Summer was passing by and winter was just around the corner. It was September when he saw her after a long time. He was in love at first sight. She was supremely beautiful, undeniably one of God's specially crafted creatures.
She was just as he had imagined a perfected form of female beauty to be - tall and fair with long black hair and pretty black eyes. Lips to lure the deepest desires and a voice to calm the soul. And best of all, she had no arrogance over how perfect she was.
Many years ago, they were friends. They used to play board games together as kids. He clearly remembered, how one day, she had asked him inquisitively, pointing at a letter box in the distance, 'What is that?'
'That’s a letter box,' he had said. 'You put a letter in it and it magically reaches the person you send it to.'
'Wow!' she had exclaimed, amused as a three year old.
Twenty years later, meeting her that September evening had come as a surprise to him. He had gone to a wedding and she was also there. Of course, he did not recognise her and neither did she recognise him. It was their parents that introduced them to each other.
They even had dinner together, talking about old childhood stuff. At least whatever they could remember of it. He was five and she was four when her family had to move to Saudi Arabia as her father, a civil engineer, had found work there with a construction company.
He told her the letter box story and she laughed.
'You didn't write me any letters,' she complained, chuckling.
'That’s because you didn't give me your address,' he said.
'But weren't the letters supposed to reach the person magically?' she said and they laughed.
Her pink sharara was dotted with shimmering beads catching lights from the decoration around the place. Her hands looked pristine as they rested below her chin, which was on top of her interlocked fingers. He looked her in the eyes and she stopped for a moment.
The moment had stopped for him. Time had stopped for him. It was her smile and the gleam in her eyes that he was made for, he realised. Her warmth was his home and her heart was his destination.
The next day at work, he was a different man. He was happier than usual. And when his best friend at work asked him the reason for this new avatar, he told her about the girl - Naina - and how he was in love with her.
'I’m going to marry her!' he announced to his friend.
They had exchanged phone numbers that night at the wedding and he used to message her on WhatsApp regularly and she replied to most of them. Time kept turning and they became more familiar with each other. Her family even invited his family over to dinner once and vice versa. She had wished him on his birthday in November and he had wished her on her birthday in January. They had both celebrated with each other as well in the presence of some other mutual friends.
One day at work, he asked his best friend, 'I have to tell her that I love her. How should I do it? When should I do it?'
'Valentine's Day is near. Why don't you take that opportunity to tell her that you love her?' his best friend at work suggested him.
He liked the idea so he mentally prepared himself for it. He decided that he will go to her place, give her flowers and tell her how he feels for her.
On Valentine's Day, he got up early and made sure he dressed himself smartly. He bought the best looking bouquet of red roses from an expensive florist. He got some chocolates too! He reached her place but she wasn't there. He had not spoken with her over WhatsApp for the last two days. He had thought that not speaking with her and then suddenly showing up like this would be even more exciting.
He called her on her cellphone but she didn't answer. He called her a few more times but it kept ringing. He went back home and waited for her to call back. At some point, he fell asleep. When he woke up, he heard his mom and dad talking in the drawing room.
He picked up his phone to see if there were any calls or messages from Naina, but he was disappointed. He opened Facebook to see what his friends were up to and he was taken by a surprise. There she was! Naina!
She had posted a relationship update. Naina, in a relationship with Kabir. And people were pouring their congratulatory messages in the comments section. He felt like throwing the phone at the wall, but he didn't. Instead he just lay in his bed, hugging Naina's picture in his phone, wishing he could've told her about his feelings earlier.