“I like you a lot,” he confessed.
“Does that mean what I think it means?” She quizzed.
Adam and Eve were one of the most gossiped-about couples in the college campus. He was the dashing tall, whiter-than-snow dude, she was the girl-next-door. There were many conflicting theories on how the two came to be together but the most widely believed one was that Adam wanted to score easily while Eve was overjoyed she had a boyfriend, that too one who was the envy of the damsels.
There were frequent gifts from their friends, which were rewarded with “unlimited thaalis” at the up-and-coming hotels of the town. Plus there were the inevitable birthday bashes where couple dance and cuteism-overdose were as common as Ecstasy in a rave party. Their PDA (Public Display of Affection i.e., Awww-cute romance) was making waves even before they “came out.”
“That dress looks so cute on you.”
“Should I buy it?”
“No. I will buy it.”
Initially there were bets on when the two were gonna breakup, given the “obvious mismatch.” These undiscerning professors were usually the oversexed boys who hadn’t themselves had the courage to ask a cow to be their girl. They were corrected with literal slaps on the wrists by cute puppy-addicted girls of their respective groups, who saw through the haze and predicted at least 3 kids for the pair and a lifelong marriage. It’s another matter that those girls were single as yet, themselves.
“What did I ever do to deserve such a great girl like you?”
“Maybe you observed a good many fasts in the previous birth,” she chuckled.
“Man, you’re so lovely!”
They first met when she was a fresher and he was in his second year. Adam’s brashness was tempered by his soft heart. He couldn’t even kill a mosquito. Eve, despite being a tomboy, was the quintessential gharelu ladki (homely girl) that every Indian mother wants for her son. So soon, she started calling him “aap” (‘you’ in Hindi for an elder) while cooking him the few recipes she knew (lentil stew, boiled rice and masala-less veggies). She badly wanted to learn the cuisine of his region. He, on the other hand, showered her with gifts and affection. It did help that his parents were senior engineers in his state’s water department, enabling him to be able to spend money like water. The first anniversary was celebrated in the city’s only five-star restaurant, with 29 of their friends invited. It was a feast unlike anything any of the them had ever experienced.
They were one – heart, soul and body.
“What will we name our baby?” Adam asked.
“Evangeline if she’s a girl, and Evan if it’s a boy,” Eve replied, promptly.
Like all good things in college though, trouble started in this paradise when he was in his final year. She had seen cases where couples went their separate ways after college. They had promised each other they’d not be like those “losers.” She had cut relations with her friends who so much as suggested he’d cheat on her. He sniggered at his friends who said he was ruining a good girl’s life.
“How could you do this to me?”
“What did I do? She’s new here. She needs someone to guide her. I’m only doing that.”
“Don’t lie to me.”
“Baby, have I ever lied to you?”
Ultimately, one fine day, they broke off. It wasn’t cordial. The passion with which they’d loved demanded an equally-filthy parting too. It didn’t happen abruptly. She had seen him caring a lot more for the fresher from his state than he should have. When she countered, he told her he was only helping her adjust to the new area. How much adjustment took place is a matter of conjecture, but one fine day, she took off the ring he’d gifted on their first date and threw it at his face. He didn’t say anything. What was the point anyway?
He had found his Evelyn.
Who needed mere Eve now?
And thus ended another “true love” of college life.
P.S. – Thanks for reading. Do provide your feedback in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.