(As told to Ashley Gomes)
It is a rare thing in this day and age to have a long distance affair without the convenience of video chat, or having ever met.
“Hi, do we know each other?” was the first question my first ever crush, Joe asked me in November 2015.
He was my first crush
Though he hadn’t noticed me, I had a crush on him from the first time I saw him in church, years ago, when I was in school. He had a hypnotic charm and I was drawn to his ‘swag’ like a magnet. His beautiful, smooth voice was part of his addictive charisma.
I chanced upon his profile on Facebook several years after school and sent him a friend request. Joe accepted it immediately. I used to like all his posts, and he wanted to know who this new girl was, ‘liking’ all his posts.
It was also the time when I was recovering from my breakup.
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We share a great understanding
We’ve been in touch for almost two years now and share the same passions; we both love to read and write. Joe loves to read non-fiction and works on his daily journal/diary. His thirst for knowledge intrigues me.
We have a great understanding of each other, and can sense each other’s moods just from the tone of voice.
Joe says that he finds me ‘exceptional’ compared to other girls he has known. He says, “You are very down to earth, homely, loving, caring and your ability to understand my moods is very good.” I am truly blessed to have him in my life.
Joe knows of my breakup with the only other man in my life, my ex, where I put my life in jeopardy; I’d tried to take my own life. He was also rather upset that I didn’t complete my Masters and at his insistence, I’m completing my Masters degree in Mumbai.
We don’t do video calls
I would call our love, ‘blind’, because though he has never seen me, he cares for me deeply. He’s working in the Middle East, and though I’ve seen him in the flesh, he has never met me in person. He has only seen me in the photographs that I send him from time to time. While other long-distance couples can converse with each other over video, we’ve never done that. This is because my ex broke my phone and I can’t use the video-calling feature on it. I’m doing an expensive course away from home so it’s not possible for me to buy a new handset at the moment.
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Such a caring man
He cares for me a lot and calls every weekend. We often speak for hours. I just love talking to him, laughing with him and driving him crazy over all my uncertainties. I fear that like the only other relationship I was in, before this, this one too will fail! But he says no matter what happens, he will not let me go. If I don’t message him during the day, he calls to ask after my wellbeing that night. He takes time from his very busy schedule to keep the relationship ticking.
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He promises to stand by me
Yes, we’ve had our share of arguments. We argue for two reasons – first, my fear that our relationship will not work out and second, that his family will not accept me as he belongs to a conservative south Indian family and I am a Bengali. Joe assures me that he will stand by me, even if it means going against his family.
We’ve decided to give ourselves a year. So when he comes back to India we’re going to meet and plan a future together. He’s my inspiration, my strength and stress buster, my life. Joe is unique – he’s an old soul in a young body; my soul mate.