I was fourteen when I got my first boyfriend, Aarav. He was my classmate. It was his lanky body and charming smile that I fell for. The way his silky hair waved in the air when he ran, I just loved it. Gosh! I wish I could capture that moment forever. In that tender age, I thought that I had found the love of my life. I still remember that one hot summer day.

Both of us were alone on the school bus. It was still five minutes to go for the final bell. He was brushing my hair with his long fingers. I was lost in his eyes. I cannot even recollect what happened in that magical moment that we began to kiss. I liked it at first, but only for a nanosecond. My heart was pumping faster than ever. And then suddenly, I withdrew; not because the students had rushed in the bus or I was coy. But I stopped because I got an inner calling. It was not self-conscious, it was a self-realisation, and I had realised I was not into guys. I was not gay!

After my tenth boards, my parents moved to a new place. Curious about the new place and anxious about my sexuality, I began to take walks after dinner. After a few walks, I had synced my timings with that of a girl. She was eighteen, perhaps older.

One day, she did not come. I waited for her sitting on the bench, telling myself that she is late and she will come. And just when I was about to lose my hope, she came and sat next to me. We exchanged a glance, for the first time in these days. And out of nowhere, her fingers were brushing my hair. I knew it as a sign for only one thing. And I did it. I kissed her. This time it was different. Adrenaline and testosterone confirmed me my sexuality.

Later that week, I even lost my virginity to her. It was after the coitus I finally asked her name. “Renu,” she replied.

After a few weeks, she was late once again; or so I thought. I kept waiting, I thought she would come and we would kiss again, but she did not come. I waited for her every night for an hour on that bench, but she never showed up, until one night. But she was not alone. If that was not bad enough for me, she ignored me, totally. But that was not the only thing that went unnoticed. I also had ignored someone, someone who had been regularly coming to the walks. I had to move on and I did.

But it did not fulfil the void in my heart. I moved on again yet again. In search of solace, I shifted from one girl to other, nothing could soothe me. I had become so heartless that at one point I was two-timing with two sisters. Both of them had no idea they were sharing me. Did I feel bad about them? Maybe I did, maybe I did not. Anyway, I made them clear that it was an open relationship. In fact, I had told this to every girl after Renu.

Many wanted it to be more than an open relationship. They wanted me to come out of my strange room and breathe under the open sky. But I chose to hide under my bed!

And now, when I have eventually found my soulmate in Pranjali, everything seems to have ceased. I have reached a stage where everything is paused. The earth is not moving, traffic is still and seasons are not changing. And then she asked, “How many girls have you been with?”

The question spun the earth so fast that I was surrounded by moons of my own vomit. All the cars in the traffic seemed to be coming towards me to crush me.

‘Should I tell her the real number? Do I even know the real number? What will she think of me? Am I a slut?’ I thought.

“You know what? Leave it; I do not want your past. I want your future,” Pranjali said and everything ceased once again, but the two of us.

 

 

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