to a Marwadi family. Though we were in the same school, our sections were different. I was in section ‘B’ ,she was in section ‘A’. I was an average student and she was one of the toppers in the class. So as you can see there was no future for us. Things were totally against us. But neither the classroom nor the caste.. Time became the main villain in our story.
“Don’t tell me that you like her!!! Amrita!!!! You know that you are totally out of her league. You are going to end up being heartbroken”, said Ashish, my friend.
“I know… but at least I can give it a try. You know after all opposites attract”, I winked.
“Okay, so what is my role in your story??”
“You are in her section. You just update me whether she is present or absent, whether you guys have any off period or not and most importantly the bench she is sitting on”.
Well Ashish never disappointed me. I was always updated about Amrita’s whereabouts. Now my new adda center was the staircase beside the 10th standard, section ‘A’ classroom. I used to sit in the 3rd step corner from where the 2nd row, 3rd desk was clearly visible. Needless to say this was the desk where Amrita used to sit. She was one of those serious shy girls who didn’t get out of the classrooms even in the lunch hours and it would help me stare at her for so long. My friends and I used to sing songs, rehearse SRK dialogues, crack jokes and all loud enough so that miss serious looks back. The days she was absent I used to mourn all day long.
Vani Miss was their class teacher and fortunately I took private tuitions from her. She was more like a friend to all the students. So one day I told her all about my feelings for Amrita and managed to bunk my classes and sit in section ‘A’ with Ashish during her class. Sometimes Vani Miss intentionally teased me giving the class clear idea of the reason of my presence in that classroom. Still she acted ignorant. Days were passing and I still was silent in front of her. I decided to make my move. I crossed the boundary of the school and chased her bus to find out where she lived. Now on the days when she was present in school, I was found in the staircase or in the section ‘A’ classroom and on the days she was absent, I was found cycling in front of her house after the classes hoping to see her once. I also found her contact no. using the telephone directory after so much research but couldn’t ever call her.
Finally the Valentine’s Day came. All the single boys geared up to propose their crushes with cards, roses, poems and all. So did I. Two of my friends already got rejected. Now it was my turn. I brought a card for Amrita and wrote about my feelings in that card. I gathered courage to face her. I asked one of her classmates to bring her in the staircase. When she came I said, “Hey Amrita, as you know today is Valentine’s day. So I have brought a card for you”. She got freaked out. Perhaps this was the first time she got a card on V Day. She started to say “No Anuj I don’t see you that way”. I got disappointed. I serously feel that the phrase “I don’t see you that way” should be banned. This phrase is a reason for thousands of heart breaks. I asked her “So you won’t take it right? “. She shook her head. Students were already staring at us. Now getting rejected like that frustrated me. I said “Okay” and tore the card in front of her, threw those pieces in the dustbin and moved to my class without looking back. If you have to exit the show, exit with style, don’t let them think you are a loser.
Days passed. One day I was returning home from school in my cycle. I saw her in the way. You will not believe what happened. As I was crossing her she stopped and smiled at me. I got perplexed. I also smiled and paddled faster without looking back again. Girls are really complicated. At one moment they say something and the very next moment they contradict themselves. I just thought and thought and thought, yet couldn’t understand what actually happened. Next day I went to school and said everything to Ashish. Then everything got cleared. Ashish’s girlfriend Rima became my cupid. She told Amrita about me, how good I am and all. I was so thankful to Rima. Though we never talked still the smiling and waving thing continued between Amrita and me. Then the ICSE exams approached. I got worried, both for exam and for our “relationship”. None of us knew whether after 10th we were going to be in the same school or be parted. This was the high time. I wanted to talk to her, wanted to know how she feels for me. I was desperate to know what she feels about me. Well Rima again came to rescue me. She talked to her and told me to wait for Amrita on the last day of our exam. I was so happy. Finally things were falling into place. Amrita was going to talk to me.
It was the last day of our exam. I saw Amrita waiting for me in front of the school gate with a smile on her face. “This is it”, I told to myself. I checked my breath, set my hair, put the best smile on my face. As I went closer to the gate saw my father standing there. He came that day to take me home. “Great!!! Perfect timing”, I said to myself. I tried to convince him to wait for some moments so that I could catch up my friends. But all my efforts went in vain. He didn’t leave me alone with my friends. Of course you can not talk to your crush about your feelings in front of your father. That day I had to avoid Amrita and leave. I didn’t have the courage to go and talk to her while my father was around. I simply rode dad’s scooter and just left the place, left Amrita behind. When I turned back I saw her at the gate staring at the scooter with a confused expression. This was the last time I saw her. Next year the school gate was there, I was there, the staircase, the classroom.. everything was there. Only Amrita Kedia was missing. It was her turn. She left the school and me forever.