By Jibran Ahmed. Edited by TEC.
I knew that I would hate it. The choice that I made of studying Biology and Mathematics together. After a serious and negotiated discussion (which was more of an argument) with my parents, I chose to sail on two boats together, keeping one leg on each of them. It was funny, back then, when everyone claimed to be open-minded and to have an open view to every problem still, I chose to follow the same type of vintage thinking that Science is the most elite subject, rest all are just time pass. And I say this, not because I was studying it but, because (to my surprise), the whole class was full of students, who never looked happy at all.
I luckily had few classmates from 10th standard in my class including my first mate Shiv, Zeenat and Rachita. In our first class, we had a usual interaction, names and stuff. It didn’t matter to me, listening to all those names because I knew we could never be friends and it was not their fault but, it was me who was weird. I only had two good friends and two best friends. Being jolly and funny, I guess, wasn’t enough to make friends. I lacked something. Something important and simple, ‘Interest’. Given my life, I knew no place is permanent. I was a nomad. I just stayed and moved. No looking back. So, I decided to make minimum interaction. But there were these awesome people from whom I couldn’t stay away and they are my ‘permanents’.
I was busy with all these thoughts going in my mind and then, I heard a name, for the first time, Mahum. Mahum, that meant moonlight. Forgetting all the thoughts. I started looking at her. I had seen her before, as the fact of knowing everyone was concerned, I knew pretty much everyone. But, this one. She was in a URDU section in 10th standard and that was where I had seen her. What surprised me more was that I had never ever seen anyone like her, before. Her eyes were the perfect combination of deep brown sea and Surma lining. Her voice was pretty and soft. She spoke very softly and sometimes used gestures to explain herself. She wore a scarf and had an elegant aura.
I knew exactly, what to do next! Tell about this to two of the most important people in my life. Aiko, my only good female friend, way more than just a friend, my everything. Shiv, my homey and first mate. For long I didn’t know, how to live along with this strange emotion.
As days passed, I and Mahum became friends. I learned that she wasn’t just pretty from outside but, her soul was that of an angel. She could just never hurt anyone. She could never ask herself twice before helping someone. She made sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Everyone could see it, except me. I guess I wasn’t ready to accept.
She, whose name meant moonlight, to whom, I, a skinny, a bit funny and a shy boy with braces could never love. It was more important for me to first start loving myself then, someone else.
I knew ‘we’ could never be possible. So, I just continued to be ‘me’ and quietly, loved her as ‘she’ was.
Aiko was my escape. I used to tell her everything and she used to listen to me, patiently, that made me feel better. Shiv always scolded me for not telling MAHUM about my feelings. I used to say that I will her tomorrow but, ‘tomorrow’ never came.
But, one day, I decided to choose between the two things. Either live my life like this, forever or to speak up. I chose to speak up but, I guess, life had some other plans for me.
While all this time, I heard that another boy, Rahil also liked Mahum. I never thought about it, further than that. But, to my bad luck, he too decided to speak up.
Rahil used to play basketball with me. He wasn’t so good at it. He was a golden stubble. He had a fair complexion and a happy and nice person. He was my good friend.
One day, it so happened, that both of us, unknowingly, decided to express our emotions on the same day.
I was going towards her bus and I saw him coming back from there happy and jumping. I asked him what happened? And he said, “She said YES…”
And that was the last time that I went towards that bus. It’s funny, how my decision to speak up always changes in a fraction of seconds.
I was still not over this event and time flown with its own pace.
After eight months, I met Mahrukh. We had seen each other many times but, never talked. All we did was, smiled at each other.
She was just opposite of Mahum still, was similar to her. She was loud, confident and a girl, who could melt the hardest rock with her smile. Her eyes could speak to your heart and you could never even know when did you fall for her! She didn’t wear a scarf and her hair were like the waves of the ocean. Every time our eyes met, I had the biggest smile on my face and I don’t know how but, even used to have that. I said a million things with just one smile, of course, unheard by her.
It wasn’t late until I was devastated to know where this was going.
I told this to Aiko about this but, what she could do except consoling me. She hugged me and said,
“Jibran you are a very different person. I am sure, you will get over all this. And don’t worry I am always with you.”
These words did make me feel better but till how long!
Mahum, agreeing for the Rahil’s proposal, didn’t mean that I stopped liking her. But, every time, when Mahrukh gave me a smile, I felt something inside that made me feel more than just ‘me’.
I decided to face it. I was in love with two different people, at the same time. Same as the situation always, sailing on two different boats together, I always wanted to run away from.
Allah heard me. That day, I received my report card and a transfer certificate. We were moving again to a new place, to a new house and most importantly, to new people.
Nothing else mattered to me, now, except Aiko and Shiv. So, I said a final goodbye to them and decided to keep the memories in treasure forever.
What I didn’t plan was the war between being ‘me’ and ‘something not me’, all over again.
Three years had passed, I felt like I just woke up from a long dream.
One morning, I received a message from Mahum. I responded, nicely. We continued talking for a couple of months.
I don’t know why but, every message of Mahum reminded me of Mahrukh. And one day, I couldn’t take it anymore. I believed that whatever happens is for our good and so I decided to text Mahrukh, finally. I did that because I already made up my mind that I am something more than that just what I was!
She replied nicely and time flew again. After five months, one fine morning, I decided to tell her about my feelings. This was not new for her. I wasn’t the first one for her but, I was not also the first one to whom, she said no.
I remember crying in the loo for 1 hour. I lived my life avoiding regrets and here was one, I had to live all my life but, that day one thing was clear. I could never take the love choice, again. That day, I, finally, changed into what I am today but, one thing that did not change was that emotion of falling in love with two people at the same time.
Now, when I look back, I realize that it’s not wrong to fall in love with many people or things at a time. After all, Love is just a choice. It can never be a feeling. Feelings change but, as we all know that love never changes.