Sometimes, it felt strange. Out of this world. And yet, it felt beautiful too. Like she had finally learnt how to live. What to live for, actually.
It had been a few weeks since the weird sensation arose it’s head in her heart. Like a flower was blooming. Slowly. One petal at a time. Every petal gently caressing her insides, like thousand butterflies had taken flight. Like a golden ball of fire was growing larger by the moment.
Neha didn’t ignore the feeling, but couldn’t even acknowledge it. After all, it was her end-of-semester exams. There were books to be read, notes to be made, read and re-read. She was too worried about finishing her syllabus on time, and getting it all right to fret over something which seemed so trivial that one could easily pretend it wasn’t there.
But she couldn’t do that anymore. Not after yesterday, at least.
She sighed, threw her book, “Abnormal Psychology: Case Studies” aside and let the thoughts consume her.
It was yesterday that Ruchi was lying beside her, fast asleep. And she had started observing her, first out of sheer boredom, then, more and more out of interest. All of a sudden, Ruchi looked so beautiful. The way her hair gently fell around her face, like a halo – it made her want to sink her face in it. Her hands looked so soft and delicate… and her lips….pink, and brown at the edges, dried, chapped, yet so inviting…
With a shudder, Neha snapped out...what was she thinking? She hurriedly got up, grabbed her duppatta, her books and ran all the way to her room…
It had been a long time, since she had felt the little stir of attraction towards Ruchi. Ruchi, the girl who became her friend first day in college, with whom she shared her notes, her books, her dreams, her hopes, her life…
There wasn’t a day they didn’t spend in each other’s company. Perhaps it was also because of the fact that they had same subjects. They weren’t roommates, but one would find them together all the time.
It was during those grilling study sessions – Ruchi was very strict when it came to studies – that Neha had realized her feelings for her. She felt aghast, and thought that a combination of excess study, lack of boys and too much of Ruchi was screwing her brains. She thought she was straight!
What followed were a few days in which Neha tried every trick in the book to spend as little time with Ruchi as possible, without offending her. But after numerous excuses, headaches, sleepiness and ‘really important work’, she couldn’t take it anymore. Being away from her, that is.
It was Ruchi who made sure that Neha never skipped a meal, no matter what. If Neha had fever, it would be Ruchi running to get some OTC medicine, not her roommates. It was Ruchi with whom she chatted and gossiped about boyfriends late into the night. It was Ruchi who understood her need for solitude, never pestered her with personal questions and let her be.
And so she couldn’t love her because both of them were girls?
Suddenly, it felt unfair. Love is love, irrespective of age or sex. So what was she feeling guilty about! No, she should stop feeling that she was doing something immoral, she decided.
She couldn’t hide this from Ruchi, could she? But how would Ruchi react? Will she understand her, or, god forbid, stop being her friend?
There was a knock on her door. Neha arranged her duppatta and said, “Come in..”
The door opened and Ruchi walked in…
“You look tensed, all ok?”
Neha smiled. “Yes. All is ok now.”….