All of my memory converges into one evening in the past. It was 2006. Or 2007 probably. Because 2008 would rather be too late for the events I'm going to narrate. It was a silly little evening. Nobody significant was even involved, as in physically present. But people don't have to be present in body and mind to cause effect and effectively mar an evening, a day, a life. Mostly, it's their absences that work that charm. So yes, it was an evening long long ago and I was mostly by myself. And it was then that I lost my innocence. Ergo, all my memory, if retrospectively stretched back in time, converge, then and there.
It was January. And it was drizzling. Winter rain. I must've been eighteen. Unscathed. In love. Brimming with naivete, unbeknownst of the ways of the world, that such scales existed on which humans are weighed and chosen, and the rest rejected, I callously thought till then that love begets love. It never did. Never does. And it shouldn't either. But I was young and full of colors. Purple, magenta and violets.
It was a grey evening we'd stepped out into. With a few friends and somebody's cousin. I was meeting somebody's cousin for the first time. He was tall, bespectacled, comfortable in a lose T shirt. Forgettable as a person, because I don't even recall him name. But he has been reluctantly stuck in this memory forever. Because he simply happened to be there. It was a huge college campus. Somebody's cousin was showing us around. Mostly from the streets, their stadiums, activity centers, auditoriums, gyms. I saw numerous, numerous boys that evening.
I knew you were there, out there somewhere. But we're never lucky enough for coincidences. I never saw you. You never sought me out. It was a lost cause. But you were right there. Within square meters probably. It was getting duskier, cooler, darker. Slowly yellow light from the street lamps filled the streets. I looked up to see bulky deodars on both sides of the streets. Upright like our guardians. We were just a bunch of kids back then.
Within minutes the air got chilly. The power went off. It was completely dark except for the shrieks of voices. And laughter. It began to pour. We took shelter under the nearest tree. I scooted to under the nearest tree. I almost hugged it tight. I could feel its trunk on my cheeks. And shut my eyes, I wanted you so much. It was so debilitating to be so close to you and still not have you. It was precisely under that tree, that day, standing in the rain that I got my heart broken the first time.
For a few years I imagined you were there with me under that tree. But I knew you weren't. I have concocted so many alternative memories of the same exact incident, I can't tell the real from the unreal. Probably none of this even happened. But now I am too seasoned to give away the truth so easy.
In parallel universes and in other tesseracts of time, you were probably there with me under that deodar. In a tight embrace, in galloping rain, our cheeks touching its trunk. Because that would answer just so many questions right now.