My neighbours used to find it weird and hysterical whenever they got to hear about my new adventure in those filthy jail cells.
Yes,my adventerous and (almost) everyday journeys which used to begin right from the places,I would get myself handcuffed by none other than two big-fat, grumpy cops and ended at my strangely favourite place- A Jail Cell.
So, here I was again inside of this small room, in my now torn up black t-shirt and worn-out blue jeans, surrounded by these blocks in just plain gray: the perfect surroundings to leave one’s mind blank or insane.
I’d been laying against this wall for at least an hour now.
On my left was the other end of the cell. The wall hovered over me like a tall, omnious castle. Small blocks protruded from beneath the thick, smooth paint and stared at me. A long, thin ray of light replicated the thin, long, dirty piece of glass that was probably trying to mimic a window.
The air I smelled had a stale, indifferent scent. It smelled like air that has simply been there too long: no sweet perfume seducing, no aroma of food lingering, no washing detergent, shampoo, dirty mats, nothing. The air smelled like old nothing,yet soothing. I still had no idea why I liked being there. Maybe the loneliness I faced at home was more haunting than the darkness of a cell.
Everytime I went there,I found kind of solace. Strange right? Very.
But everyday or night, whenever I was brought here, I was kept all alone. Alone from all the other prisoners or captives but this night, I found another prisoner- a girl of my age, sitting at one of the corners of the cell.
I took in her appearance. She had dark, curly hair, which cascaded over her shoulders. The red highlights matched quite nicely with her maroon sweater. Her arms were folded over her belly and they appeared more pale than usual. Her knees were bent, shooting upward like two cliffs and her baggy blue jeans covered the backs of her brown leather shoes.
“What did you do?”- I started, in an attempt to make a conversation with her.
“What?” She looked towards me,startled.
“What did you do..” I repeated again. “to end up in here?”
“I was involved in a case of robbery. I was the leader.”- She answered, somewhat proud of what she had done to reach there and continued her staring-into-the-darkness contest.
“And you?”- she asked after a long pause between us.
“Shop-lifting.”- I replied calmly and looked directly into her eyes.
In a good span of five minutes,we were doing everything which includes laughing,talking and well,talking.
I had never appreciated someone’s presence this much in my life, like I did then.
She had a very musical laugh,and it seemed as if I was being pulled towards her.
We stopped laughing and talking after a while. Then I smiled and put my hand infront of her, in an attempt to do that hand-shake thing.
“Valentina. Call me Val.”- She said,while taking my hand in hers. I felt this sudden electric shock in the insides of me, several butterflies erupted and swarmed in my stomach. My mind began summer saulting. In all, I was greatly affected by her touch.
Our talking session got interrupted when a strict looking officer called her name, for her bond has been already filled. Since she was a ‘first timer’ and I was definetely not, so she was bailed earlier than me. And now she was officially free.
My exterior showed her that I was happy while I knew inside that I was literally dying to be with her.
I didn’t know if I was upset over the fact that she was leaving before me or over the truth that she was leaving me all alone there.
Soon after saying her good-byes to me, she was gone and as sad it sounded, I was left all alone there.
From the small conversation we had before, I knew for sure, something had changed in me. With every passing minute my hope of seeing her again was increasing badly.
I knew, she was going to visit me soon in some cell as a prisoner because she liked stealing and the atmosphere there.; atleast this was what she told me during our conversation.
So I did, what I thought was best for me. I waited.
The days I spent there in prison cell, I did nothing more than the so-called ‘waiting’ for her to return for once.
But she never did.
My hope of seeing her again was now shattered. I was somewhat broken. I knew all the time I’d spent thinking about her made my mind struck with a sudden realization- I had feelings for her. Strong feelings.
Nothing could be done now to get back to her, or atleast rewind it all.
Two or so days later, my best-friend- Sarah, who was well aware of my liking towards the jail-atmosphere, bailed me out. This was the first time, when I was happy about my freedom.
Maybe because, somewhere, I had this hope of meeting her again. Only if I knew I was wrong.
After my return from the prison, I found myself changed. I was more desperate and restless. My friends were trying hard to talk to me, but I was ignoring them.
A week later, Sarah came to visit me in my flat.
The look she gave me while entering my room, was no doubt meant only one thing- She was suspicious. And who wouldn’t be?
My flat was a whole mess, the clothes were lying everywhere but in the almirah.
Trashed beer cans and remains of eaten pizzas were scattered all over the drawing room. So,ofcourse she had to had that look in her eyes; for I was not at all like this before my last visit to the jail.
I also knew that no matter what, my bestfriend was not at all good in accepting something which was not at all similar to her, without any good reason.
So, I sighed helplessly and spilled everything from the start to the end.
She looked at me wide-eyed, like it was not at all normal for me to have such feelings for a girl, I barely knew or met in a jail cell. Ok. Maybe Not!
Another thing was that she was not aware of my liking towards girls. So I didn’t know if she would take this normally or not.
I was expecting a long lecture from her, but what I got was something really unexpected.
“Oh.My.God! Ella has a crush!”
So that was it. A beginning of her non-stop rambling and interrogating sessions.
But in the end, we both knew my ‘crush’ would be crushed nonetheless. My conscience believed it.
“Hey,you’ll find her soon, El!”- She used to say, but I knew somewhere that it was all for my sake. She knew the truth.
Days passed and I never got to see her again. Not a single glimpse of her.
Slowly I was coming back on the track and over her too. But her face was something hard to forget.
Months passed and I found nothing about her.
One fine day,while strolling around,my eyes rested upon a face, I had been longing to see before. There she was, dressed in a short crop-top and high-waisted shorts, looking perfect as she looked before. Though this time, her beauty was something from a higher level.
She hadn’t seen me yet, instead was in a real haste as she was literally running to reach somewhere important. I decided to go behind her, so that I could introduce myself again to her in correct time.
Her stop was at a fancy looking cafe,but why? I thought.
Soon,I came to know why? She was here to meet someone.
There was this extremely good looking guy, seated on a chair, waiting for her.
My heart dropped and my heart-beats quickened, but somehow I stopped myself from assuming something bad.
‘Maybe her brother’- Though his features were not at all similar to hers in anyway,ubut I consoled myself regardless to anything.
I was still standing at the door when Valentina reached the table he was sitting at.
‘Maybe her friend’- I thought again. when she hugged him tightly than someone would ever hug their friend, I doubted.
In a hope of getting everything sorted out, I took a seat behind their table. So that they couldn’t see me, but I could.
They were sitting closer to each-other, holding hands and doing everything a normal couple would do together.
‘Hey. She hasn’t said an ‘I love you’ yet. How could you say she loves him?’- My conscience tried to make me believe in her lies.
“Oh! I love you too.”- She said those three words, with a long emphasis on the ‘too’ which carried an extremely cute accent, words which I had been longing to hear from her but alas..!
My crush was crushed right there, when the reality of her being in love with someone hit me hard.
My heart was broken, and my insides were crying in acute pain.
Everything was over now. Seemed as if that was all a dream in which I was living so far, but now it was all shattered and I was harshly thrown back to reality.
I stood up silently from my seat and ran away from there; away from my now-ex crush’s life.
It took me almost a year to overcome the big loss of my life. But this loss definitely changed me. I, now, was no longer a thief. Long gone were the likings of mine, including of me liking the atmosphere of the jails. Outer world was more fresher and nicer.
When I’d lost Valentina,I thought it was a big loss. But then again, with every loss came a double gain.
No matter how hard it felt to forget Valentina, I forgot her finally. Because with time, I found someone worth living for.
My love of life-Sarah, yes, the same Sarah who got excited when I told her about my feelings towards Val.
The same Sarah who never did react against my attraction towards the girls. That was because, she was same as me.
So that was it. I found my love as my best-friend.
Life was good now,I tell you.
My first and last crush was officially over and long forgotten now.
It was one month now, when we came into a relationship. So we decided to celebrate it like every normal couple would do.
Sarah and I decided to go to a cafe which she thought served the best coffee and snacks.
When we reached the cafe, I found out that this was the same cafe where I had found out about Valentina’s affair. This succeeded in bringing a tinge of pain inside of me. After all, first crush was the first crush.
When we entered the cafe, I saw something which I thought I wouldn’t get to witness ever.
We found Val there, all smiling and looking as gorgeous as before, but this time with a ‘girl’ and that same boy she was with before, sitting all together. I got shivers as I saw her again.
My whole world came falling down to earth from the cloud I had been living on, when I saw the hand of the other girl on Val’s thigh. No doubt, now I was confused.
That hand should be of that guy, right? Why was he sitting away from Val, while the girl was little too close to Val..?!
She could touch her anywhere she wanted to, as they were sitting on the same V.I.P. side, where we had booked our place. There were no chairs there but instead big sofas were lined one after other, so that the couples could get cozy with each other. But I was confused about her now. If she was here in this private side of the cafe,then shouldn’t she be here with the guy only? Why with that ‘new’ girl?
There was only one way to get my answers. I ended up heading to their table, where they were sitting, and laughing together. I felt a sudden pang of remorse when I saw that girl’s hand on Val’s thigh.
For their attention, I coughed a little and that was when Val saw me. She smiled and stood up to greet me.
“Oh Hi Elle. Long time? How are you?”- She asked.
I smiled back and replied- “Oh I am very fine. Yes, I didn’t get to meet you before.”
She giggled adorably.
“Oh yes. We never got to meet after that jail meet. So what are you doing here?”
She asked, looking curious all of sudden. Or maybe I thought so.
“Oh I am here with my girlfriend Sarah. What about you?” I looked at the other girl and that boy curiously while asking her the question, I had wanted to ask since ages. (I felt so).
She smiled and first introduced the boy who was now smiling too.
“Oh he is Robert,my cousin”. She turned to face the girl and took her hand in hers.
“And she is Julia. My love and soon-to-be-wife…”
I zoned out from everything she had said afterwards. All what grabbed my attention was her using the word-‘wife’.
I processed everything slowly. To my extreme bad luck, I found everything connected and well, obvious too.
The incident when I’d lost Val that day was nothing but Val and her cousin sitting and conversing together.
She said that ‘I love you’ to her brother. Crap. Now that was not what I’d expected to be.
“Earth to Elle!!”
Someone interrupted my train of thoughts and I found four pair of curious eyes looking at me. Fourth one belonging to my oh-so-great-girlfriend Sarah. Remorse had returned and I was crushed again.
Now I knew why they say about not to assume things.
“Oh nothing. I just zoned out. Erm..Anyway Bye Val and you guys. I and Sarah need to leave. Enjoy”
I blurted as soon as I could.
Sarah looked at me. She understood my perplexed behavior, she knew I wasn’t feeling well.
“oh yes! We’ve to go.”
Sarah said and grabbed my hand.
“Bye guys. Happy one-month anniversary.”- Val chirped and I looked at her only to regret later.
Only if I had not assumed that time, She would be mine and I would be the one sitting near her and holding her hand.
Only if I hadn’t assumed.
Oh wait, Sarah is still in my life.