In the midst of the Covid- 19 pandemic, my 11th-grade year commenced at an esteemed military school in Rajasthan, where students from various corners of India gathered due to their fathers’ postings. It was an extraordinary time, and as I entered my economics class on the first day, my attention was immediately captivated by a new student wearing a mask. His mesmerizing eyes instantly seized my interest. With a reserved demeanor, he often kept to himself.

Determined to break the ice, I approached him and introduced myself, attempting to lighten the mood with a joke that unfortunately fell flat. The encounter left me feeling rather embarrassed, but undeterred, I resolved to find ways to establish a connection with him. I diligently studied economics to assist him in comprehending the subject. Our initial friendship evolved into a complex dynamic as we began to engage in spirited debates, teetering between camaraderie and conflict. Despite his aloofness, he would seek my counsel on various matters. It was during these conversations that I discovered the restrictive and conservative nature of his parents, who were the primary influencers in his life. He confided in me that he only felt comfortable talking to his dog, and confiding in the moon and stars. I genuinely empathized with him and wanted him to know that I was there for him. Although we often argued, I found solace in the fact that he was opening up and sharing his thoughts, as he had previously been quite lonely.

One day, he confessed that he couldn’t see a future for us. I understood his reservations and let him go, accepting that our paths may not align in the long run. Nonetheless, as we entered 12th grade, we remained friends despite our frequent quarrels. The whole school was aware of my feelings for him, yet he seemed oblivious, deliberately ignoring me at times.Deep down, I knew the reality of his circumstances. In the depths of my heart, I acknowledged that a future together was unlikely. I mustered the courage to tell him that I didn’t expect him to reciprocate my feelings, but I wanted him to know that I cared for him deeply. I wished for his happiness and hoped that he would one day find clarity in his own aspirations.

After completing our schooling, we moved on to different colleges. I believed he had forgotten about me, but my love for him endured, and the memories we shared remained vivid in my mind. I often reminisced about our dreams, where we danced together on lonely streets at night, accompanied by the enchanting melody of Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect.” It was an unrequited love, as he never expressed his feelings towards me. Despite this, I harbored no regrets for loving him. To me, love is a passion that cannot be adequately conveyed with words. It is an understanding of another person’s desires, the willingness to let them go and forge their own path in life. I yearned for him to find someone whom he could passionately love. As for myself, I have shifted my focus to personal growth, embracing my single status even as I enter the second year of college. He will always hold a special place in my heart as my first love.