The first rain of the year made its way through the dark clouds, and was witnessed through the windows of a dark room. The boy standing there, with ruffled hair and short beard, heard the bellowing of thunder and the murmur of raindrops on the window sill.
Just then, his ears felt a whisper. “Ashu”
It was the class of 2014. He had been pushed around, and mocked by friends, for being so shy. But finally, that year had lots in store for him. Lots.
There was the yearly shuffle of classes, and he, determined to evade the mockery of his friends, chose the first bench of the classroom. And then she came.
“May I share the bench with you?” she asked. “mmm?,” he attended to her question in a way that made her laugh. A boy aged 18, looking in the eyes of a girl with his large brown eyes, with such innocence as that of a 4 year old. She sat near him from that day, and gradually, love happened.
Five months later, there came the time when they used to meet frequently at his place. And there came monsoon with it. They came out of the classroom holding hands, as the skies unfolded their velvet black carpet, and she whispered “Your place?” He nodded, and she giggled. An hour later, thunder hid their laughter as she hid in his arms.
“What? I’m not afraid of thunder,” she said, leaving his arms, “I’m not a kid anym…,” and before she could finish, a thunder put her back into his arms.
He laughed out loud.
“Want to go out in the rain?” she asked him. “It’s not raining yet,” he replied.
“I’m going,” she said, and twisted herself out of his arms. She ran her fingers through his hair and made it messy. She loved messing his hair up. This done, she ran out to the rooftop.
He stood near the window, and watched outside. Soon, large drops poured out of the sky, and he could hear the sound of her feet on the roof. But he stood still, waiting for her to come back to him, and tried listening to the sound of raindrops on the window sill.
Suddenly the sound of the footsteps on the roof ceased, and he noticed her coming. He looked at her, and saw those brown eyes. Those wet eyelashes, and her wet hair. That little nose on which he put his finger so often. She was about to enter the room, when he turned to the window again, hoping that she did not notice his observing eyes.
And among those murmurs of raindrops, and the bellowing of clouds above, he heard a whisper. “Ashu, I love you,” and a little wet palm held his little finger.
He turned back, and looked into her eyes, just like he had done when they had met for the first time. “You are so cold,” he said, noticing that she was shivering. She hugged him, and her hold on his finger tightened.
And today, a year later, as he stood in the same place with unkempt ruffled hair, listening to the same voices of raindrops and of the clouds; he could not imagine them without the whisper behind his ear.
“Ashu,” the voice seemed to repeat itself.
He shivered again. And turned back, and looked at nothingness.
The bleak wind gushing through his room flew upon him an old piece of paper. He put the paper on the window sill, letting it drench in the sky’s drops, while he drenched in his eyes’. Yes, that year had lots in store for him, but she was not one among them.
The monsoons had gifted him those moments, and he saw it fitting to return the favour. Time could not fade his memories, but the raindrops fell on the paper, and faded away the words on it.
“I don’t love you anymore”