Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

~The Romance of the Kumars~ (Part 1)

Once upon a time is how all good stories begin.
Ours began with a baby boy named Atul, who was born in 1989 to a loving couple in Jamalpur, India.
Three years later, halfway around the world, the other half of our story was born - a little girl named Siân, born in 1992 in Walsall, United Kingdom.
Atul and Siân both had happy childhoods.

When Atul was 9, he moved to a Scottish missionary boarding school. Life was hard and strict; he only saw his parents once a year.
In an environment full of boys, young Atul grew mature at a very early age.
Siân, on the other hand, was homeschooled alongside her twin brother.

Atul graduated from school and went to college, where he met some of his lifelong friends. He studied in Bangalore and became a coding engineer before deciding to go abroad and take a Master's degree. First he tried Canada, but for some unknown reason, they rejected his application. Atul gave up. His dad didn't; he applied for a UK visa for him, which was accepted.

Siân's teenage years were full of uncertainty. Her school days ended quietly due to family problems and she took a job at the age of 19 after her parents' rocky divorce. She made lots of friends in the USA, including a guy she fell in love with, and flew overseas once a year to see them at a writing conference.

In 2013, the American guy Siân loved broke her heart, and in early 2014, her American friends kicked her out. She carried on, empty and shattered, but trying to live.

Atul, meanwhile, arrived in the UK in September 2014. He got a job in a call centre in Birmingham, UK and managed both that part-time, his degree full-time and daily communication with his family in India and his girlfriend in Utah, USA.
Then in December that year, his heart got broken too. His girlfriend dumped him for no known reason, and all he was left with was his loneliness and his determination to achieve his degree, to pay back his parents for all they had done for him.

In April, 2015, a work overload in Siân's department caused a slight effect that would forever alter their two lives - the girl broken-hearted from the man she'd loved for 5 years, and the man, broken-hearted from the girl he'd been semi-engaged to, heading back to India once his degree was over.
You see, Siân and Atul worked at the same company - Atul calling people via phone to complete surveys, and Siân creating codeframes for the open text response.

Atul and his university friend Kwesi were sent downstairs to help Siân's department with coding and cleaning responses for a rush job. He arrived late that first day...
Siân, being less introverted than her colleague, ended up looking after the two of them.
By the end of the first couple of days, she'd nicknamed Atul "Hedgehog", due to his spiky hairstyle, and Kwesi "Kiwi", as that's what his name sounded like. What she didn't admit to anyone, except for herself, was that she'd developed a huge crush on Atul.
He was pleasant. He was a gentleman. He was adventurous. He had loyalty. He had passion and he wanted to see the world, a flame that instantly flickered a recognition in Siân's own heart.
But he was a Hindu, and she was a committed Christian - and he was headed back to India. She was definitely staying in the UK, now.

Once the boys had finished helping Siân out downstairs, she moved upstairs to the call centre to make some extra money. This lead to late hours, and the boys would often walk with her to the bus stop for her long trip back to Wolverhampton - Atul in particular.

In June, two months after they met, he sent her a video link on Facebook with the accompanying message - "Ignore the lyrics, just watch the video." The song was "I Really Like You", by Carly Rae Jepsen. Siân watched it, and wondered, but as in the past five years of loving one man in a different country, she began to try and remove her crush from her mind and heart again.

On June 27th, Atul and Kwesi came over to her home to bring her flowers (Kwesi) and a bottle of wine (Atul) in celebration of her birthday, two days previous. This courtesy having never been extended by any colleague before, the meeting was a little awkward, but the time soon passed.
In the following months, the boys and Siân saw less of each other, as their shifts altered and Siân lessened her call centre hours.

It was early September when they finally met again for more than a few passing minutes or a friendly wave. Atul and Siân had spoken on the phone one or two times, for an hour or so - not only did his enthusiasm for life, his thirst for adventure and his desire to travel appeal to her, but also - his broken heart, a condition which she deeply understood but equally, had no idea how to relieve.

Occasionally, Siân was going home via train at night, as the buses were arriving home at 10-10:30pm. One night, Kwesi caught the bus into town and Atul chose to walk with her. He told her, on the way, about a girl friend of his he had taken to dinner to celebrate her birthday, but that he'd really felt her pushing him to begin another relationship and he knew she liked him.
"I would move on if I could, but I don't know how."
"I wish I could help you," Siân responded, deeply sympathetic to his plight.

A few nights later, he walked with her again. Somehow, they got onto the topic of her crushes - yes, she had five at the moment, yes, two were in the company, yes, one was in the call centre.
"Is it Kwesi?"
"No."
"What does he look like?"
"Look, I'm not telling you!"
"Is it Glen?"
"No!"
There was a long pause of silence.
"I think I know who it is."
"I'm still not telling you."
As they walked to New Street station together, he simply and naturally reached down and held her hand. She didn't pull it away.

It was that night he travelled with her to her home station for the first time.
It was bitterly cold, and she waited with him for his train back into Birmingham - the 10:10. He put his arms around her to keep her warm, as she was shivering violently.
"I'd like to spend more time with you, if you know what I mean. I think you do."
"Maybe," she answered evasively.
"Do I have to write it in a letter?"
"Maybe."
"Okay, I'll write a letter. And address it to Miss Garner-Jones, at the Cottage?"
"If you like."
"Or I'll just ask you now, since you're here. Would you like to go out for a meal or a coffee with me sometime?"
"Okay..."
The train pulled in and he moved to go. He swears it was her, and she that it was mutual, but their lips met for a brief two seconds before he pulled away and boarded the train. She waved, and left, and made a frantic phone call to her best friend.
"Help! I've kissed him."
"Who?!"
He sent her a text: "Thanks for that sweet peck. I don't know what else to say."

(As written in their love book)