I met him on the 3rd of March 2016. I distinctly remember, as it was my birthday the very next week. We were having a band perform at our college fest, and there he was, as charming and handsome as ever. I looked at him and smiled, and he smiled back. Everything felt very organic and natural. Minutes into the concert, I could notice him peek through the crowd, (to which he confessed later). Any other day, I would have been creeped out, by such a behavior, but this time it was different. Something just felt right.
As the music started playing, I kept expecting him to walk up to me, but to no luck. Song after song passed and the band announced their last song and still, there were no signs of any kind of initiation from him.
I tried to have a last look at him, thinking that I may never see him again as our college campus was huge. I wanted to find him amongst the crowd, to my left, to my right, I searched everywhere while lipsyncing the last song half-heartedly.
I felt a tap on my soldier, and there he was, in a T-shirt dripping with sweat, messy hair and a face that had turned as red as my lipstick. “Yes?” I asked, trying to control the butterflies in my stomach from flying through my mouth and nose. “Can I dance with you?”, he asked me hardly making any kind of eye contact.
Now, I am a huge film buff, and I love watching films. However, I always made fun of romantic sequences where violins would start playing, the breeze would start blowing, whenever the 2 love prospects met. I never really understood the whole “La La Land” premise until it happened to me.
We were dancing, gently moving alongside each other. The band had signed off, and the music had stopped.
I still tell everybody that I could still listen to some music, long after the group stopped but no one to this day believes me. The band performing was a local band and played Hindi songs throughout the night. But, I swear I could listen to Eric Clapton singing with his jazzy guitar riffs. Which is as far as the sun from the earth.
I remember it was a windy day, and I was wearing heels. Wearing heels had damaged my heels, and I could feel every step that I took. Being the gentlemen that he was he offered me to take off my heels and hold them in his hands.
The distance between the ground our hostels was a walk of about 10 minutes but barely felt like a minute that day. He waved to me goodbye as I started walking towards my hotel smiling, blushing and imaging myself with him in the serene Switzerland valleys. I looked back at him one last time to wave him goodbye, and I could see him smiling and looking at me. I smiled and started walking towards my hostel again.
I was ecstatic, but something just felt like it was missing. I reached the gate of my hotel, and at that moment it hit me. I had only realized what was missing, “My shoes”.
Amidst my transportation to my wonderland, I totally forgot to take my heels back. I looked back again, hoping that he would still be there, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Now, he must be very handsome, charming and whatnot and we have been together for the last 4 years, but if he had lost my heels that day, things might have turned out very differently.
I started searching for him on Facebook, Instagram and whatnot, but could not find any traces of him. I started getting worried and asked my entire hostel if anyone knew him at all but to no luck. Soon word had spread that he was just a shoe thief who had an eye for my beloved shoes.
An hour passed by and my phone pinged. I was hoping with all my heart for it to be him, and it was. I was thrilled, and the message read something every girl wants to hear after the first date – “I have your shoes”.
I was on cloud nine; I felt like the prince just found Cinderella. Its incredible how in 3 hours he had me listen to Eric Clapton, made me feel like Cinderella, made me dance on imaginary songs with a hanger. That was precisely the moment that I knew that he was the one.
God bless Mark Zuckerburg. I could have lost both my shoes if not for him.
We chatted through the night, and I remember going to bed at 5:00 am, thinking about what just happened. I had never felt the same way about anyone. We promised to meet at a very famous college spot in the evening under the pretext of “returning my shoes.”
I woke up late that day, still trying to digest what just happened last night. It was not as if I had become a millionaire overnight or travelled the world, but I felt euphoric.
I spent an hour taking a bath and another to choose what to wear. My mind was at a constant war between overdressing and underdressing. There are a lot of problems women face in their life and deciding upon the fine line of underdressing and overdressing remains to be in the top 10 of these problems.
Never the less, I got dressed and headed out to “take my shoes back”. On my way, I realized how dumb I was to leave them back and how I could walk for about 200 meters barefoot. Then it hit me that he had also forgotten he was holding my shoes for the additional 200 meters. My mind started making up situations, and I wondered what a dumb couple we’d be if ever we would be.
I reached the spot and could see him waiting, holding my shoes the exact same way as yesterday, it seemed that he was just standing there since yesterday. I remember walking up to him like the shy girl I am, looking around, not acknowledging his existence at all.
“Hi Preety”, he shouted, and I panicked. I was about 10 metres from him, and he said Hi? I had no clue how to reply to him from that very awkward distance of 10 metres.
I waved my hand to acknowledge his greeting, and that is by far the most awkward wave I had done. Never the less, I walked up to him and expressed my gratitude to him for being a gentleman the last night. I went on to take my shoes from his hand to which he said, “Can I hold them a little longer? So we can take a stroll around?
The entire meeting was very surreal as I had already picturized him, asking me out in 100 different ways. I said “Yes, why not?”, trying to keep my face as straight and expressionless as possible. I was smiling inside, I had been in this situation before but had never experienced a feeling like this.
I could feel my dopamine levels increase, and I felt much more beautiful and confident than before. His very presence transformed into a better version of myself. We shared our interests, laughed, joked, and it felt like I had known him for years.
And since that day, we never looked back.
Today, our relationship is 4 years strong. There is not one thing that I want to change about him, well, except for the fact that he is super messy, wears different socks in each foot and is super careless.
The last 4 years have been super amazing, we have travelled together, cried together and laughed together and lived life together. Today he is an indispensable part of my life and the very thought of him not being with me makes me anxious.
Both of us love to sing and listen to music. During times that I do not feel at my best, he sings John Mayor to me. He cheers me up and picks me up during times that I feel low. Sure, we have our honeymoon periods, sunny periods. Still, just like any other relationship, this relationship has also seen its share of lows. And one of the amazing things about human psychology is that our mind tends to hold on to these lows a little longer than the highs. I do not remember every good thing that we have done for each other, but I remember almost every fight that we have had as clear as day. Amidst all these fights and lows, one must remember that True Love stories do not have endings.
Today, we have been living together for the past 7 months, and every day feels like a new day and a new page in our book of relationship. Over the years, the amount of passion, love, care and respect we have for each other remains the same. I still go to sleep smiling, knowing that I will wake up with him the next day, except for the days that I am pissed and he has to sleep on the sofa or the floor, depending upon his mood. Despite all our misunderstandings and quarrels, he is my best friend and everything that I had ever hoped for.