"Hi I am Reet! and you?", He put forward his smoke smeared hands towards me for a handshake as we exchanged glances for the first time. We had talked a bit before formally introducing ourselves. We shared a lot of interest that lead us to acknowledge the fact that we had been working on some similar activities lately. "Aanya", I said almost drowning in his honey glazed eyes. His eyes were dreamy, fair skin tone and with a medium build. I didn't realize how fast we became friends over a cup of "chai" exchanging tales of our life which then had made no sense. Time passed, days rolled, months went by and our friendship blossomed over time. I used to meet him almost every day sometimes at his place or the vice versa. We flirted occasionally but never took that to the next level. Little did he knew that I, yes a paranoid, barely a 20 years old was deeply in love with him. I made sure not to express it infront of him. When he flirted I just used to reciprocate to just not seem rude. And it continued for years. He left the Assam for his further studies and I encouraged him for the same, knowing that distance was the ultimate reason for broken relations. But he didn't fail to keep in touch being miles away. He sent me gifts and I used to send him baked goods. Hour long phone calls and occasional video chat kept us close. He joked at times when I mentioned that I missed him saying, "Harey! Go to my room specially near my desk whenever you miss me; who knows I might be right there!" And he hysterically laughed away. I too did the same. Laughed it off. Once he called me asking a weird question, "What would you say if one day I said I love you?" "Kick you back to your senses and say that I ain't that pretty girl you saw at India Gate!" And I laughed away which he too joined in. But deep down I wished he asked that for real and I had answered it differently. But who knew it was our last laugh together. Yes that was our last convo. I didn't heard for him the next few days, initially it became weeks. Worried I called his brother, Sanidhya, "Where is he ? Where is Reet? He is not picking up my calls nor am I seeing him online." "He is here. Right here by his desk. In his room. Soaking in the morning sun light into his body." Without having a second thought I rushed to his place, 'Was he sick?, Did he came home to surprise me? Or did he not talk to me cause he was angry after the way I answered his question? ' These were the only thoughts rushing in my mind throughout. I had made up my mind that I would hug him tightly and confess my love for him no matter how he reacts. I reached there but I couldn't see him instead I sensed only silence. Dread silence and his brother on his bed. His desk had a withered rose and a note that was written right before he left for delhi. "He died last week. Battling stage 3 cancer. He didn't go to delhi for his further studies but he went there for his treatment. He lied to you because he knew it would break you down. He wrote this letter for you knowing that he would never be able to say this personally. Yes he loved you. And to such an extent that he felt it was better not to tell you because his condition would forever cause you pain!" his brother burst out sobbing and left the room. I grabbed the letter and the rose and rushed out from his house. Walking down the lane beside the lake I wiped my tears holding the withered rose that he left on his desk. I walked a bit untill I reached the plank at the side of the lake that allowed you to see the sunset. "You are gone...ju..just li...like this sun, the only difference is that it would come back tomorrow but you won't!, screaming I fell down on my knees and cried uncontrollably crushing the withered rose in my hand and crumbling the note on my other.