As she was standing on the stage I said, “wow, she looks stunning.” I am sure every boy in that hall attending our farewell function would have skipped a heart beat looking at her. Wearing a yellow Indian dress, standing under the lights of the stage, her complexion brightened up everything in the hall. Adding to the brightness were her confident, glistening wide eyes. She was called up to share her thoughts on her life in our institute, life of a student who had stepped for the first time in the journey of a researcher. Then was dropped a poser on her that was to change the equation of her and my life. “Who is your best friend in the gathering here? Call him/her on the stage and tell us why is that person your best friend?” was the question asked to her by the host of the farewell night. All the eyes were fixed on her. She was perhaps the most desirable girl in our campus and everybody was anxious to know who shared that special relation with her. She came down from the stage, walked on the aisle right through the center of the hall and I knew she had stopped somewhere by now. My head was down and my heart was beating. I lifted my head and saw her extending her hand to me with a gentle smile. Softly she said, “will you accompany me to the stage?” I looked around and confirmed if that was for me only? Yes, it was me. My heart jumped and I stood up with my hand in hers. We both walked together till we reached the center of the stage. I don’t know if others were hooting or saying anything about us but all I remember now is that my ears were just listening to my own heartbeat which was pumping blood like never before and everything else was pin-drop silent.
We both did talk to each other a lot and helped in tough times but I never knew that she would dare to call me on the stage in front of the whole gathering and tell others that we shared a very precious relation. It was that moment, when she extended her hand for me, our friendship had metamorphosed into love. For the next couple of hours, till the end of the farewell party all I sensed was her gentle touch and everything seemed yellow around me. The party was called off and girls had to take bus to their hostel.
We both were sitting together and not talking. Breaking silence said she would have to go. I got up to accompany her till the bus. As we began to walk she asked me to follow a longer path. The path was solitary that night, wet with mild rain that monsoon had brought. It was quiet till she said, “I will really miss you once I am gone from here.” I could fell the tremble in her voice. She would have cried had I said anything sentimental so I remained silent and just murmured a short Hmmm. We walked silently till she reached the bus and before boarding she asked me to call her. After an hour I called her and she picked up the phone immediately as if she was waiting for this only. Her voice had changed. It was mild and no longer had that mischievous tone to it that was known to me for last two years. I knew what she wanted to say but silence seemed appropriate. I asked her if she is all right and to this she replied, “I have no idea how this happened, I am sorry if I embarrassed you.” Embarrassed me? C’mon that was one of the most beautiful thing that had happened to me ever in my life. I thanked her for calling me onto the stage and calling me her best friend. To which she replied, “it’s not just being my best friend, I am in love with my best friend. When asked to call my best friend on the stage I don’t know what pushed me to call you up. Of all the other things that happened at the party I realised that we are to part and I would never be able to see you again. I was scared to lose you. It seemed as if somebody told me that it is now or never will you be able to tell him that you valued him and have kept a piece of him in your heart.”
Listening this, I could fell a hollow in my heart. The fast beating heart had almost stopped it seems. My throat was choking and I struggled to breathe. My hands were numb and feet got heavy to move. I just sat on my bed nearby and all of a sudden it flashed on me that it was our farewell and we are to part. I had not realised till then that the party was not just about socialising and having food but it was a message that we are going away. Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and all the other networking sites are just nothing when you miss the physical presence of someone. I was missing her besides me. Wanted to hold her and tell her that I too loved her and I was sorry to realise on the day when we were to say our good byes. Two years of our life in college had passed without this passing to us that whenever we would tell each other flirtingly that we were in love was actually true. Our care for each other and love was more than just a friendship. It was a feeling that we would always carry with us in our breaths. Today, sitting alone in my room again I miss her like I miss her every second since she stood besides me clad in yellow extending her hand. She may read this or not but I will always cherish our last few hours of love on a farewell.