Ever met someone who could finish your sentences? Someone who you could have a whole conversation within insults? Someone who understood you at a level no one ever did or would? I did. And then I lost him. Because I never had him to begin with.
Let’s call him K, shall we? That’s his initial. I met K through tinder in London, when I was finishing up my Masters. I was preparing for a show while he was in the city for his convocation. It started out as just another Date story, you match and try to strike up a conversation. We matched, decided to swap numbers because we were both Indian and had two mutual friends on Facebook. He gave me his number and I text him the next morning without saying who it was. I never had to tell him. He knew. The conversation started off with the usual get to know stuff and before we knew it, we were trading insults, talking in riddles that we didn’t have to explain to the other. At one point in the conversation, he said something that I didn’t like. For me, that was the end and I said goodbye. He called back apologising and wouldn’t believe that I’d say “apology accepted” instead of “it’s okay”. At 10 at night he says he’s coming over to my side of the city. At first I thought he was joking but he said he’d come. Turns out he really was joking. And I was wearing my shoes preparing to go meet the guy halfway. Well, who would have thought, K actually showed up at 1 am.
Walking towards him, I had a chance to check him out. “Oh, you’re not tall. And I’m sorry, I forgot your name so I had all these weird combinations of your name in my head trying to figure out what your name actually was.” No one has ever looked at me like K did at that time. Like I was absolutely crazy and that was the most normal thing in the world. “My name means lotus petals. It’s unique”. Sure. It is indeed unique. You’d agree if you knew what his name was but I’m not telling you.
We sat outside my house on the steps at 1.30 in the morning and talked and talked until 5am. Neither realised how much time had elapsed. Surprised us both, to be honest. Hadn’t expected that out of an impromptu tinder date. If you can even call it a date. He left at 5 in the morning and I went to college after 2 hours of sleep. We’d made plans to get dinner that night. As asked, I called K while leaving college. He didn’t pick up. I went home, took a shower and waited for the call. I fell asleep with the phone in my hand.
I woke up an hour later to my phone ringing. It was K. He’d fallen asleep and woken up thinking that he’d have a very pissed me and even pissed off messages waiting for him but was surprised to see that there was nothing. I very conveniently forgot to tell him that I was asleep myself. It took me 30 minutes to get out of the house and meet him at Edgware Road station. I’ve never been asked to drive the train myself at a faster speed before. K decided that he wanted to eat at Salt. Unfortunately for him, we had to make do with some Indian place near Marble Arch. It was like meeting a friend until then. The connection we shared last night put on a hold for a while.
While living in London, I used to love going to Westminster and just sitting in front of the Parliament. It was my safe place. Somewhere I would go sit and be very happy. I liked K enough to share it with him. We walked down from Edgware Road to Marble Arch to Piccadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square to London Eye to finally the Westminster Bridge. It was around 12am by then and I’d never been happier. K said that his friend was getting engaged in Delhi at the end of January and I had to be there. I believed him. He said he was going to be in constant touch once he went back to India and we’ll make things work because I would move back soon after. I believed him.
I stayed the night with him. We slept side by side but didn’t sleep together. Just being next to each other was enough. He dropped me at the tube station at 8am that Sunday morning and that was the last time I ever saw him. I met him at 1am on 29th Nov 2014. I last saw him at 8am, 30th Nov 2014.
I realised I’d gone ahead and fallen in love with a guy I’d know for two days, a week after he left.
Since then, I’ve checked in with K once when the Kolkata flyover fell. All I ever want is for him to be okay wherever he is. Losing him was the most difficult thing for me ever because how do you lose someone you never even had. I’ve never cried for him. At some level, even after 2 and a half years, I miss him. Because I know what we could’ve have had. And to think it started with a random tinder date.