We don’t exchange love letters anymore, we don’t pen down our thoughts and seal them with a stamp. We type our feelings, we seal our feelings with a smiley and we wait by our laptops for a ping on Facebook, a tag on Instagram and a swipe on Tinder.
This is modern love.
There isn’t a meet cute, instead there are random friend requests that turn into much more. Everyone of us has had a cyberspace friend, someone we haven’t interacted with enough in real time but we know everything about them in the virtual world. But how many of those friends turn into your support system?
1. Swiping right to my destiny!
It’s been a year and a half since I swiped right. Yes, after much deliberation I had finally signed myself up on a dating app. I like every other girl was extremely skeptical about the kind of guys on it, the ones who only want to hook up, the ones who’s send you unsuspecting nudes and the ones who want to introduce you to their mother.
I knew the pool had to be better in Wales, where I had shifted for a degree, but there was still some lingering dread. My friends had pushed me enough for me to believe that I had to start dating again. Well, his name was George, far into the conversation I realized he was as nice, as nice gets. We decided to meet for lunch. Lunch turned into a movie, the movie progressed to dinner and before I knew it, it was midnight and he was heading back home.
I waved at him goodbye but I knew this wasn’t the last time.
We climbed mountains, spoke about poetry, argued about constellations and completely avoided the topic of my ex-boyfriend. Everyday he’d get me an orchid, and to be honest I hated orchids, but I never said anything on the first date, so I knew it was too late when he bought a vase of orchids to the house we both called home 6 months into the relationship.
I won’t say it was a dream, I had a hard time adjusting to him, he had a difficult time getting to know me, a girl from across the world, but it was a fairytale. One day I walked into our apartment and saw a scarf that didn’t belong to me, I didn’t even wait for an explanation, I knew this was happening all over again.
He, like my ex was cheating on me. I stormed out of the house and checked into a hotel.
He called me several times, probably wondering where I am. I avoided every call and called Maa instead, I told her everything and she fell silent. What she said next made me realize what I had become.
‘George brought me and your dad home to ask our permission to marry you, he was going to propose tonight’.
My past was still haunting me, but I was haunting my future.
2. Wallflowers wither too
His name is something I try to forget every single time. But it used to flash so often in my Facebook messages that It’s etched in my memory. It’s been 2 years since I completely cut any contact with him, but I can’t seem to cut the memories out of my mind.
He handed me a glass of Beer at a house party and introduced himself, knowing our mutual friends, I let him slide beside me on the sofa. Both of us were wallflowers, so we merged into obliviousness, except to each other. We didn’t speak much, just a few comments, a couple of smiles and it was time to leave.
The very same night, he added me on Facebook, I had butterflies in my stomach, it had been a long time since I’d got any attention and it felt good.
‘Hi, what’s up?’ slowly tuned into, ‘Where have you been, I’ve been waiting to talk to you’ eventually to, ‘I think I’m in love with you’.
He asked me out over Facebook that should have been sign enough, but I was a naive 16-year-old, all I wanted was a boyfriend who’d call me ‘Baby’ to put up pictures with. The irony of my life was that, he thought on similar lines. The only difference was I wanted pictures of us holding hands and he wanted a video of us making out.
Which he eventually got, without my knowledge, without any indication, until one day he threatened me. He had to pay back some friends and he wanted me to give him Rs 6000. I stole from my parents and shut him up, but that tape still exists and there is nothing stopping him from leaking it all over the internet.
The first time I felt connected to someone, the first time I kissed a boy and the first time I felt what I then described as love but now know was affection.
All of it was just worth Rs 6000 for this man.
Today is the day he had asked me out 2 years ago and today was also the day I said ‘I Love You’, to someone for the first time in my life. Sadly I’m going to remember this day for the rest of my life.
3. Spidey Boy and Ninja Girl
I distinctly remember sitting in a classroom and day dreaming. That’s like talking about every student all over the world. I’d daydream about going back and talking to Ninjagirl. Yup that was her username, no other identity, just that. I couldn’t wait to sign into Yahoo Messenger and talk about everything Superhero.
Though we had one very big difference, she was a Batman fan and I was partial to Spiderman. That’s not all we spoke about, she became my confidant during my parents divorce, she became a reason for me to go home. Hours, days, months passed and our chat history became longer than the Constitution of India! She came to meet me at my cricket tournament, that day was the only day I carried the whole team on my shoulders, just so I could see the pride with which she cheered.
I played 9 tournaments in the next 5 years and she came for everyone of them, standing in the front row, with a banner that read, ‘He’s my boyfriend!’.
I thought it was adorable.
I couldn’t wait any longer. After one of my matches, I stood centre stadium, got down on one knee and held up a banner that read ‘Ninjagirl, will you marry me?’.
She ran towards me and hugged me but I didn’t see a smile. We headed into the changing room and I knew soemthing big was coming. She broke my heart.
She said she couldn’t get married at such a young age and she was moving to Canada for a job.
It’s been 3 years that I’ve been trying to forget about her, but I can’t stop myself from scanning the front row, hoping she’ll appear. Suddenly a banner caught my attention, it read, ‘Yes, Spideyboy is my future husband, if he’ll still have me’.
Spideyboy already knows the answer to that.
No matter how you meet someone, feelings still remain the same.