“What’s that one thing you regret the most?”, she asks.
“You want me to be honest about that?”, I reply, mocking her.
“That is up to you.”, she replies.
“Alright, so let me put it this way. I have a lot of regrets in life. I believe it is imperative that we have regrets, you know.”, I say.
She keeps looking at me, so I continue, “Because, regrets prove that we tried doing something, you know, something which was probably out of our league. Also, no regret can be classified as big or small, it all depends on how badly we want a particular thing at the given point of time.”
She takes a sip from her coffee cup, and says, “Well, that’s an interesting way to look at it. But you still haven’t answered my question.”
“You really are stubborn, aren’t you?”, I ask.
“You already know that pretty well.”, she winks.
“Right. Ok, so my ‘biggest’ regret, so to say, is a conversation which I had with someone, well, someone who I thought was very special back then. I shared a few things, a few incidents from my past and stuff, which I probably shouldn’t have. There is this feeling, you know, ‘That person didn’t deserve to know me like that’, that’s my biggest regret.”, I reply and take a sip from my cup.
She keeps looking at me and takes another sip, expecting me to continue.
It wasn’t an interview, nor was it a date. We were just friends, really good ones at that, and we were having a conversation. We knew each other for a few years and understood each other really well. But, that day, that particular conversation was, well, how do I put it, it was different. Different than most of the other conversations we had on a regular basis. I was afraid it was turning out similar to the conversation I just told her was my ‘biggest’ regret.
I don’t know why, but I suddenly become very conscious and sad whenever my ‘past’ is being discussed in any conversation. I still haven’t figured out the reason behind it. I guess maybe it’s because not all of them are good memories, or maybe it’s just that I am not mature enough yet to let certain things ‘go’. My mood literally changes in an instant. At times, I might be smiling a second ago and I get anxious the next second. But what I do know, is that ultimately, it is about people. I have this tendency of trying to hold on to someone even after they show a clear indication that they are no longer interested in being around. There is a very solid reason behind it. I mean, is it really that simple to just let go of someone who has been around for so long that you naturally assume them to stick around forever? Is it really that simple to ‘switch’ between people? Is it really that simple to ‘un-meet’ someone? I mean, that is the exact same person who knows everything about you, the exact same person who was there when you needed them the most, and you were there for them, too! It works both ways, you see!
Well, if that is indeed the case, then I have to admit that I haven’t gotten around to learning that art. Not even close.
I take another sip, thinking of whether to continue with the conversation or not. I was getting that ‘nervous’ feeling again. But, at the same time, I liked how I wasn’t sad this time. That feeling was there, but the intensity was much lesser. So, I decided to let the conversation continue. I wanted to see where it leads.
I say, “What now? What else do you want to know?”
“How was she like?”, she asks, in a tone so genuine that I cannot refuse.
I keep quiet for a long time, pretending to drink my coffee. I was also assuming that she wasn’t jealous of her. Then, after finally making up my mind, I reply, “Have you ever met someone who makes your heart beats faster? You know, when they are around, everything feels a little more jovial, a little more special. That’s exactly how she was.”
“And is that how you describe love?”, she asks, without blinking an eye.
“Well, that’s the best I have felt ever, so yeah, I think that’s about it. That’s as special as it gets.”
“Want to hear my version of it?”
“For me, love is being with someone with who makes you calm, you know, and not hyper-excited. You should be able to share both your joys and sorrows, equally. It is about being at peace, with everything. You should not go nuts and lose your mind if there is a fight, or if they don’t keep their promise. You should not be afraid to be in that relationship, that ‘fear’ of something going wrong should not be there. That should be the kind of understanding between the two people in the relationship. That’s what I think love is.”, she says, and then, there is absolute silence, the kind which is surprisingly soothing, as if you have all the happiness in the world.
I hate to break it, but then, one thing I have learned is that if you want to confess or complement something or someone, you need to do it then and there, because you won’t get another opportunity, ever!
So, I confess, “Wow. That’s, well, I don’t even know how to put it. That’s a first time I have heard someone describe love in this way. And, for some strange reason, it makes perfect sense.”
“It sure does.”
And with that, it is time for us to leave.
Another day well spent.