****This is a very long post, but contains no filler, please read it till the very end.*****
Jack was a very versatile kid in his school. He was good in studies, good in sports, and was cute as well. His parents saw their dreams in him. His friends saw a guide in him. Someone who will help them in their homework, someone who is ever ready to play, someone who will give them a good advice. Among all the desirable qualities of Jack, he had an undesirable one. He was very shy around girls. Quite an explaination as to why he had so many friends in boys and none in girls.
He never approached any girl in his school and when they did, he helped them but that was it. His diffidence was so high that people often mistook it saying that its his ego. But in reality he had no idea how to talk to a girl.
It was the first day of 8th grade and everyone was overjoyed meeting their old friends. Everybody was busy talking about how they spent their vacations, hobbies that they developed or nurtured. Jack was sitting on the first bench being the shortest in the class filled with giants, labelling his books and writing subject names on them as he prepared for his 8th grade when a girl approached his seat and asked in a soft voice “Do you mind if I sit here with you?”. Jack reluctantly agreed. She was a newly admitted student. Her father was an army man so she was used to getting transferred from one school to another as his father did that for protecting our motherland. “Hi,I am Sophia, what’s your name”she asked Jack as she offered her hand for a handshake . “I am Jack” Jack answered as he touched those cold and soft hands, shaking them gently.
Their friendship flourished all because of her. Jack was shy even now when they have been sharing a seat for 8 months. Jack never said, but he had developed a liking towards her. Sophia also felt the same maybe. All went well and 8th grade ended with Jack securing the first rank as always. Sophia stood third. Both were very happy.
It was the day prior to the day when Jack had to leave with his parents to his native town. He met Sophia and they spent some time together before what was going to be a month of no contact between them. Jack bid Sophia good bye and left with his parents with wet eyes.
After a month, Jack returned and it was the first day of 9th grade. Jack was excited that he will meet Sophia after such a long time. He even reserved the seat for her not letting anyone sit on it. But Sophia didn’t show up. The morning assembly ended and everyone gathered in class.
Teacher used to take the attendance at this time, but today she stood right in front of the kids, no muster, no chalk, just a sad look on her face. She had an announcement to make as it was apparent. She began “Sophia, the student who joined us last grade, was a very sincere and studious student. Never disobeying, always cheerful and friendly. Ten days ago, she passed away in a road accident. Let’s observe a two minute silence and pray for her soul”. Everyone stood up instantly, but for Jack. As if his feet couldn’t gather the courage it took to stand up. Shivering and sobbing he stood up and observed the silence. He lost something in him that day. Something that he couldn’t share with anyone. But the show called life went on.
In mid semester, Jack’s teacher approached him and asked “Will you take part in the upcoming elocution competition?”.
Jack had a very good art of delivering a speech so he readily agreed. He was waiting in a room after their class as told by his teacher, when a girl entered. Jack knew this girl as he had seen him in a previous elocution competition. She had won twice previously and this was her last year in School as she was in 10th. Jack sat quietly waiting for his teacher to arrive. She came and introduced both of them and said that you will be representing our house in competition this year.
Three days passed by as they practised every day after class, but they never talked. Jack quietly left as they completed the work for the day. One fine day she asked him, “don’t you talk to girls?”. Jack stumbled as he was ready to leave. She came closer and said “I am Lily”. “I am Jack” jack answered and left. She realized the awkwardness and tried breaking the bubble he had prepared around himself. She succeeded as they became very good friends. Winning completions in the school and at inter school levels. Jack felt the missing part of his life coming together again. He was happy, after a long long time.
Everyone gathered to bid farewell to the 10th graders and Lily left promising Jack that they will be in touch. Jack remembered some memories of his past and as expected, there was no contact between them that day onwards. When Jack joined social media, he tried to find Lily and succeeded in his hunt. She texted her “Hi, this is Jack”. The reply disheartened Jack big time as it read “Sorry, I don’t know any Jack”. Jack tried hard so that she recollects the memories of their past, but all attempts went futile. She on the other hand remembered Jack as he later found out. She was just avoiding him as her talking to a boy was apparently unpleasant to her beloved love interest.
Jack focussed on his studies, forgetting all this and slowly growing apathetic towards every girl in General. Success kissed his feet as he joined one of the top colleges in his city for Engineering. Now he had changed, he talked to girls, not that shy, but never let anyone grow closer to him.
One day when Sun sank lower in the sky, light of the day draining away, giving away velvety dark of night, Jack was sitting in a class. Not in his college, possibly for his future endeavours. There was no girl, only a boy except him. So happy and overjoyed, as the professor announced we will be joined by one more student in some time. The door opened and a GIRL entered the class. Fair in complexion, spectacular in looks as she wore specs. Jack was also spectacular. She sat two rows ahead of Jack. She hated maths, Jack loved it. She had an inclination towards English, Jack was good in it but mostly conversed in his mother tongue maybe due to his humble background. She used to answer every question posed in class very promptly, Jack knew the answer but never told unless he was specifically asked to. She liked to make new friends and gel around quickly because of her corporate background, Jack enjoyed seclusion. She hated Engineers, and Jack was on the Hate list from first day when he declared that he is one of them. Neither Jack, nor the girl took efforts to start a conversation during the entire time of that class, and rightly so, they were poles apart.
The next class the professor dropped a bomb saying that now only you two people will be continuing in this batch as that person changed his branch. Getting nothing from Jack, the girl started the conversation reluctantly asking him about his background, studies, future, etc. Jack already loathed the girl as it was the first time he had to talk to someone for a complete hour in English informally. At the end she asked him “What’s your good name?”. “I am Jack, what’s your’s?” Jack answered and asked. “I am Jill” she answered.
Being only two people in the class, conversations began and soon after improving Jack’s conversation skills in English, she switched conversing like normal people in their mother-tongue. Jack found out that she is a working woman, independent, mature, caring, loves her family over everything, is sad sometimes worrying about her future, always ready to enjoy, very helpful, strong determination, and has a very weak immune system, yet is ever ready to eat junk food. Like oil and water they were immiscible, having nothing in common, but miracles happen and they became very good friends. She says sometimes often jokingly, that they are like sugar and water now. Travelling, watching new movies, consoling each other in hard times, helping each other in studies. She enjoys taunting him on her height when she is herself shorter than him. Whenever she was sad, Jack took her for a walk, whenever Jack was angry, she pacified him. She was very good in hiding her secrets and extracting other’s. Stubborn at times, lazy at times, but had an art to get things done according to her. Their friendship flourished and grew and is still growing. Till now there hasn’t been a sad ending and Jack an Jill both wish that there is never a sad end. Jack is very happy since a very long time after a very long time and wishes to be the same for a very long time.
To read part 2, click here JACK and JILL (Part 2)