The Love Letter

- Ashvin Oli

Jan 20, 2019-

It was raining cats and dogs outside with occasional thunder strikes.  The mango tree near my room’s window swayed violently to the wind, hitting the window pane several times to the point that I was worried it would shatter the glass. I have always loved rain, but that was the first time I wished the rain would stop.

I had sat down to write a letter—a love letter—my first love letter, just before it started raining.. I didn’t know I would be as nervous as I was writing a love letter. The rain, the loud thunders, and violently swaying of  mango tree’s branches, all heightened that nervousness, distracting me from writing ‘the most romantic’ love letter ever written.

I was in 10th grade. I was a kid and was swept by the idea of writing a love letter to a girl I loved or I thought I loved. Before I started developing feelings for her, I was this kid who thought love letters were too cheesy. The reason I decided to write her a love letter was to confess my feelings for her. I didn’t want her to love me back. I just wanted her to know that she was special to me; she could count on me and trust me. I knew she wouldn’t freak out when I gave her my letter, like most girls do when they get love letters from guys they are not interested in, because Pranita was different. She wasn’t like them other girls.  Another thing that I was certain about was the love letter won’t ruin our friendship.  

It finally stopped raining, and a few minutes later I heard a knock on the door. It was Poshan. He was drenched. I ushered him in, gave him a change of clothes and boiled some coffee for him.

Poshan and I have known each other since we were kids. He was a nice person, and the only person who treated me like a sane person. Most of the people around me, even my parents, sometimes made me feel like I was not of their world.

When Poshan  had done changing into my clothes, we started talking. Actually, for the most part, he did the talking, and I did the listening.  

“So, how’s it going with Pranita? Are you doing something to get close to her or are you still daydreaming about her. The whole class knows that you have a crush on her; why the hell won’t you move forward? Are you scared that she would turn you down; do you think she is too good for you?” he said. He kept going on for more than five minutes. After his first few sentences, my mind drifted. I was thinking of the rain, and was wishing it would stop when Poshan gave me a nudge and said, “Are you going to just stare at me. Do you not plan to talk?”

I said, “Oh.. I am thinking of writing her a love,” Poshan interjected, leaving my sentence hanging at love, incomplete.

“What the heck are you talking about? Don’t ever think about doing something as foolish,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Nobody has the time to read a letter, and love letters are overrated. If you want to do something, just go to her like a man and tell her that you love her. Girls like Pranita will be cool with that,” he said. “Believe me, Nabin, ask her out tomorrow and confess to her. It is as simple as that.”

I did not like the idea, but I feigned acquiescence. Outside, the rain had stopped; the sky was clear, and the sun shone brightly. Poshan finally bade farewell, and on his way said, “Don’t you dare write a letter.”

After Poshan left, I wondered if I was overdoing this. I thought I did not need anybody’s advice when it comes to love for nobody understood it; I did not expect them to. Then this thought came to me. Do I really love Pranita. Is it really love, or is it just a fleeting infatuation. I then realised that I don’t like the word love to begin with. I thought I would wait a few days to see if the feeling abates. I tried to remain as occupied as possible and not think about her. Much to my dismay, my feelings for her only intensified.

I sat down and started drafting my love letter. It took me two hours, and I was proud of what I had written and the choice of words. I folded the letter carefully, and put it in my pocket. I decided to hand it to her the following day. The next day, my father dropped me to school. It was August 14, 2012. It was Tuesday. Strangely, I wasn’t nervous. I was feeling unusually confident. The bell rang, and it was time for the morning assembly. After the assembly, everybody headed to their respective classes. Pranita was, as usual, sitting in the last bench, and I was, as usual, sitting in the first bench. I turned my head back several times to look at Pranita, the girl, to whom, I was to hand my first love letter. Before I realised it, the first two periods were over, and it was break time.

My eyes scanned the hallway where students from my class spent the break time. As soon as I saw her, I started walking toward her. She noticed me approaching and said, “What’s up freak?”

I said, “Pranita I have something for you.”

She said, “What could you possibly give me?”

I said, “A love letter.”

Almost everybody in the class heard me utter the words love letter, and all heads turned to me and Pranita. My eyes caught Poshan, who had this expression that clearly said ‘Nabin, you are the biggest fool’. Pranita’s expression had changed, too. I could make out from her face that she wasn’t enjoying the attention. She grabbed me by my collar and pulled me to the corner.

“What was that? Why do you always have to ruin things for me?  A love letter, seriously? Come on, Nabin, grow up, and leave me alone,” she said curtly.

“So you won’t take my letter then?” I said helplessly.

“Give it to me! I hope this is your first and last stunt,” she said.

I handed her the letter. The rest of the day went by. Teachers came, taught and left. And then I don’t remember anything after that.

What I do remember is that that was the last time I saw Pranita, Poshan, my school and my family. Every day I wake up in this weird place filled with people wearing white robes. These people force feed me pills. These people don’t look normal to me. Ever night, these white-robes wearing people strap me to a bed. I wake up the next day, and everything repeats again.

Published: 20-01-2019 08:11

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