Seated near the door, my back against the grey wall, I chatted to my friend about my summer holidays. The bell had rung but the babble hadn’t ceased. Excited voices continued; the occasional loud laughter overpowering the din.
He walked in then. Lanky. Short. Messy hair. Dressed sloppily in his white shirt, navy pants and navy tie, he managed to stand out from the other boys in the class. He grinned at someone and his teeth stuck out like a bunny rabbit. It also caused a couple of dimples to appear on his pimply cheeks. He walked towards the back of the room just as the teacher entered.
He turned out to be one of the naughty boys; the ones that sit at the back of the class, that don’t focus on their work, that talk a lot. He was part of a world I’d never know; me being the bespectacled studious front-bencher, always ready to answer a question, possibly to the annoyance of others. Within a week or so, the teachers figured him out and he received the humiliating punishment of being moved to the front bench. Right next to me.
How was I going to concentrate? How would I complete my work? My nine year old mind couldn’t fathom how things would function now that he would be part of ‘my world’; right up the front of the class.
He said his first words to me then. More than two decades later, the memory of those are faint. He had a silly sense of humour but I laughed nonetheless. I helped him copy my homework some mornings. He let me borrow his pen on another. I winced when he had his ears pulled by the science teacher. He grinned when I — Ms know-it-all — raised my hand to answer yet another question. He teased me; I argued back.
I dreamt of what might happen; if we would be in the same class in grades six, seven and onwards. Would I finally seek up the courage to say something. Or maybe he already knew thanks to my sidelong glances and need to argue with him.
Then one day, as I got home, my parents had some news: we were moving. We were leaving the country to head back to India. My heart broke to pieces; my crush would never turn into my true love. I weeped at what could have been.
In those final months, I vowed to find out if he felt the same. As I sent around a notebook to classmates for messages to help me remember them, I made sure he got it too. Alas, my nine-year-old heart broke yet again, when he refused to write in it. It was too uncool for a boy.
Maybe some love stories are never meant to be.
(c) Sanch Vee @ Sanch Writes (8 April 2016)