The golden rays of sun shone in the mountains. They hadn’t made to the lower slopes and valleys yet. The slopes wore a spectacular look bathed in the morning light beneath the beams of rays charging towards the far mountains. It was an extraordinarily serene and beautiful morning. Birds could be heard chirping in the nearby bush above the boys’ hostel.
Doendup was enjoying the scene alone leaning forward on the railings of the verandah. What a beautiful morning it is! I love it, he thought. He never found it an easy task to get up early especially in winter. He would be in the bed like a dead man his whole body covered in thick blanket. However, last night he made a promise to get up early the next morning because it would be new day as he will go to school in the eleventh standard.
He was an average looking boy: short in stature, hair always trimmed neat and tidy, and he always seemed contemplating seriously on something. Had it not been for his uncomfortable more-than-average-size nose standing in the middle of his face, he might have looked much better. Girls might not have been attracted to him easily by his looks but if there were any who easily got touched by words, then they would have definitely fallen on him so fast. He had an extraordinary passion for poetry and it seemed poems flowed from him naturally. He would write very beautiful stories too.
“Come on Doendup. What are you doing?” called Tashi.
“Oh! Okay, move on. I was getting absorbed into the beauty of today’s morning,” he said and smiled a rather contemplative smile.
“Are you going for a poem? You got plenty of time man. Do it later,” said Tashi in a teasing manner as he walked on.
“Who knows? Okay, fine. Later then…” Dendup smiled as he followed Tashi to the school.
As it was the first day in the class, there was some uneasiness among the students as many didn’t know each other. They were talking in groups comprising of the ones who were familiar. Days passed on and with time they began to know each other. The class resounded more and more as more communication became possible with increasing network of friends.
One day Doendup told Tashi, “Oye Tashi, I saw a girl. She is really beautiful, man.”
“Wow! Really? So, you mean you have a crush on her?” Tashi giggled.
“Not really as of now but yeah, I think I am beginning to.” He laughed too. But Doendup never disclosed anyone who the girl was. Anytime and anywhere, he would try to steal her looks. If he could see her face, then it was a big achievement for him. The girl seemed not to be aware of him. He would think about her day and night. If he watched a romantic movie, he would be the hero there with his heroine and God knows who she was. If he read a romantic novel, he would be imagining the characters in it to be him and her.
“Doendup, come on man. Tell me you are not gonna stay this way all the time,” Tashi provoked. “You never disclose or go forward and what if some other guys get to her?” he added.
“Hmm…I know, Tashi. But it is not as easy as thought and said dear. It makes me think a lot,” answered Doendup and smiled.
“But what’s the big deal in it? Why do you always keep thinking? God knows what’s wrong with you.” Tashi left the room. He was not happy to see his friend torturing himself thinking about the girl over and again and doing nothing. Doendup asked him what to do but he never listened to what Tashi suggested.
Nobody knew who that girl was but Doendup was always with her, at least in his heart. He would not dare to describe her looks and features lest he might diminish them. He found her simply beautiful and amazing. He liked everything about her. He found her incredibly attractive.
He stayed alone most of the time. He completed a number of poems and verses about her that lay piled beside his pillow. As and when he got time, he would go through them and correct them particularly the ones which he felt undermined her, his angel.
Time has this special quality. You find it passing so fast when you are going through good times. You find it moving at a snail’s pace when you are going through bad times. It can’t be said Doendup did have the first kind of experience, but he felt the year passing so fast. It was may be because he was having a romance which kept him engaged though one-sided.
As he kept on gazing at her day in and day out, the girl too began to know that he had an inclination to her. She would act as if she didn’t know anything but in fact she also began to develop a feeling for him. Whenever they crossed their ways, they would walk past like strangers without exchanging a word or even a smile. Their hearts would be beating as if they had been running for miles. Other friends would call his name and tease, “Ahem, ahem, Doendup, Doendup…where are you going? Tashi is calling you. Where is your friend?” He would be blushed and veins became visible on his forehead. He would be literally sweating.
They couldn’t make up their minds to confess their feelings to each other and the year came to an end. “This is it. See, I told you, you should tell her last time only,” said Tashi as they were packing their things to depart for home.
“No problem, Tashi. Believe me, next year surely.”
“Okay fine then but hope she doesn’t comes with me next year,” Tashi joked.
Doendup managed an unwilling answer, “I will be happy if she does that also. After all she will be with my friend.”
Everyone was happy to be back after a vacation that lasted about two months. As always, Tashi was the first to talk to Doendup. “Hello man. How are you? I missed you a lot.”
“Hi, hi, I am fine. How have you been? Yeah, I too missed you. Hope everything’s been fine with you,” responded Doendup.
“Yeah, I was fine too. So, hope you are decided now. What are you planning?” asked Tashi and smiled.
“Hope so. Let’s see in next few days,” said Doendup and stretched into a wide smile with a look of insecurity. As he retired to his bed that night, Doendup couldn’t sleep. He turned on his sides. It may be too late if I don’t say I love her soon, he thought. He got up and started to write a letter.
“What are you doing? Sleep man, it is very late.” Tashi saw he was up.
“Nothing man. I am writing a short poem. I will sleep in a moment.” And he wrote thus,
I think there is no need of introduction after staying together for quite long. I have a feeling that you pretty well know how much I love you. I would like to hear an answer from you. I don’t want to write more as I wouldn’t know when and how to stop. Over the past months and days, I have been spending a lot of time writing so many things on you. I am attaching the best piece I wrote about you. You may kindly go through it:
From dawn until dusk,
an effort to see you,
for a sight of you smiling,
and to hear you talking
never makes me tired.
As time moves on and on,
I like you more and more.
A day never passes
without thinking of you.
All nights do I like
for you come to me always.
Every night, I sleep with a prayer;
every day begins with a wish
to dream and see you.
They day may never come
when you would say yes,
but I shall always dream,
pray and wish forever.
Thank you, Suman, for your time. Looking forward to your reply!
Tashi did his task unfailingly and delivered the letter to Suman. Doendup thanked him heartily for his support and help. Doendup couldn’t foresee a time when his waiting would be over. Suman seemed not concerned at all. She said nothing.
Tashi would ask her, “Come on Suman. Give me an answer. He wants to hear from you, please.”
She would either smile or keep silent. She didn’t give an answer.
“Forget it, Tashi. See I told you, no? Let me think. But it’s fine. What can we do?” said Doendup.
“I see but don’t worry man. She seems embarrassed to give an answer. I know she also likes you.”
Doendup was ready to keep on waiting but it was unfortunate that he was running out of time. The annual examinations were finally done. It was the last of the days at school. He was very sad that he was going without an answer for his love. My goodness! Why can’t she just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? I would be content to hear any of the two though not happy, he thought. He may never see her after that as they were leaving the school permanently. He packed his belongings and was sitting on his rolled mattress sulking.
Tashi came and handed him a folded paper and stood there. Doendup opened it and wished it was the answer finally. Hurrah! Yeah, it was and it read:
I know very well how bad you have been feeling with my failure to answer you. And more than that for the fact that I say “I Love you too” today only. You may feel it a total nonsense. Today is the last day and in a few hours we will be gone… Do believe me. I loved you from the first moment and I still do. I am extremely sorry for making you wait for so long. I am sorry if I hurt you. Never mind dear, love is worth it after all, right?
You may want to know why I made you wait this long and I am glad to tell it to you. I couldn’t believe you easily when you said you had a crush on me. Now I know that you surely did and still do.
Do not have a feeling that my reply is late. Love doesn’t stop with distance. It can happen across distance, over time and ultimately bring two hearts together. I promise you this will happen to us in the near future. You are the kind of person I want in my life. Don’t drink and be as you have been till now. Thank you for your love. I wish you a safe journey and take care. Let us remain committed! I Love You.
“Thank you, Tashi for everything you did. I would miss you. Safe journey. Good Bye,” said an emotional Doendup. He had a tough time holding back his tears. Was he happy because he finally got the reply or else was he sad that it came so late? He picked up his beddings and walked out of the hostel. His dad was waiting outside for him. The sun was already down.