Blossoming Tulips | Teen Ink

Blossoming Tulips

December 14, 2021
By Divyanshu SILVER, Chandigarh, Other
Divyanshu SILVER, Chandigarh, Other
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I stop, like every day, near the tulips planted in the Fairy Fountain Gardens. I have a deep connection with them; they remind me of that unforgettable night, of the moon that shone brightly that night, and most importantly, of her. They remind me of that special incident.  

On a usual Sunday evening, five months ago, we were going to meet. It wasn’t the first time I was going to meet her; we had met many times in the past. But this time it was going to be different, a meeting to have a talk with her.

We had been very good friends, for ten long years. But in all those years, I didn’t recognize her serenity until I was mature enough, mature enough to develop aesthetic perceptions. In those ten years, we had developed a bond; a bond strong enough, yet platonic enough. We were true friends and I truly liked that. But it wasn’t much recently that even thinking about her relayed some unknown sensation to my heart. These sensations, while making me ecstatic, somehow perplexed me. My innocent infatuation had blossomed into passionate love. I wasn’t able to stay that way, keeping my feelings buried in myself. So, I was tempted to seek her for a small talk.

Asking her for a friendly meeting wasn’t something new. We had arranged meetings before. But asking her and only her to meet me and only me was something new. She became, as I had expected, befuddled when I asked her to meet only me. “Only me? No one else? I don’t get it. Is something the matter?” She hurled all those questions at me so instantaneously over the phone, that I doubted if I was doing the right thing. Maintaining silence for a few seconds, I responded to all her queries with one answer, “I am not feeling well, so I thought of having a talk. Though I would definitely not mind if you are not willing.”  I was exhausted in saying that much, for I felt somewhere inside that I had made a wrong decision. With anxiousness elevating inside me, I waited for her reply. She replied, after pausing for a few seconds, “Okay, I am free today, so we can meet. Come in the garden, I’ll reach there in five minutes.”

I was, for a second, stunned. Her reply had contrasted my anticipation. ‘She agreed?’ I asked myself in astonishment. This question was followed by a sense of excitement. It was surely serendipity. ‘Oh! She has agreed’, I kept saying to myself. Preventing any further ado and grabbing my coat, I dashed across the door. But as the rays of the setting sun reflected on me, as the freezing winds, slowly abating to a gentle breeze, kissed my numb face, I was struck by a thought – ‘how should I talk to her about it?’. After having succeeded, despite having a rare chance, to make her agree to a one-on-one meeting, I had inevitably fallen into a problem. I, owing to my anticipatory nature, began thinking of all the horrific consequences –Will she get irritated?  Will she start hating me? Will she think of me as an idiot? I was perturbed by these anticipations. I have always been perturbed by anticipations.

The wristwatch kept on reminding me about the seeping time. So, I started running, if not sprinting, towards the Fairy Fountain Garden, praying to prevent messing up the situation.

The weather was overcast, the skies were covered with humongous clouds threatening to rain anytime. Upon reaching there, I found her already seated on the bench near the Great Fairy Fountain. Slowing down to catch my breath, I approached her.

“There you are. See, I came! Come sit. How are you feeling now?” I was obviously aware but was never annoyed by her habit of asking too many things at once. “I feel better, now that you are here,” I said, swiftly seating myself inches away from her. “The weather is splendid, isn’t it?”, I admired. “Even I was thinking that. You know what, let us have a walk, wouldn’t it be nice? You will feel better as well. Won’t you tell me what happened that you are unwell?” She hurled all those questions and statements as we got up. In a swift action, we started walking through the winds. The sun had almost settled, the clouds had completely covered the skies and the winds became more chilling.

I thought for a while, ‘what should I say upon why I am unwell?’ I hesitated in opening up, in confessing what I had been feeling. Not wanting her to lose her patience, I tried to say at least something, only to end up fumbling with words. “Are you alright?” she asked while looking at me and gently placing her hand on my shoulder. That touch, somehow, sent sensations, down my nerves. I realized, it was the first time since we had known each other, that we had shared the slightest of any physical touch. We didn’t even have a handshake in all those years. I was startled by all these realizations.

Somehow, I got control over myself. After some time, with all sanity, I gently placed my palm on her hand which was resting on my shoulder. She didn’t react to it. In fact, it was me who was overthinking. Though because of the state I was in, overthinking was inevitable. I was, but a sixteen-year-old boy trying to comprehend, while experiencing, the involuntary sensations that are developed because of affection towards someone.

I nodded my head, communicating my unwillingness to answer. She was the type of person, as I understood, to not bother about the answers to the questions she asked until it was a serious matter. We continued walking, unable to initiate a fluent conversation. “Are you getting bored?” I finally asked, once again fearing her loss of interest in accompanying me. “Not at all, I am enjoying the weather. And your company in this setup, oh it is the icing on the cake!” The arrows of her words again pierced my anticipations. By that time, I had unveiled the anxious and coward form of myself in front of my eyes. I was embarrassed at myself by the humongous presumptions I had made, by the infinite overthinking I had done. But along with all those feelings, her kind behavior sparked newfound confidence inside me. ‘Alright, stop overthinking, just say it’, I strictly ordered myself.

By now, we were walking hand in hand, though I doubted if she was aware of that. After the storm of realizations had swept every unnecessary thought inside me, I took some more minutes to prepare myself; the preparation to bear with the response I would get. Praying for a final time in the hope of keeping everything fine, I suddenly stopped walking; the jerk from our tightly clasped hands forcing her to stop as well. This time I didn’t expect or anticipate her to say anything, this time I was audacious, this time I had belief in her, I had the hope that she would understand my heart.

“Are you alright?” she asked in a concerned tone. “Do you want me to stop walking? Is it making you feel unwell again? Do you want to…” I softly placed my palm on her tulip-pink lips and nodded. And finally, it was on that night, with the moon shining dimly behind the clouds, that I held her hands and confessed in a passionate voice, “I love you.”

The garden was soaked in quietness. The trees were swaying with the cold winds accompanied by the rustling of leaves. Slightly mild fog had started settling, but the fog settling on her mind was thick. She stood still, reactionless, looking at me with her enchanting eyes. But my eyes had dissolved all fears and stated only passion and love for her. We stared at each other. She was unable to say anything, and I had said everything I had to. I had achieved clarity in my mind. Whether she would share the same feelings as me, or would push me away and never see my face again, I was prepared for both. I was prepared for anything. I had taken the step, and turning back was certainly rendered impossible.

Her face evolved from being reactionless to a faint smile to a slight blush, and finally, raw emotions emanated from her heart. Her eyes became teary, her smile brightened, her cheeks became redder than ever. She tightened her grip on my hands and started nodding her head rapidly as if she was unable to say anything. And she certainly didn’t need to say anything, her overflowing sentiments had already communicated with my heart. She did share my feelings. For the first time in my life, I was able to comprehend the complex feelings of any person. The serious look I had been wearing suddenly dissolved to pave a path for the smile she had induced on me.

And, as if by magic, the fog was lifted, the clouds disappeared, and the chilling winds came to a halt. Our surroundings were filled with bright and serene moonlight. The sky was now draped in a quilt of stars; stars scattered everywhere like shattered glass. I felt as if nature had approved of our tryst; as if the sad and miserable clouds and fog in our lives were annihilated and only happiness and love remained, shining brightly like the moon among the stars of our high hopes and expectations. And it was on that night, that we stood hand-in-hand, smiling; as everything around us slowly seemed to disappear, as time stopped its cruel marching for us, as we could see nothing, but each other.

Not only today; I am reminded of that night every day, every time I see the tulips we had planted together the day after the night of our tryst. I still have that memory carefully enshrined in my heart. Every night, I stand in the Fairy Fountain Garden, hoping for her to return to me.

I don’t know where she is now, but one thing I know is that wherever she is, she will not return. Today also, the night is picturesque, the clouds are slowly disappearing, the moon is as serene as ever, filling its divine light in every corner. Today also, the tulips remind me of that nostalgic night, and I look at the moon and the stars, as always, while smiling, hoping that she can see me from wherever among the stars she might be, and smile back at me.

The author's comments:

The loss of a loved one is as much tragedic as much inevitable. Such a loss triggered me to write this story, not to use my overflowing sentiments, but to channel them and realize the reality of such losses.

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This article has 1 comment.

Afra DIAMOND said...
on Mar. 3 at 8:25 am
Afra DIAMOND, Kandy, Other
54 articles 4 photos 1159 comments

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-Jacinda Ardern-

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-Gabriel Agreste- (Fictional character- Miraculous)

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“I knew who I was as a girl but I had to find who I was as a woman.”
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