She thought he was obnoxious. He thought she had loads of attitude for nothing.
She thought he was ill-mannered. He thought she was stuck-up.
This was not how it was or should have been…. This was what it was a week after they met at college.
Him with his thick-almost-opaque glasses, unruly bushy hair, ungainly gait, he had come running to her that first day, when she was with her dad at the bank opening her account. She was taken aback for a minute when he had bounded towards her like a big shaggy dog.
She with her dad, wearing a salwar-kameez, clumsily balancing the various pieces of paper that were hell-bent on slipping from her hands. Diffident, keeping a stony face, not exhibiting any kind of outward emotion, praying that the 2 years here better be good or else…
They shook hands, got introduced to each other and parted ways until they met in class the next day.
Next day was no better. They spoke minimum and in the course of a few minutes he was the only one talking and she was pretending to listen, her mind elsewhere… they drifted apart in a few days and he found new interests and so did she. New friends, different gangs, varied interests, girl-friends and boy-friends…. They hated each other in college. Could not stand the sight of each other. Hated each others’ guts. Tried to put each other down at every given opportunity. And in every sense, proved to everybody that they were the worst enemies.
Days passed. They were thrown together at regular intervals during the course of studies – assignments, programmes, classes, presentations, a lot not unlike the rest of the batch. They still hated each other. They could not wait for the assignments and the class work to get over so that they could get back to hating each other… being subtly sarcastic about everything the other did. Sounds like the beginning of a love story??? Not quite!!!
Classes got over, placements began. To their dismay they were placed in the same company. Same place. Same company. Staying together along with a bunch of other friends. Not quite the idea each had in mind for the freedom they craved, the independence they sought. Life did not get any better.
They broke up with their respective boyfriend/girlfriend, moved on in life… and still never quite managing to like each other.
He still hated her attitude or the lack of one as he called it. She thought he had just grown worse with time. Verbal lashings, slamming of doors, irritating obnoxious behavior, calling each other all sorts of names … all of this continued.
But now somewhere along the way, things changed a bit. She got to know more about him and so did he. They still did not change their opinion about each other. But now talking to each other got real easy. Things unsaid they understood within a jiffy. He still hated her way of life and she his.
He thought she was rigid and unbending. She thought he was careless and sloppy.
Maybe the fact that they belonged to the same sun sign, maybe the fact that they were not actually interested in each other from that point of view but at least it helped that they could freely talk about anything that they wanted regardless of what the other thought. They just did not care about that!
A year has passed since they have been thrust together in being cordial and friendly and somehow it’s not as bad as one thinks it would be.
He still thinks that she should get a life and enjoy it more often than restricting herself. But he also admires the fact that she chooses to do what she wants to keep herself happy irrespective of societal constraints.
She still thinks that he is a shoddy intolerable freak who does not care about anyone else other than himself. But she also likes the fact that she can speak to him openly and he would not be judgmental.
You cannot term them best friends, or even good friends. But friends they are….
Do they care for each other?? Maybe not in the way that they do for the ones they love.
Do they like each other?? Of course they do… but in a purely platonic way….
But friends they are…
Not one to turn in strife or to cry together over split milk… that too… but more than that to talk to each other not bothered about what the other one thinks… no strings attached… no rules in place…. Because they simply do not care…!!!
Are they friends forever?? Only time will tell…