Poppies

a writing by Koyel Mitra

Bitter memories of my first love flood my mind 'til today.

I met Aman at my coaching class when I was about the age of seventeen. His craggy face with chiselled features, handsome figure and an attractive personality instantly hooked my attention and I fell in love with him at the very first sight.

He was a sincere student and a boy of few words. I always had to devise ways to entice him. I started adorning my eyes with liner and his amorous looks told me that it had worked.

I first talked to him at the bus stand, where we would catch our buses and head off home. He appeared to be amiable and a good-natured guy. Slowly hope was kindled in me and I was doggedly attempting what seemed impossible at first.

I started calling him and he received my calls with warmth and friendliness. Though he called me only three or four times in the span of a year and it was I who used to call him more, I did not lose my determination of making him mine.

We talked about studies and he used to admire my aptitude for it in a most enthusiastic manner. I was compelled to believe by his masked courtesy that he too was beginning to love me.

Unexpectedly, one day, he asked me for a date on my birthday as my gift. We went to a park where poppies bloomed and unfurled their beauty with their showy, crimson flowers. He sat so close to me that I could smell his musky scent of cloves and baby oil and feel his warm body pressing against mine. He then covered my eyes with his masculine hands and dropped something in my hand. I saw a beautiful card with a lovely, red rose printed on it when I opened my eyes. Written on it was these words, "Wishing you with love, Happy Birthday". I was so delighted to be swaddled by his love.

That day, I was convinced - he was in love with me too . Flames of passion had set both our hearts ablaze.

My calls became more frequent and though he returned them once in a while, it did not deter me from making them. My conviction had a strong hold on me.

The time for my board exams had approached. Plaintive notes struck my heart as I had realized that I would miss seeing him often at my coaching classes unless he invited me for dates. He became very serious as exams were knocking at the doors. He had wished me "Best of Luck" in his call before the commencement of my exams. It had filled me with lots of happiness. Little did I know , it would be his last call to me.

The day came when my exams were over. I was thrilled about calling him and excited about the idea that perhaps he would again ask me to go out. With my heart beating at a fast pace, I dialled his number. The grave tone of his voice came as the first shock.

However, I asked him, "How are you? Hope you did well in your exams."

He replied in a gruff voice , "I am very busy now, about to go to a place. I will call you later."

He never called me back.

When I realized his betrayal, tears began to roll down my eyes. I sadly went to the park , we had gone on our first date and sat there quietly. I wanted to be alone. The nimbus clouds overhead portended a doom and the ambience was morose. Only the red poppies were a sole testimony to my love. I cried my heart out and the torrential downpour that followed accompanied my tears flowing uncontrollably.



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