Sample Chapters

All you need is just a Second

Expectations and Experiences
I have this friend of mine, who has been in a very serious relationship for three years. During the early stages of their relationship, everything seemed perfect. There was love in everything they were experiencing. Watching them like that, even I felt that their connection and the spark would continue forever.

In this couple, the guy was very practical, introvert and balanced. The girl is a bit expressive, hyper and short tempered. As I told in their early stages, the guy was expressing his love, and the girl was enjoying that attention. Slowly that spark diminished. She started to expect more, and he could not reach to her expectations. Not that he became irresponsive, just that he could not reach her imaginations. He had his way of expressing things, and she wanted him to communicate in the way she pictured, imagined.

Each time they planned something, it was the girl who was taking the initiative. Each time, irrespective of the occasion, it was she who was throwing surprises. Though the good morning and the excellent night texts aren’t that mandatory, it was she again who was sending them first. She started to get pissed off on this. She craved so much for his attention and badly wanted the guy to behave in the way she expected and imagined.

One day, I happened to meet her at a coffee shop. She was sitting alone outside. I thought she was waiting for her guy. So I just waved hands at her and went inside. I was watching her all the time when I was waiting for my coffee to arrive. She was sitting there and just smoking, thinking very deeply about something. I observed her for about 20 minutes, nothing changed, except for her coffee cup being emptied and the cigarette pack, half finished. Yet no one arrived.

I decided to go and sit with her. I took my coffee cup and went to greet her. She just faked a smile, and I still sat to ask her what’s wrong?

In the beginning, she did not open up. She just acted fine. But slowly she started to sob. She was controlling her urge to not disclose anything, but see; sometimes all you need is a person to listen to you and that day it was me who wanted to hear to her.

She started telling how things became horrible in her relationship. She poured out her agony. She told me how she was slowly losing her patience with her guy. I started to ask her more. So this is what she said then.

With the New Year was arriving, this girl along with their group of other friends planned a short trip to the nearest place. Tell me who doesn’t love spending quality time with a good group, that too on the New Year’s Eve? Everything was planned, and the tickets were also booked. So the plan was to leave to that place by train on 30th morning and reach by the next day at noon. They planned for a campfire on the 31st night and decided to celebrate that night well.

A group of 12 people planned for this trip including these two. But, unfortunately, this guy happened to have struck up with some pending work and could not continue the train journey. But the rest made it and left to the place by train. These two were left out. Reason one is this. They had a canceled trip.

As I mentioned, coz his girl is too much short-tempered, she quickly got disappointed and started to get depressed because of this canceled plan. While being at work itself, he convinced her to take her on a flight and reach the place even before them. She somehow was ok and again made plans to celebrate the NYE, the way they planned. Unfortunately, again they could not get the flight tickets immediately and she got disappointed. Reason two is this. A canceled trip once again.

This time she began yelling and started to fight with the guy. He still remained patient. He promised her to take her on the trip and shared his idea of boarding the train that evening. She did not agree to this, but he slowly convinced her. Their train was at 5.00pm on 30th evening. (The other group left around 6.00am that morning). The clock hit 3.30pm. Yet this guy did not return from his work. He was still stuck. She kept calling him time and again, yet he did not reach. Around 3.40 pm he finally came, and they both booked a cab to the railway station. They were expecting to reach the station before the train would leave. Without traffic, it usually takes 30 minutes to reach the railway station. They had more than 50 minutes, and she was expecting to catch that train before time.

She was already pissed out plus she was tensed. The entire journey in the cab, she was yelling at him, and he stayed calm. She was continually asking the driver to go fast and was worried about reaching the train on time. Her bad, the driver took a wrong route, and he was driving very slowly, they missed the train. They arrived at the station at 5.10pm and the train left by then. She is exhausted now. Reason three is this. Canceling the planned trip, again.

She started to sit and weep. They had no choice now. But this guy went to the current reservation center to inquire if there was any train available next, to reach the place. Luckily at 5.30pm, they had another train. So he decided to book tickets for that train under current reservation. When he was about to pay the money for the tickets, he noticed that he was short of two thousand rupees. He somehow requested the counter lady to hold for few minutes, until he withdraws the cash at the atm, but she informed that she will have to cancel their booking if it takes time. As there was a massive queue at the ATM, he got late, and someone else booked the same tickets online. Once again they could not make it, and reason four was this.

Now she decided to fight with him, pointing at his mistakes seriously. They really had no choice. In fact, he also did not have any option, but he did not want to make his girl unhappy, he decided to take a general ticket and board the same train at 5.30pm.

But without reservation, traveling for so many hours, that too with her! This guy thought about this again and again even after purchasing the tickets. But she badly wanted to go and he did not want to disappoint herself again. She asked him to make up his mind, and finally, they boarded the train. He took this step, just coz he did not want to disappoint his girl. They somehow managed the TC and finally got seats after about 2 hours. They reached the place next day evening, and the entire trip went well.

She finished saying. I asked her what’s wrong with her now, coz they went on the trip finally. She started to sob. She started explaining to me, how badly she put him into confusion and troubled him. She felt guilty for making him run here and there and force him to take her on the trip at the last moment.

“After a long working day, he felt exhausted and missing the trains and canceling the trips also made him lose his temper. But he never showed up on me. He patiently did everything to take me on the trip, and he finally gave me a wonderful experience on the trip. I was wondering how he can be so patient and suppress his anger. I know he was worried to travel without a reservation. Even in that situation, he saw my comfort, and that’s why he decided to cancel the trip because the reservation was not there. But it was me, who was again forcing him. Yet he did so much and finally managed two tickets. I deeply feel ashamed about how I badly irritated him. Being struck up at work isn’t his mistake. Coz sometimes you will have special requirements for clients, and you might get late. Missing the flight isn’t his mistake, coz it’s difficult to get tickets on the spot, that too before the NYE. The cab driver driving slowly and taking a wrong route isn’t his mistake, coz I was busy fighting, and he could not concentrate on the route. Not having enough cash to pay at the ticket counter wasn’t his mistake too, coz he did not know how much would it cost for the current booking. Not making up his mind even after taking the general tickets wasn’t his mistake again, coz he was worried about me, facing discomfort throughout the entire journey standing. It was my foolishness not to understand him and hurt him so much. Thinking of that day, I still feel guilt for troubling him so much,” she said and started to weep more.

I just patted her. I gave her few tissues, and she continued to cry. I advised her to apologize him in a nice way about what happened and told her that he will surely understand and forgive. I also suggested her to understand his situation too and try not to complain about everything in future. I even told her to stop expecting too much all the time and to convey anything to him, in a soft way. Lastly, I said her to forgive and forget anything immediately and understand and support him, if it did not go according to her expectations and to continue the relationship in a healthier way.

She nodded her head, and I later left for my place.

I was thinking about what she said and left the text to her guy, asking how he can be so patient in that overall situation. (I have known the couple for a while). I really got awakened by what he left as a reply.

He sent, “I know I am solely responsible for what had happened that day. I understood her position and also know that she hates canceling anything. And this was being canceled again and again; I knew she was pissed off more. I did not want to make her disappointed. I wanted to make her happy. I completely understood her situation, and she was being the victim of that situation. I only had this in my mind- to not disappoint her. That’s why, though we were unable to make it for the trip those many times that day, I still kept trying, coz I only wanted to see that smile on her face and her excitement while celebrating the way she wanted. Coz her happiness is all enough to make me happy too, and I find so much satisfaction in making her wishes come true”.
I was left speechless. I felt happy for my friend to have got such an understanding partner. I texted her to ask how things were and all she sent me were delighted smilies.
After she apologized, he too felt sorry for disappointing her, again and again, that day. Later in a text, she thanked me and even promised him to understand the situations and move in view of those, leaving back imaginary expectations. She, in fact, decided to live in reality and act accordingly. I felt pleased and wished them all the happiness. I was so excited to see both of them thinking from each other’s perspectives and understanding the person in situations that are not in control. That’s what is essential for any healthy relationship.

All it took was just a second of her to realize. All it took was just a second for him to understand her. Though she acted irritating that second, he stayed calm and went ahead, just to see that ‘second’ where she smiles. Even though she irritated in that second, she later realized and decided to behave understanding hereafter, just to make him happy every ‘second.’
This is what I personally feel is essential for having a long lasting happy relationship. Understanding each other in situations and apologizing for the significant other, after few mistaken behaviors and forgetting the wrong circumstances and then moving ahead, leaving all these bad experiences behind and then still hoping for experiencing many more beautiful moments ahead.

Coz all you need is just a second, to expect, experiment and experience.

‘All you need is just a Second’ to express LOVE.

About The Author: Divya Vallabhaneni


I always wanted to be the voice for those in need. That’s the main reason I did my masters in journalism. But my professional career was of no help to my personal desires. That doesn’t mean I wanted my job to be of some help personally. I just wanted to use my job to be of some help for the society.

I always wanted to be that person whose work can impact people’s lives. Though holding a very powerful role in a media channel, I could do nothing to those who most wanted some change. I tried ways to showcase incidents that were useful but failed each time. So I have decided to resign to a post that could never let me do something useful. I felt as an individual I could do more productive work than working as an employee under someone.

That’s when I decided to own a medium that will help me reach out many issues that needed immediate attention. That’s when was born. I began writing blogs, posting videos that were meant to inculcate the idea of ‘Thinking’. While working on the same, one day I decided to take this ‘thought’ to another level and that’s how I began writing the book.  I felt writing was my medium to communicate for a cause and the journey continued.

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