I kissed her for the first time when she was on the hospital bed; dying. She had skin cancer. While she was looking “horrible” because of those big pores on her skin, her eyes were still the same; those deep black eyes still enslaved me. And that smile, that beautiful yet subtle smile made her beautiful no matter how she looked.
When I entered the hospital and reached the room, no one of those huge bunch of friends she had or even her “lover” were present.
Just one weird guy was there. He never talked to her, just stare at her with eyes full of care. That guy was me.
I entered the room, she was lying on the bed. She suddenly woke up unable to hide her surprise on seeing me. On receiving the usual smile from her, I said a “hi” for the first time ever. She replied with an awkward wave. Showing a moment of courage, I went to the bedside and sat next to her, I was trembling with excitement, fear and love. I took her hand between both of mine and kissed it gently.
While all the adrenaline in the world was gushing through my veins, instructing me to lay with her, we just stared in each others’ eyes; with utmost passion and love for the other. To lighten up the moment, I told her about the gift that I purchased for her. We played the guessing game which she lost and I ended up kissing her 15 times on the cheeks (rules were made by me, while she seemed happy with them ).
After she lost the game, I gave her the gift. It was a book, one which was close to my heart just because of her. When she opened up the wrapping, my own copy of ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green came out. When asked about the choice I told her the truth about she being the Alaska of my life. I was half expecting a stunned expression from her but it wasn’t there, she confessed about knowing it all along but never approached, because I wasn’t the one to approach first and she didn’t believe at that time that she should as a girl.
On being asked if she’d propose me if she were alright that day, in an instant she tore all the wires, tags and all the instruments away, got off the bed and knelt down to propose. I was shocked to see what was happening in front, without a single thought ignoring all those pores and pox on her skin, I kissed her on the lips. I wound both my arms around her waist and lifted her up above me, we were kissing hard, very hard. It seemed at the moment that both of us were ready to suck each other out. Tears were coming out of her eyes and mixing in the taste but it didn’t matter. Mucus started coming out and mixing but it didn’t matter because all that mattered was the feel of her tongue and her lips pulling mine away. I placed her back to her place; she was crying but it seemed as the best moment of our lives.
When her parents came to visit, I stood up to leave. Resisting the urge to kiss her once again, in front of her parents. I looked her in the eye while she was doing the same, we smiled and said goodbyes.
The next day she was gone, truly being my Alaska. Our first kiss being the last one we ever had.
Exactly a month after that day, I received a mail by post; it was from her dad. The envelope read “To a person I so wanted to be my son”.
Enclosed in the envelope were two pieces of paper, one was written by her, the other by her dad. The second one read:
“She told me about you after you were gone, about how it was your first meeting and how much you loved her.
She was quite overwhelmed by a visit from a familiar face from the college, but somewhere down the line she had guilt of never approaching you first. Maybe it was supposed to be this way, nobody can undo what happened but I think we can look forward together.
I write this letter to you because of two reasons:
1. She read the book you gave her, spent the whole night with it before she was gone at 6:35 am. After reading the book, she wrote a letter to you( which is in the envelope with this one); I think she knew in her heart that she won’t ever meet you again. I haven’t read the letter but I suppose it’s about the book.
2. I am overwhelmed by the support that you showed for her when she needed it the most, I think that’s what true love is. You can not be with my daughter because she isn’t here now but I think you can be with us once in a while; it would be really great to have you because now it’s your home too.
You can come visit us whenever you can, son.”
I kept the letter with the all the letters I’d written for her but never sent. I was trembling before opening her letter then.
Her letter was like none I’d seen previously. It was something magical about that handwriting and those words that I didn’t ever want to stop reading it. Maybe some sort of a communication with her after all this time made it so. I had a girlfriend but she was the only one on my mind.
When I opened up that letter, just by the feels and realisation of it being held by her, I got connected to it. Life gives you many moments like these, when you question the whole concept of life and death. You think about afterlife and hope, just hope that you might some day get to meet with your loved ones.
Her letter read:
” I don’t have much time left, hours i guess; that’s what my insides tell me. I should’ve told it back then but I couldn’t even imagine seeing you cry.
I so wish that we had some more time, perhaps even a day; I wanted to lay with you and feel your naked skin between my arms. I wanted to strip you naked of all the mysterious clothes to reveal your original and honest self, but perhaps we weren’t that lucky I guess.
I have read the book you gave me, it’s a special special piece of my heart now. I am overwhelmed to be described by you as your Alaska but I feel sad, regretful and despair for being the same. I see you, Miles suffering from Alaska’s memories. I am not that scared of death as I am scared for you; after me. You’ve been such a darling all this while and all you get in the reward is more suffering and pain than you’ve already endured. I so wish to be something better than your Alaska, maybe that’s one of the only regrets I’ll take to my grave.
I wish I could be your Rose and you my Jack so that I would’ve taken all the suffering and not you. For the first time in my life I’ve realised that sometimes dying in an instant is better than living with those memories which kill you slowly. Despite our destinies being written beforehand by the almighty, I still think that he’ll apologize to you when you go to heaven or I shall partner with Lucifer to destroy him.
I can’t get to terms with it that this is my last conversation, even if it is as hypothetical as it can get. I don’t mean to disrespect or demean the words I am going to write on this sheet of paper, but it seems that I’ve learnt the lesson the hard way; love is not about hanging out 24×7 hand in hand, calling and texting each other, it’s about caring with a pure heart no matter what the situation is. Maybe it is too late a realisation, maybe it is too late a confession but I’ve realised that I LOVE YOU, maybe it’ll be possible for us to do the things we wish to do when we meet in afterlife. Maybe we’ll meet again to be together always. I am trying to find a hope for us when there seems none, maybe I am foolish but I do hope you are foolish enough to do the same so that if the butterfly flaps it’s wings here there will be a tornado in the place I am going and maybe god will be forced to make us meet again, for longer this time.
Yours and yours forever
As I ended the reading the letter, a tear drop trickled down my teary eyes and stained the page. At the instant I so hoped that she also dropped a tear on the same place so that some part of bodies and emotions remain together, even as insignificant as this one.
She was some kind of a magic to my eyes which I don’t see anymore in the hostel campus. It is as if all the shine has been taken away from my eyes, I do roam alone as I have always but with no one to look at and admire this time. She will be missed for as long as I live, I’ll keep this memory of hers in my special drawer where all the unsent letters are kept and the memory of our first kiss shall forever stay in my brain.
Because after all this time of ups and downs, of admiring, of getting and losing her, I STILL LOVE HER and that shall remain so forever.