Infinities7 mins 6.6K 7 mins 6.6K
The black iron gates creaked as I opened them. Nostalgia hit me as I walked through the deserted playground, which once echoed my giggles. I recall the unnumbered baskets I tried to shoot with my girl gang surrounding me. The ferocious fights the boys used to have and the muffled cries which followed the scraped knees. I pass through the empty corridors which now is filled only by a faint twittering of a sparrow. I trace my steps back again to my 6th grade classroom. I search for the masterpieces we scribbled on the walls but they are hidden behind a fresh coat of pale yellow paint.
I was surveying every corner when I suddenly spotted a doodle on one of the benches. It was a cartoon of a couple standing holding hands, with the initials ‘A and R’. An unwanted drop of tear rolled down my cheeks. It was 11 years ago when I had took my rounder and confessed my love to that lifeless wooden desk. He was a senior, handsome, famous and oblivious of my existence. I didn't get attracted to his physic nor his heart, all I was interested in was the mystery residing in his deep, black, almond eyes. I always loved to know secrets, not to gossip about them, but just to know them, absorb them and have a vaccum filled inside.
We eventually became friends though, but my feelings never changed. He was still a stranger whose heart was contradicting his mind. Even his closest friends were unknown of his unrevealed past. Sometimes when I talked to him, he used to drift off to his own world where no one but his thoughts resided.
In only 3 months we became best friends and eventually he confessed that he liked me and we started dating. I often tried to unbox the mystery he so well hid, but in vain. We started to haunt the streets at night and I discovered a part of his story; his parents were divorced and he was the eldest son with a younger brother, and a hard working mother trying to cater her sons' needs. The disappointment was that this was only a tiny piece of the mystery and not the whole of it. But I was stubborn and he was a lock without a key. My investigation continued and he was successfully securing his box of secrets. One day, the time we were dating, he called me to our ‘special place’. The place was nothing but an abandoned mini park in a corner inside the school premises. I bunked my class and reached there and saw him swinging on one of the swings with an unknown air on his face. He often called me to that place and we used to talk for sometime or just make out.
This time he did nothing like that, just sat on the swing and oscillated with me on the other swing doing the same. I experienced that strangeness again, however I didn't show it. Suddenly he got up, stood staring at me, and mouthed, “We are over”. It took me by no surprise, I had prepared for everything for he was so uncertain. I stood up, said, “Okay.” and walked back to my class. We never looked at each other after that day. I too gave up on my curiosity and slowly forgot about him.
I graduated from school and went seven seas across to New York to pursue my dreams. I got new friends, new interests and it changed my life completely. An unknown girl in school was the famous brown girl in college. My college campus was huge with small patches of garden everywhere. The most visited place was the library with the cafeteria adjacent to it. My group used to hang around the library scanning through new books, smelling the old ones and enjoying the scent of the freshly baked bread while reading the best of literature. My life was quite easy going. I was doing well in studies, I had great family and friends.
It was a Saturday night and I was getting ready to go for a party. I slipped into a little black dress. Painted my lips with a light shade of pink and wore black heels. I drove to the party singing to a 90s song and reached to the venue in half an hour. I sat at the mini bar drinking my Shirley Temple. I never liked to drink and my Shirley Temple made me fit in the group of drinkers. Suddenly a man sat beside me. He ordered a brandy and started drinking, lost in his own world. He was tall, fair, dark black curls.
I didn't see his face at first but he turned to face me after sometime. I had not identified him but his black almond eyes seemed so familiar. After a few seconds of eye contact I gasped with surprise. He was the same box of mystery who made me so curious. He smiled his boyish smile and said, “You never changed...” I became aware of my weird expression and broke into a broad friendly smile. We chatted for a while sitting there and sipping drinks after drinks. He was working in a software company. Lived with his mother and was doing a part time job as a blogger. We exchanged numbers and promised to meet again later that week.
We kept our promise and meet in a coffee shop. We talked for hours and hours about our lives, memories of school and old friends. It didn't feel awkward talking to him instead I felt that I found a soulmate! We started meeting everyday with different kinds of excuses. I loved his company.
Six months passed and we were always punctual in our meetings. That day too I reached the library on the decided time and knew that he would walk in anytime.
I picked up my favourite book and sat reading. 20 mins passed, 30 minutes passed, one hour, two hours; but he never arrived. I tried calling and messaging him but got just dead silence. I was convinced that he forgot to come and was stuck in an important work. Weeks passed but there was no sound on the other side of the phone. After one month of his absence I became intolerant. I dug out his address and drove to his residence. The door got answered after three knocks and a lady in her mid 60's stood in front of me. I figured out that she was his mother. After my introduction I inquired about him.
As soon as I asked her, her smile disappeared which was replaced by an air of sadness. With a quiver in her voice she told me that he has cancer and he’s in the hospital. My heart skipped a beat. I don't know why but I felt a sharp pain across my chest. I rushed to the hospital and into the room. The room was lacking sounds expect a faint "Beep, beep" of the machines. He was lying there on the bed. I went and sat beside him fighting back tears.
I held his hand hesitantly. I think he felt my touch and opened his eyes. His eyes took some time adjusting to the bright lights of the room. He saw me and gave that boyish grin and said, “Hey, so you missed me, huh?” I gave a short laugh and wiped back my tears. He continued, “Thanks for coming, I was expecting you. I just wanted you to know that I had a lot of fun with you. You are my only corner of comfort. A perfect charm which makes me forget all the pain. I am sorry for that sudden parting back in our school days. I was the howling moon and you were the twittering sun. I didn't want to drag you into darkness. Despite this I loved you and I will love you.”
With this he closed this eyes and the prolonged sound of the machine marked his departure. I sat there holding his hand having a flashback of all memories he decorated in my mind. I had never loved him, just got attracted to the mysterious person. But that day I fell in love with him. I realised that he gave me a gift of memories, infinite memories which would keep him alive forever in my heart. He taught me to love. He taught me to smile. Though he left the world, but he will never leave me, my little infinity.