They often say that you find your soulmate in college; for some, that isn't true, and for others that person becomes your life-long partner.
I went to a small high-school, primarily Asian, specifically Indian. I graduated with 49 kids and I had the same friends from 7thgrade to senior year. Most of us, to this day, are still best friends. Annoyingly so, everyone had a fling with each other at some point, or caught feelings and/or got their heart broken. Since our school was so small, break-ups made headlines around the school, even enough that teachers and parents were aware of the news.
Our friend group consisted of four guys and five girls. Today, two of my friends, have been together for six years, and will-fingers crossed- will be walking down the aisle together soon. One of my best friends is not part of our group anymore after he surprised us all with his actions. Another, is still his quiet yet quirky self. One of my girlfriends found love with a high school familiar face after she graduated high school and moved to New York; they're still going strong. And then there's me and him.
For years, people teased us, and both of us knew we had undeniable chemistry that was always off the charts. But we fell in love with other people, gave our hearts to many that didn't treat us right. And every time we would come running to one another, for comfort, support, and laughter to get through all our bad breakups. We were best friends, almost inseparable.
Senior year came around and we were both very single. I was battling a toxic ex and he was healing from a bad breakup. And I remember we were at a friend's place for his birthday, and we were all in the pool. He came up from behind me, grabbed my waist, and pushed me ever-so-gently. My head popped up from underneath the water, but I wasn't mad. In fact, his hands slipped around my waist sent shockwaves up my spine, but I disregarded it so quickly. Hours later we were all sitting on the couch watching a horror movie, and his hand slipped into mine; we spent the entire movie underneath the blanket, hands locked, fingers intertwined. His hand would trace my inner thigh, but so preciously, that it felt safe. We never talked about it. Neither of us ever spoke about it.
Months later, it was senior prom. He asked me, as "friends", of course. We matched perfectly-black and red-and took memorable pictures, that I laugh at even today. During our last slow dance, our faces got so close, and our noses nuzzled each other; I was convinced we were going to kiss. And thankfully, we didn't, we saved our first kiss, for a year later.
Freshmen year went by and we grew apart. I was visibly upset, as I missed my best friend, but he always felt like we went straight back to our usual rhythm the few occasions we did run into each other.
Sophomore year, September, is when things became much more serious. Him and his friends had come down to visit and mind you, we hadn't spoken in months. Yet, we spent the entire night in a realm of laughter and comfort by each other's sides. I was cradled on his shoulder as the night passed, and I was certain we would kiss. Much to both our dismay, we didn't.
But that one night, sent us both into a whirlwind of emotions and nostalgia. We missed each other, our presence in one another's lives. So, we spent hours at a time, talking, catching up, texting. And somewhere through all of it, both of us let our guards down, and decided that there was something between us. And that is how him and I began dating, finally.
It's been two years since then, and sadly we aren't together anymore. The reasons and details are unimportant, as I remain confused, and I know he is too. But I can whole-heartedly tell you, that he was it for me. My best friend had become the love of my life. The way we complemented each other's personalities and brought out the weirdest and softest sides in one another, was something I wish everyone experiences. We enabled one another to be crazy, but we stood by one another, as our strongest cheerleaders. I wanted to marry him; I wanted to marry my best friend, because that household would have been the best thing to wake up to every morning. I wanted him to be the father of my children, because knowing that half of my best friend was in the little beast we would have made, still brings a smile to my face.
Yet, the question that always remained, was how a Hindu girl would marry a Muslim boy, an act that would go against both our parent's wishes, beliefs, and culture. And I promise you, religion aside, if you met my boy for the way he is, there is no household who wouldn't want him to be their son-in-law. His mom, a wonderful, poised individual with immense charm, kindness, and intellect, groomed him to be the man a father wants his daughter to end up with. And no, I do not say this because of the softness of my heart, I say this because I had the opportunity to be taught what it meant to be loved purely and honestly, only because of him.
I remember sitting in class getting a flurry of texts from him, after we had just had a heated debate regarding religion, culture, values; we weren't arguing, we were simply exchanging our opinions. And you know that moment, where you just know, you know that he's the one, or she's the one. This moment was mine.
In Hindu culture, we often grace the feet of our elders, as a sign of respect. We bow our heads down while lightly placing our fingertips on the tops of their feet, asking for their blessings. This act is done, to a mother, father, grandparent, any elder individual that we seek our blessings from. I remember so vividly him promising me, that despite our differences in religion, and once we had settled down, he would touch the feet of my parents as a sign of respect for me, my culture, and my parents. He vowed to learn with our kids, my values, my scripture, the holidays I celebrated, because he wanted to know and embrace my spirituality and honor. And in that moment, I knew, he was the one.
I remember since then I have prayed not only for him, but for his family, every single day of my life. I asked that even if it wasn't me that was written for his future endeavors I pray that he remain safe, successful, and blessed always. I remember him sleeping in my arms, my fingers running through his hair, and I will never forget how hard I squeezed my eyes close, tears pouring out of my eyes, wishing that this beautiful boy is never brought any harm or sorrow.
I join my palms together thanking his mum for raising him to be a respectful man, amongst the accusations against men that shower the world. He of course, would pull my leg, mess around, but never once did I feel unsafe, disrespected, or uncomfortable. In fact, he did quite the opposite. He made me feel like home; he was my home.
And now I sit alone, waiting for him to realize, I too am his home, just like he is mine.
I love you always and forever.