This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 11; the eleventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

All characters in this story are fictional. Any similarity to person or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

I had entered a new world. Holding on tightly to the girl who meant the world to me, I’d taken my first steps into that room full of faces I had never seen before. No eyes that looked at me seemed friendly and I grasped my girl’s hand more tightly. Then, she came. The other girl… she came and took my other hand and with a shy smile, said, “Hi, I’m Anita. Can we be friends?” I looked up at my favorite girl, and she said, “Go on now. You’ve found your first friend.” I slowly let her hand go and smiled at Anita. “I’m Akash.” She held my hand tightly and led me to a vacant seat next to her bag. When I looked back, Mom was smiling at me, waving bye. I smiled back and waved.

We talked and over the next few days, we became inseparable. We learnt the alphabets together, and she let me dot her I’s and cross her T’s. Our homes were in opposite directions, so we held each other’s hand when we walked in school itself. Even the teachers smiled when they saw us together. Best friends, from our first meet itself. I was scared in this new world at first, but her hand made me lose that fear. Years passed, grades changed; our friendship did not falter. She grew up to become the prettiest girl in the college, I into the bespectacled studious scholar. We still sat next to each other, had lunch together, but something had changed between us. I didn’t know till…

The monsoon had started. After the grueling summer, it was a relief. The Bangalore weather had taken its toll on me, and I was just glad for the drops from heaven to grace the earth. I waited for Ani at the café where we usually spent an hour each evening before going home after work. The raindrops hit the window pane as I looked out anxiously for her on the road.

Behind this cascade
Of white dewdrops
A lady waits for me
My heart with her
Since many years so
Hidden, yet I can see

The door opened, and she stood there. She’d forgotten her umbrella again. I’d reminded her that morning too, but she never listened to me. I smiled, seeing her there, wet to the skin and her clothes hugging her like they were stuck there since forever. Yet some feeling inside me reacted unlike a friend. It had been happening since a few months now, but I never gave it any notice. I went to her, gave her a hug.

“Do you want to get yourself killed with a cold, you silly female? I reminded you in the morning too. I’ll have to tape that umbrella to your hand I think”, I chided her.

She smiled and gave me a friendly push. “Aki, leave it. If it happens, maybe I’ll enter the record books. What’d you think? Will I look good there?”

Leave it to her to make me laugh. I ordered hot coffee while she sat watching the rain through the window. I sat opposite to her, and her eyes had that old twinkle still.

Smile does your eyes
Every single moment
So pretty a sight
In them your heart
So open and true
Just feels so right

“Who do you think is crying, Aki?” her voice broke my thoughts. I looked at her. She was looking at the sky through the glass, a single teardrop sliding down her cheek. A few years back, her mother had passed away. Now she loved the rain because she thought her mom was looking at her and crying. I smiled wanly and touched her hand to make her look at me. She wiped her tear and smiled back.

“Maybe it’s her; maybe it’s a star that loves you a lot. Let’s drench ourselves in that love while it lasts. Who knows? Maybe that star is there in our world itself”, I said.

A star loves you
Is that star me?
Says so my heartbeat
Do I believe it?
Profess that love now
Give friendship backseat?

“Aki, I’m so glad you’re my best friend. You know how to make me smile. I could talk with you forever. Hey, guess what? That colleague of mine, Jay, he proposed to me today. Oh how I laughed. As if I’d tell yes. It seems so lame when people mistake friendship for love. I hope I didn’t hurt him. He’s not that bad, but I’m not ready for commitments. Not mature yet”, she said, smiling.

“Yeah, you’re like Baby Anita. Still playing pranks, the child in you will get exhausted soon”, I smiled. The smile was fake, the thoughts of my heart vanquished into its depths to lay there forever. I was never going to let her speak of me like that.

“Youuuu…!” she exploded, laughing and reaching across the table to try and give me a friendly punch. “On a serious note, Dad has started seeing guys for me. He says I’m becoming too old too soon. I’ve to meet someone tomorrow, here. Will you be here? Give me moral support na Aki. You know how I stutter when I meet people for the first time now. Not like that cutie girl who came to you and asked to be friends. Remember?”

I nodded. That day was one I’d never forget. She was my first friend.

How can I forget?
The day you came
The day changed me
A friend to cherish
Long into my life
You made me happy

“Aki, let us forget its raining and walk outside. It felt so nice. It’s stuffy inside here. Won’t you come with me?” she said, getting up. “What? You’ll catch a cold Ani”, I said pulling her nose. “Imagine how difficult it would be to do that with a cold”.

“I’ll take that as an added advantage. Now come on”, she countered and pulled me to my feet. The coffee remained forgotten.

The rain had reduced in intensity, but Ani hugged herself tightly and cupped her hand to collect the drops and splash me. I smiled and tried to splash her back. We traveled back in time, escaping our minds and playing like we once had when we were kids.

I walked her back home, even though she stayed far away. At her gate, she leant in and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “You know you didn’t have to come all the way here. I’d have been fine. I’m glad you did though. I’m really glad I have you as my best friend”, she said, and opening her gate, walked to her door. I stood there for a few minutes. I wanted to go take her hand and profess my love for her, yet I didn’t want to hurt her by asking to be more than friends.

Till today, darling
I just was a friend
My heart wants more
Yet your cute smile
It means such a lot
Your joy so much more
Feelings now for you
May have changed
But friendship not
They’ll remain with me
Hidden in my heart
Deep, almost forgot

Ani didn’t meet me the next day. She called to say she had to go to Chennai on urgent work and wouldn’t be able to meet me for some days. I thought it was strange that happened, but told her would be waiting patiently. A week passed, but she didn’t call. I went to her home, but no one was there. I began to get worried. She was always on my mind, but I was helpless. I didn’t know where she was in Chennai. Weeks turned to months, months to a year. I got married. My wife Minal was supportive. She didn’t let me forget my friend. If I told her of Ani, she’d comfort me. My dad passed away sometime after my marriage. I thought I would forget Ani soon, immersing myself in my love to Minu, to my mom…

…till today.

I’d returned from work, and reading the post when Minu told there was a package for me on the dinner table. She gave me my coffee and became busy in the kitchen. It was a small package, from a Ritu Shah. I didn’t recognize the name, but work related packages usually were such. I opened it and pulled out a book, gift wrapped with glitter paper. I opened it to find a book of verses, “Faded Past – My Life in Rhyme”; the author – Anita Sharma.

I found the letter inside the book.

To my Aki,

I’m safe here, in this city. No, I’m not in Chennai, but somewhere far away. I know you might search for the postmark, so I’ve asked my friend Ritu to do it from her hometown. How are you? Is it still raining in Bangalore? I know you got married. I saw the photos. Your dad had invited me, but I had not the courage to face you like that. Hope you both are fine & she’s taking good care of you.

I know you might have never forgiven me for leaving the garden city like that, without a proper goodbye. I didn’t want to either, but I had to. Something was changing. I felt it in you too, and I didn’t want that. Remember that last time? When you walked me home… I still remember that kiss. There’s something you didn’t know that night. I was late because I’d been to my physician.

I began to see you
Not just as friends
But more
My heart wished
You to be
That little pearl
In its lonely shore
Yet when it beats
I see you smile
Even from afar
I had not courage
To see you cry
When I was a star

Your hand I loved
More than life
You were my all
Now don’t cry
My dear dearest
I’m yet to fall

Time is less now
I know not when
Heaven I will see
In your mind
I know for sure
My image shall be

Hold her hand
Just smile for me
Both I want to bless
As finally now
Witness you both
My love I confess

I had just few months to live, final stages of that fatal illness. By the time this letter shall reach you, I know I’ll be gone. We always had that rhyming heart. Along with this letter, a copy of my book I gift to you. It’s the first copy. I hope you shall treasure it. Sorry is too small a word to tell for that worry I’ve caused you, but maybe someday, you shall understand. I’m still your Ani, and you, my Aki. I’ll be watching over you from above – a star in that night sky.

Lots of love…

Your best friend forever,
Your Ani

The envelope fell from the book. The dedication I could see. “To my Aki and his darling… my love for you is beyond Heaven”

A single teardrop slid down my cheek. Her hand held mine tightly. I went outside and saw the night sky with her.

The coffee remained forgotten…

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

66 thoughts on “Hidden”

  1. Real tear-jerker!! Sort of on the 'Kal Ho Na Ho' movie lines but not the same. Enjoyed the prose and poetry combination!!ATB!!

  2. U seriously made me cry…..only u could create such magic of true love and true happiness….u left me speechless….i salute ur creativity and applaud ur sentiments.You deserve all awards of love and creativity….!Loved it beyond words

  3. Not just a single teardrop fell from my eyes :(…it made my eyes blurred after reading her letter…Ahmmmm…I am speechless I have to read over and over again, and the impact on me gets even deeper.I just feel so bad Ani left without saying a single word. That could have made Aki feel better.Being drenched in the rain with your loved one is pure bliss. It added another magic into your love story. Friendships are best foundation for any kind of relationship, much more on a romantic relationship. Guess I am just guessing here. But no, I am sure of myself na…A unique take, a combination of subtle prose and poetry.Good luck for BATON, I wish to see much more cheers for you this time than that of last month and of course to grab the trophy from Vipul. Peace, Vipul!

  4. As far as love stories go, your the master. No one writes them as well as you. I don't like love stories. But your artistic expression weaved with poetry is something I really admire. This was truly a story of the heart.

  5. Hey Leo,this one is a Tragic Love Story to the core..An after effect of BPL?Whatever it is..It has moved me from the bottom of my heart.The rain..Aah and tears..What a simile!You are an utter romantic that you used the subject Hidden in such a way! KUdos Man!

  6. Lovely. Touching story . Very well written . Though long , had all the elements in it to keep one reading till the endnice oneall the best!!

  7. Hello LEO!1.I'm glad I'm able to comment! Tried commenting a couple of times earlier during previous BATOMs but couldn't! I simply could not access the posts and always got an error message!2.You're one talented writer backed by a good poet in you! Not too many people are gifted with an ability to do justice to both genres which you have clearly done!3.Its a pleasure to read such a flawless post.4.Now I know the reason behind the number of followers you've got! You've got one more from today! :)Good luck with BATOM! 🙂

  8. this has left me speechless, literally. at first, i thought it would be a really sweet love story but it turned out to be just so sad.. 🙁 almost made me cry… and you've written beautifully, Leo, really, this is one of the most beautifully written stories I've ever read. i loved the descriptions of every small thing and i loved the overall story line. in one word, superb! p.s. it's jus the third entry im reading so far but i'm sure already that it's going to be one of the best of the lot! 🙂

  9. Hey Dear,:) 🙂 I loved this post soooooooooooo much… really blv me a drop of tear on my lap now 🙂 Love,Meow 🙂

  10. I have a liking for long posts so ,I spent some more time reading your post again.The presentation style was very nice, the flow smooth,but somewhere I thought the central storyline could have been a bit different.

  11. It was the same heart break story line but there was something special here. The guy's thoughts in poetry added a touch to it. I wasn't expecting the end to be this but by the time I reached the end, I was too engrossed…Very nice. All the Best!

  12. Thanks to: Scribbler. only me huh? 🙂 glad u liked it dear, and thanks for the many words of praise you've given to my Hidden! 🙂

  13. Thanks to: Amity.u cry a lot! 😀 glad u liked it and found it engrossing! 🙂 maybe it would have, but Ani wouldn't have told of her illness or love and ruined her bestie's life! yeah, i guess rain and love do go hand in hand! 🙂 i hope i grab the trophy from Vipul too! 🙂

  14. Thanks to: The Fool.:) me, master of love stories?! 😀 wow. thanks dude. high praise comin from u.. glad u liked it.

  15. Thanks to: Raksha.1.I'm glad you were able to comment! Error message is because my blog is sort of heavy and perhaps the net was slow at your end too.2.Glad that you thought I was able to do justice to both genres in the post! :)3. Pleasure to have u read it! :)4. Your follow is very much appreciated :)Good luck with BATOM! 🙂

  16. Thanks to: Mehak.i like to do sad endings these days! donno why.. but i'm not predictable in the ending! comes with the flow. glad u liked it and even though only 2 b4 me, glad u find it good enough for the top! 😀

  17. Thanks to: Gyanban.oh? glad u liked most of it! 😀 will check with the storyline, maybe put in a bit more for the next BAT.

  18. Thanks to: Megha.yeah.. same old storyline.. but a touch of Leo 😀 glad it had the energy to keep u engrossed! 🙂

  19. oppss..already late I guess 😛 nyways , cmg of this post : A lot of hard work you have put in , so beautifully written !! One of your "the best" fictional post 🙂 Amazingly written ..In fact superb !! Running out of words actually ..the best i liked is emotions – they are so very put in form of words , which I guess you alone can do it in such a way !! 🙂 the poem and letter added to the beauty 🙂 All the best for BATOM :)I realy wish this time you make it 🙂

  20. Nice post.. a sad yet sweet tale of love and sacrifice.. Friendship and love have such a thin line in between that often people get confused where they are. Narration was great.. held on to my interest until the end.. Great one leo 🙂

  21. Like I always thought, you are a talented writer. Keep up the good work! And I like the poem part of it!Sureindran R.www.sureindran.blogspot.com

  22. Thanks to: A Dreamy Gal.yes. i hope i make it too dear! 🙂 glad u liked the poem prose combo and the emotions in the post! 🙂

  23. Leo: Wonderful!!I am doing this at work,but can't stop that tear in my eye…The love that grows from friendship is too pure to be put in words!!Loved loved loved it!!

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