Walking down the corridor carrying a stack of books, I had checked out the previous week, I could hear the soft sound of my footsteps. Humming the likeable song in my head when I took a turn on the mounting stairs I bumped into him. Our nervousness gave way to smiles, both ways. Excited shy glances and we were on our way, hoping to cross paths again.
Of course, I knew who he was, the one who played football like a prodigy. The one I used to see from the window of my classroom playing in the rain while the geography teacher carried the lessons in trenches and meanders, carefully demonstrating them on the board. All I could feel were the rushes of blood meandering up and down my being. Geography lessons be damned I was slowly feeling myself misplaced.
Blessings to the computer teacher who took an extra class one February morning and we were to manage our way back home on our own. Out of nowhere the angel appeared offering a hitch that was completely hard to resist. On the way back, he drives by that lane where dry leaves fall like rose petals and dandelions float like fresh air. He turns towards me and the moment melts; the glance across a face that slowly turns to haze. As I shuffle in my seat and he in his, a sudden movement and the car honk beeps. My reverie is broken and so is the moment.
I am in the lift, nervously tapping my right foot waiting for the door to slide at floor 9. It must be plush office if it’s that high on the tower, I think. I look around at the rotund gentleman who passes on a discomforted smile. I smile back and then door slides open at the floor no. 9. I step out nervously looking towards the reception and walk over. Swiftly with careful steps he walks across tapping furiously on his phone. I just hope he is aware of my presence since he hasn’t looked up even once and then he vanishes into the elevator. I get about my interview business and to my misfortune I don’t get through.
Dejectedly I return to my old desk job only to be surprised one day when he appears at an office brunch. He looks fresh like a lilac with his immaculate jacket over sturdy jeans. His slick hairdo draws attention from the females in the room who move around him like fluttering butterflies. His eyes meet mine and then away, like he barely noticed me.
Only when I am leaning at the ledge of the balcony does he question me if I am as adventurous in reality. I smile shyly and he is accepted in my world. That chance encounter at the elevator door turns into a fairy tale in no time and gradually the rendezvous increased. Silly games of scrabble, reading by the shade and innumerable conversations later, we find ourselves brazenly comfortable in each other’s company. He picks up yellow lilies for me on my birthday and we gaze dreamily into each other’s eyes. We come closer and I part my lips. The bouquet stumbles off his grip and I lose my focus. The moment passes and we do too.
Years later sulking over another break up, I find myself wailing my time in a coffee shop reading a book. He walks up to me to ask if he’s known me from college. I agree randomly since his details are so vivid in my mind, but he is not. His wavy hair remind me of a gawky lad back in college but this can’t be him, I think. We talk casually and he leaves. Every now and then we meet at the coffee shop to have a genuine conversation about beaches and gardens, pets and books, coffee and cooking. I am ‘me’ again! I discover myself, my mirth, my uninhabited candor and he finds the twinkle in my eye that was long lost in the humdrum of worldliness.
Long walks through the dying evening by the sidewalk, endlessly chatting over the phone, driving down the highway silently humming away the songs on the radio; it was all coming back like a long forgotten song. He would smile and I would smile and the world would be warmer again. Winters with hot chocolate shared, Spring- busy collecting daffodils, Summer on the beach, we even danced in the rain. Companionable togetherness that waded the way to mystical affection and we were soon walking by each other’s side holding hands. One rainy day he held my hand in his and called my name sweet honey. Was it a kiss I had been longing for an eternity? Peaches bloomed into my mouth and my hands smelled the sweat of roses. Now, this feels awkward, I think. Ever so lovingly and graceful, like I have known this all my life and here it was right by my side to stay forever. Always.
Disclaimer: This autobiographical account bears no resemblance to my life. If you see any shades of resemblance to yours then that’s purely coincidental.
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