It was my first day in college. As I entered the chemistry class, I saw everyone seated. Apparently, I was late. I started looking for a vacant bench when suddenly someone said, "Here. Come and sit." I looked up; there she was, sitting with a charming smile and looking at me. I felt so good among strangers. I took the seat and finished the lecture. Then I said to her, "Thanks". She said that it was ok and that's how we started talking. Two hours passed and time flew like winds.
That's how I met Rachel. She had an aura of earthiness and a charm that put me completely under the spell of the sweet friendship we shared. We started sitting together for lectures, lunch and even bunked a few sessions together. We would partner with each other for the projects and even discussed our lives. It was a perfect friendship. There was no trace of jealousy when she overtly talked to other girls or when I did. we understood each other perfectly and had complete freedom for each other. Time moved swiftly.
She would help me through lectures, practicals and exams. During my final year, I was not able to attend most lectures as I started preparing for MBA. Rachel would ensure that I got all the important updates about classes, experiments and projects. She would call me up twice a week to tell me about college. Whenever I could, I attended the sessions and she would again sit by my side and help me mumble answers, in case I was asked any.
Rachel was the most wonderful person I had ever met. Subtle, sober, sincere and sweet... she was everything. I again moved out of my hometown some 200 miles away, after getting selected to complete my MBA. I would never forget the day when I was at college to get my B.SC. mark sheets, how proudly she told everyone of my selection. I was amazed to see how beautifully she celebrated my happiness. We remain connected through calls while I was away. Again I returned back after a year, to finish off my summer internship, when I got another chance to meet her in person. It was June and the "birthday month" for both of us.
My birthday was on June 2nd. She was the first to wish me and we met in the evening after I returned from the office. We chatted for a good four hours and shared everything about my MBA, college, work and she told me of her master's degree and new college mates. Being in the same city was such a big relief!
On the eighteenth, just two days before her birthday, she called me up in the evening, trying to fix a venue for her birthday. We finalized one and as usual, I was looking forward to meet her. Next day was a day off from work, so I lazed around and played video games with my brothers when the phone rang again.
It was Rachel. I picked up. The voice on other end was not hers. It was her brother. He said that Rachel was no more - No More!... I simply didn't understood.
I told him not to fool me but his voice was broken and had a lump. I simply held the cell phone away from myself. My brother, when he looked at me, called "MOM!"
My mom took the phone and talked to Rachels's brother. He confirmed the same thing he told me and said they are about to perform the last rites. Since, I was her best friend, he thought I should see her one last time. My mother put the phone down. Rachel died of an accident.
I was traumatized. Tears covered my face, my eyes were red and I could barely speak. I cried... I cried like hell! How could it happen? It was unbelievable.
My mom told me, we had just an hour to drive to her place and see her. I somehow gathered myself and set off. We reached her place in forty-five minutes. I saw her mother and brother crying bitterly. I went inside. There, clad in a snowy white cloth was the sleeping body of Rachel... looking as serene and sober as ever.
For a minute, I thought she was asleep and would get up any moment. Then, after some time, they took her. I touched her feet, carefully, not to hurt her or wake her up... just to tell her that I was there. I hope she could feel my presence.
After coming back from her funeral, the days, which ensued, were the most turbulent ones in my life so far. To date, whenever I remember, I still see her smiling at me, forever willing to help me. Sometimes when I close my eyes I feel her presence surrounding me. Sometimes, when I'm low, I imagine her and feel a composure covering me.
I know she is there, somewhere...looking at me and smiling!
Through her, I came to know...where the real connection is...Love stays long after we are gone... Like she stays with me to this day!
Copyright © 2010 Shruti Awasthi
About The Author: I'm a 22 year Old girl, currently working as Assistant Manager in GE Capital, India. I was born and brought up in a number of cities, due to my father's transferrable job. I have always taken keen interest in Debates, extempores during my academic career. I'm also a regular blogger and love to share my experiences and thoughts. I'm passionately in poetry too. I love to send messages to people and take immense pleasure in watching people handling life in a better way. I wrote this story because I was missing my friend a lot and thought by sharing this with others, we may re-live the love that was there with us once.
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