It’s human to make mistakes. The wise learn from their mistakes and the foolish repeat it. But then there are people like me who do learn but still repeat the same mistake. Yes, we are a rare breed and this is my story.
In the fag end of my schooling, I used to be a very notorious guy. An interaction with the opposite wasn’t a taboo. Neither was I a ‘Have a Girlfriend or End of World’ type. I had never given gender a place in my thought process to choose a friend. Soon this was about to change
My best friend was, of course, a girl and we were made for each other kind. Back then, made for each other meant asking for notes or sharing lunch and other such activities. As we grew up a list of other activities such as sharing secrets, gossiping was included. She was less of a nerd and more than an average student whereas I proudly was the topper of my class. But, she was for obvious reasons a more sought after person than me. She was one of the best dancers in her times in school if not the best. Most guys tried to woo her but they all had failed miserably. I never participated in this nuisance rather I enjoyed it all. It gave me a superior feeling. Least Did I know, this was all about to change.
We were now in class X and willfully single. One of my friends named Vikas changed his section due to lack of space in the other classroom and joined our section. Vikas was more of a childhood acquaintance to me. I am not sure I liked him or not but it was fun talking to him. He was one of those guys who would crack a joke on almost every situation. Everything he did resulted in some kind of a joke. He had made very good friends with me and my “best friend” (Let’s call her that for the time being), until once we were having the customary gossiping session.
“He is interesting na…” she said. I gave her a curious look with one of my eyebrows pointing upwards. “Who”, I asked. “Vikas, he has a very jovial nature na… I kind of like …..”. The rest was inaudible to me as the school assembly hooter went off. I was very disturbed that day. “Did she say she liked him….Naah, I would have misunderstood. She might have said something else”. My mind cluttered with these thoughts was still trying to pray harder than other days. “Oh god, listen to my prayers. Please don’t let what I am thinking to be the truth”. I had to wait for the assembly to end. And then there were four long periods to go before I could meet her during recess. The English period felt like ages. Mathematics was spent standing outside the class for incorrectly answering a Pythagoras theorem question… my first punishment in school. History and Geography were a little shorter as she had smiled looking at me before the period.
Finally, the recess bell rang. I rushed to her but Vikas beat me to it. I wished that Vikas would have a cricket match or something today but it wasn’t to be so. The entire recess was spent listening to the lame jokes cracked by him. How could she find him interesting and funny? These were the same jokes which I laughed at once which seemed so irritating now.” What the hell…why is he not leaving her and look at her, why is she so interested in his puny jokes. Is she bored of me? Is she in love…? No, I should clear my mind of these thoughts” I shook my head as if the thoughts were earthworms clinging to my brain and would go off if I shook it. The recess ended and so did the day. The thoughts had not yet left my mind. I cycled back home still preoccupied with the same thoughts. On a normal day I would eat as soon as I reached home, but today I had lost my appetite. I somehow swallowed one chapatti on being forced by my mom. I had a very different and difficult to describe feeling in my gut. I did not play; no homework, tried sleeping, but even sleep eluded me. I piled myself up with all available pillows but the light still seemed to irritate me. Somehow I slept that night. The next morning was important. I had to clarify some stuff tomorrow. I woke up earlier than I had ever done before and reached school waiting there for her.
She like other days came on time. She greeted me with a smile to which I returned a sterner look. I was determined to get my answers. “So you were saying something yesterday?” I enquired.
“About what?” she gave me a puzzled look.
“About Vikas”, my voice was still stern. “About Vikas what…?” she replied. I was so glad that she had forgotten what she had said. It might not have been important at all. I was just thinking too much, it was nothing after all. My happiness was just about to ooze out when she said,” Oh yesterday, yeah I remember…I was saying that he is funny and I like his jokes. He is a good guy, a friend one must have”. I was terror struck. What did she mean by that last sentence? He is a ‘Must’ for her, I am a ‘Maybe’. Is this the end? Did I lose without even fighting? Will I let her go so easily? How can I? After all, she is mine. Who is he…some random joker? How can she prefer him over me? In a flash, a thousand questions had sprung up in my mind. It was the panic situation and I needed a plan.
All my resolve and my patience and other such qualities which I thought I possessed had given up on me. “She likes Vikas now; soon she will start loving him. Then what about me? Wait a minute do I love her. Wait did I ever like her in the first place. I do like her. She is so cute and charming. Where were all these feelings up till now and why are they cropping up now? Oh, she is adorable. She is the one. How could I let her go with someone like Vikas? Moreover, I am more intelligent and smarter. Yes, I will have to do something. If not for myself then definitely for her. I have been with her forever. I should be the only one in her life. “My childish mind had now matured to become a lover. I don’t know what it was competition, jealousy, pride or something else but that one moment made me realize that she was the most important thing to me.” Screw boards, screw IITs she is the one”- I had made up my mind.
Over the next few days, my attitude towards her changed a lot. I was being a lot more possessive. All my actions were now aimed at impressing her. I even bought the cheap joke books that Vikas borrowed his jokes from. Forget Mathematics and English, I was taking joke lessons. The effort seemed to have not worked. I never possessed the funny bone. In normal circumstances that would have hardly mattered. But the situation at hand was extreme and all my efforts were in vain. I only managed to make her like Vikas’ joke even more due to my bad timing and pathetic comic sense. I had to take extreme measures. By hook or by crook Vikas had to make an exit from her life. It was time for phase two of my plan.