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Thursday, May 8, 2014

That Time in Delhi


Agra Fort, India
Agra Fort, India
“No, tell me. I want to know how you felt about it.” You told me this while I was trying to tell you how hard it has been to tell my parents about this trip. You’re actually the first one who genuinely listened to all the fears I had to face before I made the big decision to quit my job and travel.

It was past midnight, the rest of the group already left the rooftop. It was only us two left on that cold November night. It was my first night back in Delhi, my last stop in India before going to Nepal. It was your second week in Delhi – your first stop in India. And it was also your last two nights before you continue on with your travels.

I couldn’t even remember anymore how it happened, how you ended up sitting right beside me. But I do remember how we were the only people who were fans of NCIS, I loved how you remember all the names of the characters in that series. Several bottles of beers after, people were getting tired and cold. You asked me if I was going to sleep already, I told you I had to wait for a friend to drop off some medicines for the stomach flu I got in Varanasi. You said you’d wait with me.

“Insomnia. Might as well just stay here with you.” That was the first time you made me smile.

Two hours we waited for my friend. How happy I was actually that we had those hours just the two of us. You told me about your life, about the realizations you had that lead you to decide to quit your job and travel for a year. You told me about your mom and how much you love her, and how much she supports your traveling. I told you about the reason why I quit my job. How hard it was to tell people and my parents about it. You listened, you actually listened. I told you about my fears – of what will be my life after the trip ends.

And then you told me about the importance of living in the present and enjoying what’s only here and now. And that’s what I did the rest of my trip, what made me braver to say yes to moments and taking chances.

My friend arrived a few hours after, and you went out to the gate with me to meet him. I admired how easy it was for you to warm up to him that we spent almost an hour more with him after. You seem to be like that to everyone that people get so easily drawn to you.

We bid my friend goodbye, then you asked if you can use the toilet in our room because the one in your room wasn’t working. A ‘move’ I apparently wasn’t aware of, as my friends who I was sharing the dorm room with said the morning after. But that night you hugged me good night before you left the room, and that was the second time you made me smile.

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You were leaving that day. It was the first time I got attached to someone in the trip. My first taste of the constant goodbyes I had to deal with and give – the reality of life on the road.

You couldn’t join us for lunch anymore, you woke up late. That was probably my fault, or the beers and alcohol we all had the night before. I too was so sleepy that day that I could have just went up straight to my room to take a nap. But I knew I had to say goodbye to you. So I waited down at the common room. A few minutes after, you were there with your backpack on. Ready to check out and catch your bus going to Dharamsala. You saw me and then you smiled. I stood up and walked towards you.

“I 'm not ready to say goodbye to you yet. You’re the last person I want to say goodbye to.”

I didn’t really know what to say. I just smiled and hugged you.

I can’t remember anymore what we said to each other after that hug. All I remember is your smile and the last time you fixed that rowdy part of my hair and tucked it behind my ear.