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Thread: Love story
Growing up in an extended family and a big house in Dubai, I was taught and told the basics of a boy-girl relationship by my Uncles and Aunts and my elder brothers (cousins) and elder sisters. It was made clear to me that everyone expected me to marry where they wanted me to and keeping this in mind, I always kept a clean heart and a sharp head. I studied in a co-ed school and even though I knew many girls and was friends with them, I remembered what I had been told and never let my mind deceive me or think otherwise about any one of the girls I knew. Besides, I wasn't remotely interested in them. Yes, they were great friends and we used to go shopping, to watch movies, have lunch or dinner whenever we felt like it, yet I treated them all the same and not one of them struck a chord with me. I was so firm in my belief that I would have to get married where ever my parents arranged that I learned to accept it and I was quite happy with it.
Most of my waking hours I have spent with my school group which consisted both of girls and boys. We used to bunk school together, go to picnics and even have sleep overs. This is what happened from grade 9 through to my O levels.
Many of my friends left when I started A levels (in the same school) and I started feeling lonely. There was a greater majority of boys continuing studies and I missed the girls - but I missed them as friends and nothing else.
I remember it like it was yesterday; it was the 3rd day after the school had opened and my A levels had started that I noticed a girl walk right in front of me. I was standing outside the class, waiting for the teacher when I saw her. And to put it MILDLY, I was dumb-struck. I had never seen a girl like her. She was not flashy, nor was she outstanding. She had a scarf on and was hurrying towards the point where the girls bunched up (waiting for the class). Her attire was attention seeking in the LEAST. She had loose clothes on and she walked with her head down (in front of all the boys). I didn't know what had happened to me at that time, but I realized suddenly that I had been still for more than 15 mins. The bell had rung, my friends had gone inside, the teacher had arrived and I was still looking at the spot from where she had walked away.
At first, I played this as a joke in my head, but as the day progressed and I found out that she was in all the classes I had taken, I found that I was becoming happier and happier. It was such a joy to share the same classes with her! I would be able to look at her once again and if I was lucky maybe talk to her... wait! What was I thinking? She's just another girl, I told myself. Don't fool yourself. Or hurt yourself. With that though, I spent the rest of the day content.
The net day I was early to school and I decided to unload all my things on my desk in class - when I walked in I saw the same girl. This time her head was bowed down and she was reciting the Quran. It was the FIRST time I had ever heard such a melodious voice. She realized that I was in the room and staring at her. I must have looked like a complete idiot staring at her because she quickly closed the Quran, kissed it and left in a hurry. That was the point I knew something was wrong with me and it had to do with the girl. I didn't know I was in love yet.
Days passed and the more I spent time with her, even though it was as silly as being in the same class, the happier I felt. In my eyes, she kept passing in front of me, like the first day or reciting the Quran like the second. She turned out to be a brilliant student and whenever she got an answer right, a sense of pride filled me. But why was I proud? And for whom? I thought I caught others looking at her and my heart filled with rage and I wanted nothing more than to poke out their eyes and cause them immeasurable pain and suffering. But who was I to feel this way?
All the things that used to happen in the movies and I used to laugh at happened to me - I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I was a brilliant student, yet I found even the simplest questions hard. I became quieter and more lost in my thoughts day after day.
It was Physics which finally gave me the blessing of my life. Since my name started with 'S', I was included in the batch she was in. And that was the first time I was finally able to be in front of her. Earlier, I used to sit at the FAR end of class in shame - shame of what? Shame that she would see me and think something bad about me or my appearance? These silly thoughts had engulfed my mind like nothing else and I was on the brink of complete insanity.
The first lab together was a disaster. Even though she was 10 rows away and towards my BACKSIDE, I thought in my mind that she might look at me. I sat up straight and tried to do my task in a very professional way. Just in case she saw me - just in case! Wishful thinking.
As more labs passed, instead of becoming comfortable around her, I became more nervous. I would break things and my hands would shake when I tried to wire something together. I had seen her face just TWICE and I wouldn't DARE to after that. I would try and quickly finish my assignment and go out of the lab, embarrassed and a part of me would want to work through it slowly, so that I would get to spend more time with her. But was I spending time with her? NO! I was just in the same room and BARELY together! She was in one corner and I was in one!
The first time I talked to her is a scene I still laugh at. Apparently, since I had been in the same school (since KG!) for the past 13 years, some of the girls she talked to told her about my good (yes, they were good and I keep them good for my parents - just to make them proud) grades and advised her (she had been asking everyone for some past papers) that if anyone would have past papers it would be me.
She came up to me and said: 'As-Salam alikum. Aap ka naam ------ hay na? Aap nay paas yeh papers houn gay?'
And I replied: 'Papers shapers tou hotay he hain, jala kay phaink dayna caheay darakhtoun ko phir unsay coal milay ga'.
And as soon as I realized what I had just blurted out in my nervousness, I actually ran away.
I was so embarrassed after that that I even requested my group to be changed. I could never face her again! How would she like me now? I was a complete idiot. And I asked myself - why would she even like me?
Each and every nerve of mine, every FIBRE prayed that I got another chance to talk to her. I actually spent the nights praying; I just wanted to talk to her again.
And I did. Once again, she asked me if I had the paper because she had an urgent need. And this time my reply was nothing but my phone number! I didn't even say ANYTHING else!
She laughed and they way she did it made my heart skip a beat. The way her eyes curled up, they way her lips parted into that wonderful smile and they way her eyes looked at me, twinkling and shinning and the way I told myself at that moment - I want to spend my LIFE with her - was the moment I realized that I had fallen in love.
Oh joy! Everything had become so WONDERFUL! So FANTASTIC! I just wanted to shout out to everyone that I was in love! I wanted to grab innocent people on the street, shake them and tell them about this reality. I had never felt this good in my entire life!
And my happiness lasted just 2 days.
It was then that I started thinking about how I was going to tell her. How was I going to show her that I loved her? How would I even mention it? And how would she ever like me? Like ME? She could have ANY boy she wanted, that's how wonderful she was! She wasn't just beautiful in a way only I could see but she was perfect. I became sure that no one would ever love her more than I could. When I realized this I cried - what if I couldn't have her? Would I want to lose such a perfect person? Would I sacrifice all my happiness just to KNOW her and be friends? She had to be in my life in any form. And I decided that's what I would have to expect.
The papers were sent through e-mail and soon, thanks were exchanged and studies were discussed. After months, we started talking on MSN, finally. Yet I had admitted to myself and agreed on it that I would never be able to be what I wanted to be in her life. I tried to convince myself that friendship with such a wonderful person was enough, but I knew it in my heart that it wouldn't be. It would kill me. I started waking up at nights, praying that Allah make some space for me in her heart. Just a little. We became friends - good friends. I carried a sense of pride with me that I was the ONLY boy she talked to in the class and the only boy she had ever talked to till now, except some of her cousins and it filled me with joy. It is true. I was the luckiest boy in the world.
Months turned to a year and soon we finished the first year of A levels. I had gotten two A's and my family couldn't have been prouder - yet I wasn't happy at all. I would never see that wonderful face again in my life.
I was planning to leave for London when JUST at the end of the holidays and JUST before the admission, she told me that she was going to do another year. Like a fool in love and without hesitation, I canceled all my application and persuaded my family to let me do another A levels. I just wanted to spend ONE more year of my life with her. If not one more year, one month, one week, one hour, one minute - one SECOND. That's how much I loved her.
The second year was as uneventful as the first. I had a special feeling for her in my heart and too afraid that she would be offended and refuse to be my friend anymore, that I would lose her in my life and never EVER get to speak with her again, I was never able to tell her that feeling. I realized that she brought out the best in me. I was myself around her and I didn't have to pretend to be anyone else. I told her everything about my life, even the shortest details, like where I usually bought clothes. I knew it didn't matter but it gave me comfort, just being with her.
In all this time, I never ever looked at her eye to eye, never spent time alone with her, never thought about her in my mind in a negative way and respected her as I couldn't and can not respect anybody in my life. It was love and it was true love. When I thought about her I didn't think about us holding hands or being romantic, I thought about a house, kids, a family car, everyone sitting together at dinner, us making decisions about our future together and taking care of our kids together.... I can not begin to tell you how much I love her and there are no words to describe it.
As another year was coming to an end, I realized that this was the moment when I would never ever be able to be with her. We had spent 2 and a half years together as friends and I had fallen in love with her since day THREE. I had hidden my feelings for her, my love all this time, JUST because I was afraid that I would lose her. People say that it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, but that girl was my life. I decided if I couldn't tell her, I would stay alone and never EVER be with anyone else. Because I know I can't.
And finally something happened. I had prayed the night before and I had prayed for her future, for her success and for a happy life for her and I had slept after Fajr. And I saw a dream. And in that dream we were together. We were a family! This gave me new hope and I deemed it as a sign from Allah. If not from Him, was it just my imagination playing tricks.
It took me 1 month and 10 days to finally decided that I should tell her. And on the day of our LAST exam of the second year, after coming home, I did.
It was 11 o clock that night and I had been waiting online for her the whole day. Everyone I knew was out celebrating the end of A levels, but this was life and death. She came online and I talked to her and I asked her about her exams and future plans (even though I knew them by heart). I was too nervous to say it and I admitted it.
We talked for one hour and suddenly she told me that she had to go and sleep. She was leaving for Pakistan to continue her studies in Medicine.
I told her to wait for a bit and I left for the washroom and I cried. I cried for more than a hour yet when I came back she was STILL there waiting and asked me if everything was ok. I knew she cared for me and I thought about how wonderful life would be with her and I typed those three words that I meant every word of.
I love you.
And I went offline at that instant. I didn't sleep that night and my mind kept playing tricks on me that she was now angry and never wanted to see my face again. In the early hours next day, I got a message from her which said that she wasn't able to sleep and she wanted to talk to me.
I came online once again with a heavy heart, expecting her to tell me off or tell me that she was offended but all she asked me was this: Where would this lead to?
And I told her everything that I had hidden in my heart for more than 2 years - I didn't want to go watch a movie with her, I didn't want to take her on a long drive, I didn't want to 'hang out' with her, I didn't want to talk endlessly on the phone, I didn't want to send cheesy e-mails or messages - instead, I wanted to work hard to give her a better future. I wanted to study more than I had ever studied to make her life as easy as pie. I didn't want her to lift a finger to ask for anything; I wanted to give it to her before that. I wanted to take care of her when she was sick, I wanted to cook for her when she was tried, I wanted to be in all her happy and sad moments. I wanted to share them with her and I wanted to support her and provide her with whatever she wanted. I wanted to love her and spend my life with her, as a married couple.
And what did she say? She called me and she started crying and she said, ----- I love you too!
We have been together ever since. Its been almost 3 years since that day now, a total of 5 and I still love her more than my own life. She is with me everywhere, in everything I do. Even as I write this, she is sitting besides me telling me which parts are to be edited and laughing at the funny ones. She is physically in Pakistan but she is always in my heart and my mind.
In this time, I have fought with my family, I have convinced my grandparents and my parents, I have stood up for her and I have fought to the point where they have now visited her family and are happy with her. We are set to be engaged when I complete my studies and Inshallah married when she completes hers.
It's been a rollercoaster. I do not talk a lot to her now, because of our families' restrictions, but she is in my heart and she knows that I love her, just as she loves me. It is a very lucky day when I get to spend some time with her, even though I speak with her family (and she mine) regularly. Gifts are exchanged and the families now meet regularly in Dubai. We have never fought, we have never help hands, we haven't even looked eye to eye yet, still my love for her is more than any other person's. And that's a challenge.
And if she is reading this, ------ jiss tarah uss din aap say kaha tha, usse tarah aaj bhe, main aap say buhut pyaar karta houn.
I owe my life, my partner to be, to the All Mighty, Allah, the Most Gracious, for listening to my prayers. I kept a clean and pure heart and I got my heart's desire.
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