Fiction Park

Monika and her hug

- Robert Koirala , Kathmandu

Jun 2, 2019-

“Why don’t you ask me, Anirodal?” I said.

Anirodal pretended not to hear. He took his hands off my shoulder and turned around. The smile on his face was gone, and he suddenly became silent and just kept staring at the table lamp. The only sound that filled the room was our breathing. I could see in his eyes that he didn’t want to answer the question. After a long period of silence, he, very casually, replied, “What do you want me to ask you?”

At that moment, he started to look like my mistake. Had I not requested him to help me in thermodynamics class, had I not accepted his proposal to have ice-cream with him after classes, and had I not hung out with him often, I would not have noticed his alluring smile. I would not have let his skinny palms hold my hands. I would not have fallen in love with him. I would not have felt too secured to start making love with him every week. I presumed he was conscious of my feelings for him. He seemed cognizant of what we were doing. But his reply to my question made me believe that all he had was lust for my body.

“Why don’t you ask me to be your girlfriend, Anirodal? Why not? Do you not have enough courage to accept me as your lover?” I asked him. I had a lot more to ask, but I could not. We both kept staring at the table lamp for a long time. I did not realise that I had started sobbing until tears ran down my cheeks. I expected him to stop me crying, but he did not. I had to go get the tissue papers to draw his attention.

“Are you really crying Monika?” he said as he lifted my chin and made me look at him. I felt ashamed, indignant, guilty, and kept facing downwards. He hugged me for a while. “You know I value you and what we have together. If not, why would I gift you Dairymilk Silk very often? Why would I give you math books when you struggled to understand the math behind physics? Why would I come to visit you in the hospital when you were recovering from a kidney stone surgery? Why would I walk back with you to your home after school every once in a while? But we are just 18, and it is too early for both of us to be in a committed relationship,” he said as he kissed on my forehead.

His answer to my question left me feeling angry and betrayed. I wanted to yell at him but his kiss placated my anger. I was angry at myself for not being able to shout at him and walk away.

“I do have affection towards you. It’s just not the right time for us to be in a relationship. We have to focus on our studies right now, and not get distracted,” he said. He softly rubbed my hands.

I find myself calming down.

“Once we both are done with our studies and have jobs, I will ask your parents for your hand for marriage. But until then, we should focus on our studies and on our careers,” he said.

He seemed like he had a lot to express. But he stopped. As I lay my head on his chest, I could hear his heart beating rapidly.

“I am not asking you to marry me now. I just want to make our relationship official. I think that will make our bond stronger. Even though we see each other every day, I think there’s an emotional boundary that we have set one that is not allowing us to be close. When I ask you where your dad lives and why you quarrel with your sister, you never answer me. There are some aspects of your life that you are not revealing to me. If I was your girlfriend, you would have shared your personal matters and emotions with me. Not being in a committed bond is keeping you away from letting me explore you. And also, I do not feel good whenever you introduce me to your friends merely as your other friend. Some of your friends attempted to flirt with me just because they know that we are not in a relationship,” I said. “I also have a dream to be educated and make you and my family proud. But I just want to make sure that you are just mine and will be mine forever.”

If a guy is not willing to be in a relationship, why should a girl force him? I contemplated for a moment. “If you can’t accept me as your girlfriend, we should stop this,” I said with tears in my eyes.

To my utter dismay, he very quickly replied, “Maybe we should. Monika, I don’t understand why you want to put a label on oue relationship. I never realised that sharing things about my family was important to define our relationship. If you feel uncomfortable, maybe we should stop doing this and focus on our studies.”

The way Anirodal cared for me, and gave me attention had given me the impression that he loved me, and I thought we were both ready to take the relationship to the next stage. I wanted to let the whole world know that we were dating each other. A part of me kept saying, “Why did I even request him to cease everything?” But the other part was enraged with his answer. I thought I was more than somebody he slept with. I unwillingly said, “We should stop.”

He stared at me for a while and said, “I should go now. It is almost 11:30 pm. It’s time for me to go home. My parents might have been calling me. I have switched off my phone.” He kissed me on my forehead and bid me his last goodbye. And he was gone. I hated the fact that a part of me wanted him to stay, even after what had just happened.

I cried a lot that night. I truly thought he was the one. I thought a lot about our times together. I didn’t know when I fell asleep.

I recently completed my 12th grade and decided to go to the UK. I got accepted into University of Cambridge for my undergraduate studies in physics. I partly thank Anirodal today because I would not have studied as I hard as I did if it wasn’t for what happened that night. After that night, I immersed myself in books and focused on getting good grades.

After that night, I severed all my ties with Anirodal.

Today, I am leaving Nepal. Sristika called me last night that she, Raman, Kushal Prayaschit and Hemaka, are coming to see me off at Tribhuvan International Airport. Because my check-in is at 7 pm, we go to the airport at around 5.45 pm. My friends are all waiting for me near the fountain. My eyes wander all around the airport looking for Anirodal, but I could not find him. I ask Kushal if Anirodal is coming, then I suddenly see the same skinny guy I had fallen for running towards me with a garland. My heart fills with joy for a moment, but I was suddenly reminded of that night. Remembering everything, I decided that it’s best not to talk to him. Before leaving, I hug everybody except Anirodal.

“If he could not embrace me as his girlfriend, why should he deserve my hug?”

Published: 02-06-2019 10:57

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