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Of love, letters, and a friendship of a lifetime

They parted ways after four years of being together. It had been the most enriching relationship—because it was all about pen and paper, in the letters they diligently wrote to each other every week.

After all these years, she still remembered the magic he weaved with his words. She recalled the book titles he introduced her to in his list of ‘10 books to read every week’- To kill a mockingbird, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The moon and sixpence and many, many more. She would write back with her list—between them, they read quite a diverse range of books. He read his Robert Frost while she read her Jane Austen. Their billet-doux was nothing short of songs of innocence and experience. He, with his experience and gift of words, nurtured her innocence.

But her family objected when they found out about their long-distance relationship as he had nothing going for him—neither his looks nor a job, not even his family background. For her, though, he had all the qualities she ever wanted in her partner—a way with words and a loving heart. But, innocent as she was, at the tender age of 19, she gave in to her mother’s emotional plea to let go of the relationship. Leaving their conversations dangling, they went their separate ways.

Until that year, when she revisited those letters and had a sudden urge to reconnect with him.


There never was a bridge over the troubled waters that flowed down for nearly 20 years. Their respective marriages broke down but neither of them ever got to know of it. All this while, she diligently filed away their love letters. Until that year, when she revisited those letters and had a sudden urge to reconnect with him. She contacted a common friend, and cleverly, or that’s what she thought, wrangled out his mobile number from her. On his birthday, she sent a text message: “Happy birthday, Bookworm!” Audibly startled, he immediately called back. “Is that you?” Only one person called him by that name and he had to make sure it was her.

It had been over two decades, yet they brought down all barriers and talked as if nothing had changed, picking up from where they had left—no awkward silences, no hesitation. They spoke as effortlessly as they did 20 years ago. Then he revealed he was married again and had a five-year-old son. Her voice quivered as she congratulated him. She felt overwhelmed with a mixed rush of emotions and thoughts that ran amok. Just then the evening breeze enveloped her with a sense of calm. Relationships that don’t work out the way you imagined, don’t have to end in a heartbreak. They can be transformed into something even more beautiful, she smiled wistfully.

Their relationship started with words, ended in distant memories, and was resurrected with a lasting friendship.

Edited by Shalini K Sharma

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