A heartfelt soliloquy by a lonely girl is aimed at changing some views.

I am ashamed to have been born into a world where the word ‘love’ holds such a narrowed meaning for such a huge crowd of people. Why is this word every time attributed to the relationship between a man and his beloved? Aren’t there other people who love?

To explain my meaning I will take your example. Don’t you love your parents; or don’t you love your siblings? Apart from them there are a hoard of other people you love – like your friends, cousins, relations and the like. I hope that now you see my point.

Love is most profound between a mother and her child, a brother and a sister, a poor man and his hard earned money, that he has finally been able to lay his hands on after months of toil, a little girl and the first cake she baked at home, between a man and his pet – if you broaden your horizons and your mind, and think this way, this list becomes simply endless. Love, which is a vast emotion shouldn’t be thus confined to such-it wouldn’t be wrong to state-abuse.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am no anti-romantic person. I am just trying to convey that love is a very deep and beautiful emotion, very deep indeed and should not b taken for granted for only one kind of relationship.

It is he Halloween month-the season of fall and the best time of the year for me. As I now walk in the forest, the golden-red leaves are crunching and rustling under my feet. It seems very pleasant here, even though I’m not able to enjoy it very well. And that’s because Judy isn’t with me anymore. She hasn’t been for the last thirteen years. Yes, I ought to have had been able to adjust with that, or as they say – gotten the hang of it, but I cannot and I doubt if I ever can.

This is where the concept of love comes in. With Judy, and Judy only was my love story. She was my best friend and we loved each other a lot (And, for heaven’s sake please do not narrow your minds again and start misjudging our relation for something infamous and sexually offensive. It is perfectly natural enough for two friends to dearly love each other).

Since childhood we had been the best of pals. Both of us hadn’t been fortunate to have any siblings, but we had had each other, and were happy for that. Like two sisters, we did everything that children of our age then did, starting from collecting pine cones in the forests to visiting the beach once a year. Oh, it was so much fun!

Our town Ithaca is situated on the verge of the wooded mountains of Western New York. Now-a-days it is crowded in the tourist season, but back then, it was only wilderness and isolation. We also weren’t fabulously rich, a matter which posed as a hindrance to our owning telephones, forget about mobiles. And that was the reason perhaps for Judy getting lost.

I am twenty one now; was only eight then. She too was the same age. All was going fine, until one day news hit us that her family was going to shift far, far away to Nebraska for some reason which we didn’t clearly know. She went away soon and nothing could be done about it – and in that way she was lost to me. Lost somewhere in this vast country.

With the passing years, technology has made a great advance and the world is shrinking.

You’d thus want to know why I haven’t tried to find her out using this boon. Trust me, I have, but without any successful results. All I have of her are memories (no, not photographs, just pictures and moments captured in my mind). This very moment as I am walking in the woods, I come across various places which resurrect these memories and take me back to the wonderful time I spent with her right here and also at various other spots.

I miss her; I terribly do, and nobody in my life can make me feel otherwise or can substitute her.

Perhaps that’s my destiny. This separation is terrible. But all the same, one has to accept it. Sometimes I wonder if she too tries to find me each day, but cannot… Perhaps she too is thinking about me right now… I don’t know. And I also don’t want to know. Extra optimism and nebulous hopes are useless and cause you unnecessary anguish and pain.

Hence, I am happy the way I am. I have her memories to cherish for the rest of my life. It has started to drizzle now and it is getting dark. I should better hurry home. Thank you for your time and patience that you were generous enough to lend me. And next time your mind gets narrowed to address only a man and a woman as lovers, do think of my story.