Dear Habla Hoe

 Dear Habla Hoe,
It was drizzling the day I first saw you. I got soaking wet trying to enter my mom’s friend’s car who was kind enough to give us a lift. Little did I know that the girl sitting at the back sit will turn into my first love leading to numerous controversies and depression.

Your mom seemed to be constantly impressed by me; praising me to her heart’s content and asking you to be more of a person like me. I did not really bother, why should I? You were just a stranger to me with zero strings attached. That was it, the sky busting down on the world on the day we first met. It seems like even the clouds knew what was about to come and all the mystery of nature gushed to split us from the very moment.

I first got to know your name from the Priest. He was deliriously in love with you and this particular information spread like the game of Chinese Whisper throughout the school. Of course, you turned him down. But rumors do not wrap themselves up right? The fact that you opened a Facebook account brazed through the classes and everyone in doubt whether it was actually you. Seeing a friend request from you even got me worried if it was just a mere childish prank by someone.

“Are you really Habla Hoe?” I asked with a tone full of doubt.

“Yes. Why do you think it is not me?” you replied.

Of course I had my reasons to believe that you were an impostor. An account with profile picture from the internet? No posts whatsoever? Give me one reason to believe it was you! I kept calm and continued my investigation.

“What is your mother’s name?” asked the investigator

“Her name is Siberia” you replied again like a suspect being investigated.

Your mother’s name confirmed the fact it was an impostor. How can a girl not know her mother’s name? I heard that name everyday from my mother. With the pride of catching you, I replied, “You are not Habla Hoe, that is definitely not your mother’s name”. You may have laughed my line out and replied instead to break all my confidence and pride: “Oh I think you know my mom by the name Panama. Panama is her nickname you see”. I was baffled, you actually were Habla Hoe and I finally had to admit.

We talked for an hour and you specifically requested me not to reveal your social media account to my mom because your mom does not know about it and may cause you trouble if she gets to. I kept my promise; I did not reveal it to my mom and greeted you a goodbye and left for some work. None of us knew what was coming next.

I texted you bye and got out but when you replied back, my phone was with my mom and she saw your text. She did not utter a word to me and did not confront me with anything regarding you. The next thing I hear while coming back from school is how your mom reacted when my mom revealed it to her. I was stunned, this was not supposed to happen and it was all my fault. I rushed to my home and called your mom. A 7th Grader did everything he could to convince a girl’s mom on why social media is not bad buy hey! You know how hard it can be sometimes to convince your mom right? I kept trying, I was not the kind to give up easily but at the end, your mom said “Okay baba I will think about it”. That was it. At that point I was full of guilt and shame on how I would ever face you again and I had to apologize to you the very least at any cost.

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My memories of you are fading away, why won’t they? It has been around 7 years. I do not remember every element of this story but I can still go back to the next day of that phone call with your mom when out of guilt I went out to you to apologize. Our school was not the kind where you could just go on and talk to a junior but I mustered up my courage and went to you.

You were there as usual, gossiping with your friends and laughing to your heart’s content. I was not the kind of guy to observe your smile, NO. I went to you straight and stood in front of your friends.

“Yes do you want to say anything bhaiya?” You said while your friends laughed at the back.

“I am sorry for what happened. I really did not want your mom to know but somehow my mom saw your text and …”. You stopped me right then and replied, ” It is okay”. I was stunned. How can someone forgive me for ruining her young ages of social media so fast? I stood there with a guilt I could not overcome. I do not recall any communication with you after that until that very day.

It was not a cliche communication. It neither involved vocals not writings. It was extraordinarily different from today’s touch screen presses. Even today when I think of that day, I deem it to be a story of some cliche romantic movie.

It was the month of December. Panama auntie was on her trip to India ditching you, your younger sister and your (always evil) father. My mom had just called Mr. Evil to drop you and your sister for my sister’s birthday party. My sister’s birthday party? Why was I being nervous? Why was I constantly passing drowsy nights? I was not sure what was happening to me. It seemed like going through something I was not prepared for. I was worried how I would talk to you; how I would receive you? All these reflection started playing with my mind and then the day arrived…

Not a second passed that I was not noticing my mom’s phone for the call. Then on a spur of a moment, my mom asked me to pick you and your sister up from downstairs. I got electric shocks a lot of times but none of them compared to this one. I could not keep my hands from shivering. I was not sure what was going on with me all of a sudden. Overcoming all the nervous breakdown, I went downstairs with a friend to pick you up.

Your dad was driving that day. That was not the thing I was interested. It was the girl sitting on the front seat. It was hardly possible to see the girl in the dead night. There was a light coming from somewhere far away and I was blessed to see her eyes; the eyes that were the most precious thing I had ever seen. The eyes had a spell bound on me, I could not help but stare at them. Your sister was already here with me, asking me to take her to the party while my friend kept poking me and pulling my shirt. I could not hear anything, I kept staring until your dad flashed the headlights and yes I noticed it, I noticed how her eyes changed to a flash of joy confirming she was laughing.

It was your eyes. It was your eyes that made my heart skip a beat that night. I was your eyes that forced me to rewind that memory all and over again. That was the day, 20th December 2013, the day I first fell in love, the first time I ever witnessed how attractive someone’s eyes could be.

Only if things stayed like that forever

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I did not realize what first love was until that night. There was not a single moment when I could not stop thinking about you. I was serving drinks to the guests, thinking about you; helping my mom out for the party, thinking about you; playing games and still I could not stop thinking about you for a mere second. That night I kept asking myself, “What is this all about? Why do I miss her so much?”.

The answer was not that easy. You see Habla Hoe, you were the first girl for whom I ever felt like this. I shared this with a very close friend of mine and she confirmed that I was in love. But how can I be in love? I am not that kind of guy who dates girls and talks sweet things to them. I was rather the nerd in the class who focused completely on studies. It was a sleepless night and I kept thinking how things would have turned out if she had come upstairs, sat beside me and had dinner with us?

I am trying hard to remember what happened next but all the depressing memories of yours hide the little but cherishing reminiscence of yours. A part of my mind says I asked you why you did not come upstairs the very next day while the other says that we had that conversation later in messenger. Only if you had not treated me in such a pathetic way, the wonderful memories of yours would have been fresh.

January… The first month of the new year had brought in great news for me. I was surfing through Facebook and I suddenly encountered your (new?) facebook account. Blood rushing through my veins, I instantly sent you a friend request. I was waiting all this time to find a way to talk to you and here it was and within a day you accepted my friend request. I instantly went through your profile, stalking the beautiful pictures that you had drawn yourself. Your pictures represented a cute and loving personality of yours but I was not only looking for your drawings. This sounds perverted but I wanted to see you so much that I went through your entire profile searching for one picture of yours. To my utter disappointment, there was none.

“Is this you?” was the first text I sent you that day. “Yeah” you replied but I could feel a smile of yours when reading the text. I apologized to you again for the trouble caused due to my Mom. You were such a sweetheart back then, you understood my situation so well. I hope you had stayed like that forever.

Dying to see you, I asked you to post your pictures in a perverted manner. I want to be honest here… I was young and did not have any idea what to say to a girl. To my amazement, you did sent me pictures of yours in a wedding ceremony and damn, till this day I cherish that memory. It seemed like I had seen an angel in this world with the sweetest smile any girl can ever have. Your eyes now had a serious competitor, “your smile”. We kept talking for hours and it seemed like things were going in the right direction. I was having the best moments of my life, smiling for no apparent reason and hugging everyone I met. Yes, these sound like cliche however, when a kid falls in love, all the cliches are somewhat justifiable and you were my first love too.

Our moms received an invitation from a friend for a dinner party. This was the most awaiting moment of my life at that time. I wanted to compare those magical eyes with you divine smile at the party. I had never been so excited to go to my “Mom’s friend’s party” in my life. Your mom was generous to offer us a lift. I was excited, I knew you would be in that car and all sort of thoughts rushed through my mind. “What if I sit beside her in the car? Will that be weird?” I asked myself for an instant and the next moment I was thinking what would we talk about if we were alone?

You asked me what color would I be wearing that day and I said black. I got ready for the party, spending hours in the shower and choosing the best clothes I can find in my wardrobe. We went downstairs and there you were waiting for us. The door opened and I could see your eyes again but this time along with that smile of yours. I froze again just like I did the first time I saw you down my house. This time I had my mom with me therefore the freezing time was decreased to a minimum but I could not move my eyes from you even with our parents together in a small car. I was sure I was in love with you and you were too isn’t it? That night in the party, we realized we were not just friends or senior-junior; something else existed between us specially after that magical moment back there.

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I was quiet, not sure what to talk among aunties while you looked like an angel with a magnificent ray emitting from you. You were wearing black with your flourishing white skin underneath made you the prettiest girl I have seen till date. You were smiling now and then, not the ugly smiles people give; your smiles lasted for short periods and they were extremely quiet and someone could only notice them when they focus on you hard. I kept my on my cell phone, avoiding eye contact with but making sure to enjoy your charm.

After a while, our parents left the living room and here we were; all alone left to talk to our heart’s desire. I knew you wanted me to approach you and talk about something. Anything would do! But I was too shy to start the conversation. It was not everyday I start conversation with pretty girls right? You kept smiling at my miserable state, teasing me silently with your eyes. I finally mustered the courage to start a conversation. “Are you coming to Physics Olympiad tomorrow?”

What was wrong with me back then? Who says that as a conversation starter? I think about this day again and again and I regret wasting it like this. If it were today, I would have been definitely charming to ask “How was your day” or “You look extremely pretty”. This was the first time I saw you laugh. You put on your hand infront of your lips to hide that laughter and then gently, controlling your burst of laughter, shook your head. “Are you?” you asked with a gentle voice. “Yes! How can I miss it?”

GOD! WHY WAS I LIKE THAT BACK THEN? But soon I tried to recover and praised your hair. I wanted to praise everything about you, from your eyes to your lips, from your dress to your skin; even your toes looked pretty to me, your hands looked smol and cute to me; everything about you looked attractive to me. I had to stop praising all of it (I would look like a despo otherwise) and instead chose to praise your hair only.

You thanked me with a smile. I did not hear a “Thank you” but I assumed your smile was a reply to my appreciation. Your mom came back and for some reason she started praising me. She started comparing me with you and said I was way better (like why?). My mom was not less either, she started revealing my weird food habits and oh GOD! A kid who has just fallen in love would have never wanted that! You wanted to laugh at me; I could see it at your face but your own insults were enough to keep that laughter away. We finally had a dinner and it was almost time to leave.

We came out of the house with our moms. It was pitched black with a mysterious white light from an unknown source. Suddenly, both of our moms went in for some reason and we were left along in the dark. This time I am glad I did not mess things up. “I really wanted to see you today” . “Me to” she replied. We were so close, our hands were almost touching but neither of us was sure at that time what to do. Our little finger touched and I felt a shock of wave going through my body. I looked at you while you intentionally looked at the pitched black ground.

The door behind us opened and we went farther apart to make sure no one understood what was going on. I just whispered to you quickly, “I want to talk to you tomorrow, I will be waiting”

I wonder either of us knew what was coming tomorrow for us

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I could not sleep that night. I was expecting you to be online but sadly it did not happen. I do understand you have had your limitations and it was hard very hard for you to come online given your mom’s strict monitoring of your activities.

Next morning, I woke up and went on to the Olympiad. To be honest, I was not even interested in the Olympiad, I kept checking my phone now and then hoping you would reply. You did come online for certain period of time and those moments meant the whole world to me after all you were my first love.

I rushed to home in the evening with the plans to start talking to you. Neither I went to the washroom nor did I change my clothes, I directly opened my laptop and texted you. I burst into joy when you replied me an instant. We kept chatting for about 30 mins and then something happened.

While writing this story for you my dear habla hoe, I realized I had lost quite a handful of memories of yours. At this point I realized the story had more to it that I had completely skilled due to loss of my consciousness. I am confident now that writing about you was the right choice and I can make sure no other thought of yours, my first love gets lost away from my head. I can never deny that you made me realize what love was and you were also the one to teach me how to hurt people. I cannot afford to loose your memories as these memories are the ones that defines who I really am.

Flashback to this story, when you were caught and reopened your fb account, you were kind of worried about talking to me because your mom had already seen us talking before and according to you, “She does not like it” . Therefore you and I came up with a plan and I opened another account with the name of my friend Zara (which Zara was well aware of) to talk to you. The reason was to make sure if we ever get caught talking, your mom can always call Zara and make sure it was a girl you are talking to. Oh and we also made sure to delete our messages every 10 mins to avoid any chances of your mom reading the texts.

Back to the original story, you were not replying for quite a while and then your messages were being seen only without a reply. I was struck with the idea that your mom had caught you and pretended to be Zara. After a while, your mom had asked for Zara’s number and as planned I gave it to her. Zara was well briefed about the situation but none of us realized your mom would be such a rude woman to call a senior student of her daughter and scold her (for chatting?) with her daughter. Zara was silent and kept apologizing.

It was a nightmare for me. Who would have thought things would turn like this? How many times did I need to face such obstacles from your mom? I was sad and scared but that did not prevent me to build up this not so love story did it? I waited for things to turn around and it actually did! 2 weeks later, you were online and sent me a friend request. We started talking again and I intentionally provided you with hints about my feelings for you. We texted with each other but it seemed like we were talking in person, laughing at each other’s text, blushing to the praises. Things could not be better than this no doubt at all.

I was enjoying every moment of it. Your texts were my point of waiting for the whole day. I used to praise your drawings (You still draw really well) which were too good for a sixth grader. You used to send me all your pictures to choose from and I would look at them and tell myself that one day I am going to marry this wonderful girl (What more do you expect from a 7th grade kid with his first love?)

At a point, you understood how much I liked you and you asked me directly. I did accept the charges and told you how much I love you and how I will keep you happy throughout my life and never cheat on you or leave you and always make you smile. You ultimately confessed you knew it from the point I asked your pictures and it was cute (maybe you were not familiar with the word pervert back then). I asked what do you think of it?

You said you did not know what to answer

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