Some love stories gets knitted into your whole life and marks the entire history of one’s being. And yet you never recognize it even existed until it hits you suddenly. Today is one such day in my life.
I am a 30 year old guy, sitting at my wedding reception with a beautiful girl and I just cannot stop thinking about my very first love. Let me tell you, I am not the one to use the “L” word lightly. I have always hesitated away from this word, deeming it to be non-existential thing. Life has proved me otherwise; twice. This is about the very first time.About someone who came into my life at an age where love was not a complicated word. Where I- love- you and I- love- ice- cream, had same depth of feelings. I remember hanging around with her all the time, sharing my toys, my cookies. I liked her smile. I think I told her that couple of times and she just laughed. I am pretty sure she liked me too. She would always save the best piece of cake for me and bring my favorite toys to play along. I did not know I loved her. It felt just nice to hang around her. I remember how her eyes used to twinkle with that innocent smile. We used to hold hands all the time; A very awkward confession at this current stage of life. I don’t remember saying” I love you” explicitly but she did mentioned later, that I used to say that to her a lot.
I grew little older and we became best friends. We would do all sorts of things together. I remember getting jealous when she used to play with others. But she would always pick me over others. My dad used to say “You two are just inseparable”. I should have known that she loved me. But like all the good things in life, I never recognized her. The brute teenage phase of life came and things just fell apart. I can’t say whose fault was it. I guess it was the age itself. We wanted different things. She silently stepped back from my life while I got engrossed in other things. We stayed in touch after I moved away for college. But it was not like earlier. I missed her less. We would still see each other over holidays or just call occasionally, but I think I had moved on from my part. I got my dream job, she congratulated me and then we talked even lesser, met even lesser. I did not think she missed me too. She was busy in her hectic life. Somewhere in the corner of my heart I had this guilt, but I got over it really quickly. You see, love was non existential for me.
Then I met another girl, and fell in love. For first time I said it out loud. Can you imagine it? I said it to someone whom I had met three years back and never to the one who was always around me. She was still happy for me and came to my wedding. But now as I look at her sitting at my wedding reception, sharing my wedding cake with some other man, I feel uncomfortable. I don’t feel infuriated because that would be unfair. She was not infuriated when I left her or lost touch with her. She did not tried to push her way into my life but instead just moved on with her life. Then why do I feel this sudden need to tell her that I loved her. It was an impulse with which I got up and walked towards her. I looked at her and she smiled at me. Her eyes still filled with that twinkling magic .I fumbled for words. How do you say something like that at a time like this .But before I could say anything she raised the piece of cake towards me.
“I saved you the best dear” Her face glowed with her smile. I took that piece of cake and finally said
“I love you mom”