“I know, you are going to love this!” You said enthusiastically.

“As much as I hate you for always being late?” I said sarcastically. It was a January evening and we were enjoying our evening walk. It was beautiful. Maybe because, How much I wanted to hold your hand and walk toward the Dhakuria lake. I always loved sunsets and places that can provide me with solace but for the first time, I went to some anonymous place – not searching for the solace but you. I wanted to live the world through your beautiful eyes. I never told you but it looks captivating – full of lights which makes me fall in love with the sunrise even though I hated them from the core of my heart. You make it beautiful.

“It is a nice place!” I said and sat on one of the benches near the lake. You were talking like always and I hate to admit this (I will never admit) that I always listened to every word you say. Every word you say is just engraved in my mind even though I never wanted it this way. You talk way too much! but I always loved it whenever you did.

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I was new in the city of Kolkata and knew nothing about it. So, you decided to make me fall in love with the city which I barely liked. Why? Because I always hated crowds. I loved being a loner and out of the blue I met you and turns out – I never liked being alone after that.

“So, you love books? You don’t look like a reader.” You said with a bit of shock in your voice. After our dhakuria lake visit, you took me to college street.

“What can I say, you don’t know everything about me. Do you?” I smirked. You never knew me maybe that is why you never understood my eyes which always craved for your presence. My arms which I wanted to wrap around you but I never did. I wanted to be drunk in your love, I wanted to kiss your forehead every time you fall apart in front of me. But I saved myself all the time because love, I can never tell you even when I want to tell you. People say, that Kolkata is all about memories and nostalgia but it will be about you for me – well mostly. Because no one will ever read my red eyes like you do and annoy the hell out of me so that I can pour my heart out to you which I never did.

“Why do you want to go from here so badly?” You asked me when I was buying your favourite book which was by Humayun Ahmed and you were not shutting your mouth about it ever since we started walking into college street.

“Well, I have no reason to stay here?” I said and purchased the book, even though I do not understand Bengali.

“Kolkata has a lot to offer. You can live here and be alive.”- You said. I wanted to live – for a long time, I just wanted that. For a long time, I wanted a lot of things that life could offer me but I knew I can not.

“Well, we will see if I can get a better reason?” I smiled at you – you gave me a confused look and we walked away.

Words and lips can lie a lot. Like, I lie to you and myself every day. That my heart does not break when I see you with someone else. That I run away from you every time you try to open me up. I am a huge mess and I can not rectify that.

“You will come here again?” You asked me. We were sitting inside the infamous Kolkata bus and I was sitting with you and trying to think of something else which does not include you. A single memory that does not make me feel like I am losing whatever I had this time and you are slipping out of my hands like my favourite childhood memory.

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“So that you can irritate me with your presence? No, thanks! I am happy to get rid of you!” I said sarcastically.

“Don’t worry, Delhi is not that far. I can come to meet you.” You said, with the sweetest smile. I wonder if you will ever talk to me? I know you will not.

“Oh please! Like, I am going to meet you in Delhi? Anyway. Can we focus back on music?” I said while plugging the earphones and you played your favourite Bengali song. Wow, do you know how much I am going to miss this moment? I know it is meaningless for you. But these little things of yours are all I have. I took a picture of a dying evening and tried to capture whatever I can of Kolkata. I never planned to love this place but until I met you. Until you spilt all the coffee on my dress. Until I started reading your emotions like my favourite book, Until we started conversing over nothing and everything until you turned to almost everything from a stranger. Kolkata, I see it from your eyes. The smell of cigarettes and chai with some rain. The beauty of abandoned buildings makes it beautiful, the songs and the emotions, the books, the people, and you.

“So, I guess I will go from here in my way,” I said and smiled.

“Like, you will stay if I ask you to.” You smiled and hugged me.

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“Miss me okay?” You said while hugging me. I wish you could have just asked me to stay. I wish you could have said that it will be a bit lonely without me. I wish.. you could have said, you will miss my presence and my absence will make you feel something which I will feel there.

“Never!” I said with a smile and I pulled myself out of the hug. I walked to get another bus and bid you goodbye. On my way, home I just smiled. My mom once told me that unrequited love is painful for the people who always seek for forever. But I had you, didn’t I? Without any condition, I loved you and never told you but I hope someday I can hug you tightly and tell you – I am not the best but I can try, I am grey but you bring out the colours inside me.

So rather than telling you and breaking my own heart by the facts, For now, I will keep you like my own little secret and make sure you are safe inside me.

“I think of you, I want you too. I’d fall for you.”