It was a long time since I went to the university I studied some years ago. When I was a student there, I was in love with a classmate. She was beautiful and sexy, and moreover, she liked my presence. We did not go any further than having coffee together and exchanging letters of sweet nothings.
Eventually, we completed our course and had to leave the campus. I found a job as a marketing executive and she, as a lecturer in the same university.
Despite my touring job, I did not try to meet her again. I came to know about her job through friends. But this time, our company had organized a conference in the university campus, and I had no choice but to attend. Secretly, I wanted to see, if not meet, my friend.
I reached the place and got into the hotel my company had booked for us. The conference was scheduled at ten. I got ready and hired a cab to go to the campus. I went to my department and was surprised to see quite some changes there. I wondered how much my love would have changed.
I walked through the corridor, looking for her name. There it was. Dr. Kalpana, MSc, PhD. Asst. Prof.
Wow! She had done her doctorate too. I felt a little uneasy. I saw her room was locked. I realized it was too early for the department to be open. In my anxiousness, I forgot to see the time. I headed to the canteen where I had spent countless hours. In the almost empty canteen, the owner recognized me. We had some informal chat and he did not charge me for the tea. Slowly the students and lecturers started pouring in. I thought Dr. Kalpana must have arrived too.
I knocked on the open door and waited for her response. Her voice came ‘Yes?’ I walked into the room. There she was — my love, my heart, and my dream girl. She is almost unchanged except for putting on a little weight. After all, it was about a decade after we separated. She instantly recognized me and was visibly surprised, ‘Hey, Anand! What a surprise! What are you doing here?’ She rose from her chair and came towards me. I smiled, scanning her with my eyes. Perhaps, I was comparing her with what she used to be as a student.
She stretched her hand for a shake, and responded. Her hand was soft. She almost pulled me into a chair across the table. I sat and she went back to her chair. Her eyes were sparkling and she almost stared at me. I asked, ‘how are you, Kalpana?’ She replied immediately, ‘I am great and what about you? Where are you? Where did you disappear all these years? Did you get married?’
After a few minutes, we were recollecting our ventures as students. We laughed at what we did together. Her office was huge, and it had another small room attached. The adjacent lab was for research students. Since it was quite early in the day, no one has yet come.