They walked up to the counter hand-in-hand and ordered a double cheese chicken burger, two plates of fries and a beer ( for him ) and a lemonade ( for her ). Well fed girlfriends are hardly a beacon of emotional stability , and Del was on a diet. Confused what to say , he asked, “Would you like some food? ” , secretly hoping she’d refuse.
That right there, is how relationships work.
4 years ago.
Del saw him for the first ever time that morning, helping a blind man cross the street. He wore low-waist suede pants, a leather jacket and had a rugged body with an appealing face. She gave the skies a quick thumbs up, and casually walked past him, although making sure he took notice. By nightfall, she had all his information, and had arranged for a friend of a friend who was his classmate to mention her to him. ( Take a minute to process that if you need to, ha-ha ) . A week from then, it turned out what she wanted , wanted her too and Del was waiting for him at her hostel gate all dressed up for their first date.
They were each other’s firsts for a lot of things, and over time became each other’s complete social life. Family was ignored, friends were forgotten and grades became unimportant. On the night of their first ‘anniversary’ , Del had a dream. She dreamt of a mail box with their names on it, just the one. It didn’t take much for her to fall head over heels in love with him, anybody would have. The next morning she told him all about her little dream, and he kissed her and said, ‘You dreamt of your future, I’m looking at mine.’
Here’s the catch. When this happened, Del and her perfect boyfriend were seventeen years old.
After spending three years infiltrating social media with cheesy pictures and videos, indulging in PDA that could get anyone to look away, and being declared as ‘relationship goals’ by their peer group, Del and Mr.Del were graduating. Both of them knew what it meant but were too afraid to talk about it. She wanted to stay with her family and get a job, and he wanted to learn to fly.
Her father got Del working for a company of his friend’s in no time, where as all was not well for her dream man. The mistakes he had made over his school years seemed like mirrors now. He could not imagine going a day without her, but he couldn’t help blaming her for his lack of preparation. He was fighting a battle of his own and had asked Del to stay away from him for a few days. She was bewildered and had expected him to come to her for morale, instead he was pushing her away. A week later, our damsel expressed her fears to a senior, who then arranged for some job interviews.
Del thought of this as a perfect solution to everything and went to meet him. She knew he would be glad and the thoughts of the mailbox filled her mind once again. They would get an apartment and may be a dog. It would need a lot of parking space , since he’d never give up his motorcycle. She lost track of time and when they finally met, and the conversation that followed was unacceptable to her. He felt humiliated and said she made him feel like a failure who couldn’t get by on his own. She argued that she only wanted to help, and the rest is history. They were broken up by the next day.
A young law student was moving into her new room. She was making space for her belongings when she found a box made of broken matchsticks. She figured it was an old science project item and picked it up to put it on the pile of disposables. A letter fell out, mostly blotched ink and indecipherable writing. Of the few words that made sense, these caught her eye.
“Don’t let your delusions stand in the way of your dreams.”
That little clump of matchsticks used to be Del’s mailbox, and that was the only letter it ever received.