"There he stood in front of her house, just like he used to when he came to meet her. The only difference today was that no one opened the door and the usual smile which was so infectious, had disappeared. His eyes were red, partially due to lack of sleep in those last few days and partially because he was crying. Yes, he was crying. One who believed that strong men never cry, one who believed that there was nothing in the world that could make him sad, one whose charm and wit made everyone around him happy.
It was that smile and charm that she had fallen for. They both studied in the same college. He was in the same class as she was but they had hardly talked. The girl liked him from the very first day and he also knew about it. However, cupid had not yet interfered and their lives continued in the same way.
One day as he was about to leave for his home, a sweet voice attracted his attention.
“Excuse me, William. You forgot to take your copy.”
He turned around to look at the face of that girl. It was probably the first time he noticed how pretty she was. She was walking towards him in an elegant manner and looked like a fairy in that beautiful white dress.
“Oh! Thank you, Emily. It was really nice of.....”
.....and he looked at her face which had that peculiar expression which he wasn’t able to understand. Was it happiness or excitement or surprise, he didn’t get it.
“Are you alright? What happened?”
“You know my name...”
“Well, of course I do. You are in the same class as I am. What kind of a question is that?”
“He knows my name. He knows my name......” she muttered to herself in disbelief.
“Are you fine?”
“Yeah, I am. Actually I just remembered something. Sorry, I’ll have to rush. Bye.” And she ran away.
Weird. That was what he had thought that moment and had soon forgotten this brief encounter with the one who was about to change him completely.
Suddenly he felt he saw a ruffle of curtains. As if someone was watching him from the window. He ran to the door and started knocking which soon changed into banging the wood.
“Em, please open the door. Let me come in. I promise I won’t do it again. I love you. Please come back to me. Don’t leave me alone. Please, Please......”
But how would someone open the door when it has been locked from the outside.
That was the final day of submission of the reports. And she had been unable to finish the work. The teacher had been very strict and warned that he will not accept late submissions and will definitely fail those who do not meet the deadline. The classes were over and everyone had left but she was still there in the classroom. She was continuously scribbling on the papers, not even looking up. She had this fear of staying alone. How she drifted into sleep, she did not realize but when she woke up and looked at the watch, she jumped to her feet. It was night and she was still there in the classroom, all alone by herself. She collected her books and rushed towards the door. It was locked from the outside. She turned the knob but it did not turn. She hit the door with her fist, kicked it but it stood there, motionless as if saying — what can a frail girl like you do to me? I am not going to move, so you better stop hurting yourself, if not me.
She shouted for help but tables and chairs and fans and bulbs, were all the audience she got. She was angry at the staff but there would be some other time to be angry. Right now she needed too get out. As it became more late, her anger turned into anxiety and anxiety then became fear. She looked at the empty room and those familiar walls which were always so friendly were laughing now at her misery. She felt like there was no one who was truly hers. Tears began to roll down her eyes.
She was brought back to her senses by the sound of footsteps. There was someone in the corridor. She suddenly saw this ray of hope and started shouting for help. There was a boy on the other side and from what she heard, she understood that he was going to bring some help and she should not worry. Then there was a big metallic sound of a hammer striking the lock and then the door opened. To her surprise, she found William standing there with that hammer and she could easily picturise her knight in shining armor standing there with a sword in his hand, coming to her rescue.
“Can I ask you what you are doing alone in the classroom?”
But before he could get a reply, she ran to him, crying much more loudly now and hugged him. She didn’t say anything standing motionless there but the teardrops continued to run down her red cheeks. He let her stay there for some time and then said – “Please don’t rub your nose on my shirt.”
She smiled and moved away from him. “Thank You.” That was all she said before running off to her house while he stood there.
Those red eyes had the expression of relief, gratitude in them but today, these red eyes were only conveying expressions of shame and hatred for themselves.
Part 2 in a few days.....
Part 2 in a few days.....