I’ll never forget you!

My player played the saddest songs.. It was like my playlist knew excatly how I felt today..

Gotye sang about his heart being a mess.. Wasn’t mine too? But how? I punched my pillow and let out a heave! We were clear about being together for just a while. How did I let it get twisted? We were not meant to be, I told myself. Tears trickled down my cheek. She warned me in the beginning. She said she wasn’t gonne be there forever,how did I let myself get lost in her charm. Oh yes, she was amazing to be with. “Shania”, I sighed.

Her smile; a million stories to tell,her eyes; treachery and her hair; soft and silky brushed her cheeks. She wasn’t that perfect beauty that media screamed out for women to be, but she was that perfect person from inside. Her heart so pure and raw. She was an angel on the inside and a freakin devil on the outside! I punched my pillow a hundred times,like it was ever going to help!

“Shania!” I cried out loud.

I was sure I was never going to give her my heart, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help but lose myself in her magical spell.

 “She was a schemer, she broke my heart!”, I told myself. 

But she didn’t lead me on. She always told me that she wouldn’t stay forever. I let myself believe that it would last forever. I hated this misery I put myself through, I have to get over her becasue she would never be mine!

That cursed day when she came by…….

It was summer and I was out with friends for a drink. We were down few Vodka shots. I am not much of a drinker, but it was usually boredom that led to drinking. The pub thronged with people; over crowded tables. The youngsters laughing, singing and talking theatrically,the older ones  trying to enjoy their drinks and food but at the same time glaring at  the loud obnoxious kids and we the midlife ones just glugging drinks, having pointless conversations and gorging on all the junk that was on the menu. The music was blarring amongst all the noise in the room and the smoke, the smell of meat and alcohol engulfed the room.

We ordered our usual, pork ribs, fried sausages, fries, barbecued beef wrapped in bacon strips, pulled pork sandwich, huge bowl of fried mixed nuts and oodles of southwest and chipotle dips to go with all the meat.

Yeah I was having a midlife crisis! I was 29 years, single and owned a library in the town. My life was pretty much dull and mundane and proved to be horrifying at times. I did similar things everyday and monotony prolonged through the weekend; the guys, dinners, drinks and night stays. I wasn’t the kind to venture beyond my comfort zone, let alone pick a girl out of a pub, although I pretended to be ‘that’ guy who prefered casual relationships. I liked the impression the guys had, they thought I was committment phobic and enjoyed one night stands. In reality, I was those serious kinds who believed in true love, soul mates, passion and mystery. I have had relationships in the past but they all lacked spark and so I let them slide. I have never felt “true love”, the kind that makes a man go insane or makes him feel elated.

I got out to breathe some fresh air and obviously to smoke. It was drizzling and the breeze was chilly. I took a wiff of the cigarette and blew out a thick smoke. Suddenly through the smoke passed a girl, choking a bit yet smiling. She grabbed the door and let herself in. I took a peak into the window; her hair was wet, a grey tee clinged to her body and her denims fit her right. She tried to dry herself and suddenly turned around to catch my gaze. Busted! 

What was I thinking? She was way too young and here I was checking her out. She winked and smiled before getting lost in the crowd. I laughed nodding my head and continued smoking. Rooney, Allen and Sam joined me and we continued to breathe in more nicotine. Yeah, drinking and nicotine are best friends! One can’t exist without the other I justified.

We went back in and I don’t know why, but I was scanning the room for her. Her pretty smile and the alcohol in my system is probably the reason why. “Looking for someone?” enquired Rooney. I suddenly snapped out of this illusion, “Oh yeah looking to order some beers dude!” I lied. I went up to the counter and ordered couple of beers. Suddenly there was a pat on my shoulder, it was her! Brown eyes, chubby and cheerful. “Looking for me?” she winked. “Aaahhmmmm” I blushed. “Shania!” she held out her hand, “Lester…. I mean Allester” I responded with a handshake. She giggled. “Nice meeting ya Lester! Care for a drink?” she shoved the beer into my hands before I could open my mouth. We said cheers and even before I could take a sip or two she had polished the bottle.

 “Wow!” it slipped out of my mouth. 

She smiled and ordered for more. We got to talking. I infered she was new to town and she was studying Fashion designing at one of the reputed colleges  here. She was barely 21 which made me feel so old. 

It was past 3am and she was pretty drunk, not that I wasn’t,  yet I offered to walk her home. She could barely walk and almost stumbled at every step. She kept mumbling that she’d never trust someone so soon, however she seemed really comfortable with me. Half way through I realized there was no way I was going to get her home and so I asked her if she wanted to crash at my place with my sister. She was barely awake to answer. Reluctantly I carried her upstairs, she looked peaceful with her arms drapped around my neck.  I put her to bed and my sister stood staring at me. She looked really annoyed but I asked her to be nice and promised her that it was just for a night. She looked really mad at me, because this is not something I have ever done.

Next morning I found a note next to my bed,

Thank ya so much for last night. I had so much fun doode. And yeah, I felt like I was at home.. Thank you once again. I made some coffee for ya sister and ya, hope ya enjoy it. Call me if can: 9738500246

Shania xoxo

I didnt know if I had to call or just let it be. I went about my work and had forgotten about her. Surprisingly it was a busy day. My sister ran a cafe inside the library a d that brought in customers. We had few regulars who would order a coffee and pastry and settle down with a book. My sister would constantly wink at me every time a young lady walked in. She repeatedly said it was time I found someone. But haven’t!

Weeks later I went out for a walk. I lit a  cigarette and suddenly someone snatched it from me, “Damn!”, I was going to throw a fist fight, but I heard that familiar giggle. She took a drag and let out smoke on my face,”angry much?” she asked. 

“Hey Sh……” I was caught off guard. “Oh wow! Forgotten my name? Shania! This was for not calling me back” she blew smoke again.

 “Oh stop it!” I barked. 

She looked a little petrified. She handed the cigarette back to me and stood there digging the ground with her shoes with her head hanging on her neck and a cute pout.
I patted her on her head and she made a puppy face. I was laughing. “Don’t ever make that pout”, I warned her with a smile and she continued doing so. 

I looked at her angrily and we laughed. “Groggy”, she named me. 
We started hanging out more often. She was actually an exchange student she said. So I figured she wasn’t going to be here for too long. I felt so much younger and it was weird how well she got along with me. She spoke about art, books, cooking, cars, computers, philosophy and what not. She was just too smart for her age. She followed me every where, texted me and called me often. She was literally chasing after me.

One night she called asking me to come downstairs. I walked down and she was standing there in a bad shape. Pissed drunk and her eyes welled up with kohl dripping. She tried adjusting her hair as soon as she saw me. I stood there looking at her, a little shocked. She threw herself into my arms. 

“I can’t do this, I just can’t…..” she kept repeating it. I brushed her hair with my fingers hoping it would calm her down. Her words trailed off and she passes out. I called out her name a couple of times shaking her, but she seemed fast asleep. 

 I carried her upstairs and laid her on my bed. I sat beside her and watched her pretty face that lit up with the moonlight cutting across the room.

It was around 2am and I suddenly woke up. I was lying beside her and she was hugging me real tight. I tried to pull away, and she mumbled with her eyes closed, “Stay… Don’t go.. Please…”

“But…..” before I could complete the sentence, she covered my mouth with her fingers.

“Sssshhhhhh”, she whispered.

 I knew this was so wrong and it was just not meant to be. But like I said, she had that magnetic pull which I couldn’t fight.

She woke up next morning all chirpy. “Hungover?” I asked. 

“Oh yeah.. But I feel happy”, she said grabbing the cup of coffee from my hands. 

She gulped it down popping a pill. 

“Anti hangover drug..” she winked. 

I stood there smiling. She got up and threw a hug and I don’t know what got into me, I hugged her back and kissed her on her forehead. She looked at me and blushed.

My mind was telling me ‘bloody hell. Don’t.. Just don’t.. Its not the right thing.. She’s way too young and she’ll be leaving soon.. Nooooooo.. Noooo’.

I felt her plant a kiss on my cheek. ‘God damn it!’

Next thing I knew, we were kissing!

She was so passionate and I felt like a total amateur. She pulled away and threw me a quizzical look.

 “Have you kissed anyone before?” her question was a little blunt.

“I have.. I mean. I havent loved anyone so much to…” I wanted to bang my head to the wall. What the hell was I saying? 

She giggled and raised an eyebrow. “Love huh?” she mocked me.

“Oh no no I didn’t mean that….”

She laughed and her eyes looked at me differently.

She put her hands around my neck and lifted herself to wrap her legs around my hip.

 She seductively whispered, “Shhhhhh… Just follow my lead.. ” 

My hands supported her bossoms and we kissed. So deep and so passionate.I could taste traces of vodka in her mouth. It was intoxicating. I couldn’t stop and neither did she. It was just so perfect. Yeah! I had fallen in love with her. So weird yet so beautiful..

We continued to meet often and we talked for hours. Nothing had changed between us, except for kissing every now and then. We were like magnets. So attracted to each other.

She left off for a 3 day trip and it was probably the worst 3 days of my life. But you know how it is. Devil inside me began his workshop and I got lonely and weird thoughts haunted me. ‘Maybe she was just using me until she was here. Maybe I actually don’t love her.. Maybe she isn’t the one.. I have to tell her I am not looking for a serious relationship. I definitely don’t wanna marry her……’ it was like a plague that was going to tarnish me and my life which I just didnt realize.
She was due to come back the next morning. I sat staring at my mobile. I received a text from her…

Bae.. We missed the flight.. Looks like I will be back day after.. Sorry.. Hope you are well. Cya soon.. xoxo..’

I was a little disappointed. I lay on my bed thinking of her.

I didn’t want to reply. But hesitantly replied saying okay..

Next afternoon I received another text from her..

Bae.. Need a huge favour.. Can you go to our usual coffee shop.. I have lost my keys and I called to check. They said they had it. Can you pick it for me please. Sorry to bother ya bae. Xoxo..’

‘Will go right away babe… Will let you know once I pick it up.. Should I pick you up from the airport tomorrow?‘ I replied.

Can you bae? I’d love that.. Only if its okay’ 

‘See you in the morning babe.’ I texted back.
I drove to the coffee shop. Checking my mobile I went upto the man in the counter. Suddenly I noticed a familiar face. My heart sank. She sat there giggling looking at my face!

“Baby!” I exclaimed. 

I slumped on the chair and held her hands. 

“Oh my! You had the cutest expression ever bae.. You looked so damn adorable” she smiled her prettiest smile.

It was probably the best surprise I ever had. I had fallen more in love.

Few days later we had a fight and the devil dawned on me again. I spat words of despise and ended the conversation saying, “Baby I wanna just ask, you ain’t going to ask me to marry you right? This is not those serious relationships right?”

He face crumpled. She always shuts me off when she’s upset. And she shut me off! She got up and left.. She closed the door behind and left…

I hadn’t heard from her for days.. It was just crazy yet again. How stupid could I be. She never mentioned but I know that one question had doomed us.

Weeks later I received a message from her,”I miss you bae”. 

I felt so relieved. I called her and we talked. I apologised genuinely and she forgave me. 

Again, we were back to normal. We went on trips, coffee, movies, dinners, drinks and all the fun. She often cupped my face tenderly and smiled. She’d often watch me asleep for hours or fall asleep in my arms until day. Her moods would swing like a pendulum. Sometimes she’d switch from being really sad to dancing and singing around the house or she’d be smiling and one word could tick her off. She was a piece of work.. And it wasn’t that rosey at all. We alternated living in each other’s house. My sister rarely approved of her around and so I mostly stayed at hers.
As days went by something was amiss. She felt a little distant each day. I blamed it on her erratic mood swings.But it wasn’t so..

 A week later I went to her house to pick her up.. The door was locked. There a was note. My body froze. It read, 

‘Check your mailbox.

Love,

Shania’

My heart skipped a beat.

I ran home and there was a little brown package. It had a pretty blue bow. I tore the wrapper open and inside was a little bottle painted with glass and acrylic colors and tea lights in a clusters shoved inside the bottle.

 The bottle read “I’ll never forget you!”

And there she had left.. Without a goodbye and no reason why..

 I don’t know where to go from here. How do I go on?
Shania! My strength and now my misery..

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