While putting the old photoalbums back in the book shelf after the painting job, she flipped open one of them partly on impulse and partly out of curiosity. She had forgotten what images this one has stored. As she turned the pages, his face grinned back at her. Impishness shining in his eyes. There they were. Nearly two decades back. Back when she wore her hair pulled back in a severe plait that made her scalp go numb. When a camisole was enough for her modesty and a red-framed glasses helped her see better. And she was taller than most boys in her class. They had gone to the neighbourhood park which was their usual haunt on a Sunday afternoon. When the rest were busy feeding the fishes in the pond, she had sat down on the bench watching the clouds take familiar shapes. She loved doing this.
A sudden yank at her long plait had broken her reverie. It was him. While she was still grimacing from the sudden hard pull, he lifted the glasses sitting heavy on her small nose and hid it in his hands leaving dirty splotches on the lens. She had gotten angry.
“I wanted to see your eyes. They are beautiful” he had said before she could yell at him.
While she was getting ready to tussle with him for her glasses, in one sweep he had pulled away the pink plastic band that held her thick plait together. Still holding her glasses in the other hand he had run his fingers through her hair, tousling them gently till it framed her face.
“You are pretty” he had said looking intently.
A strange jolt ran from the tip of her hair to her toes. She had started to shiver. Wordlessly he had put his arms around her and held her close. With her head on his rapidly beating chest, she could feel the heat of his body.
“I feel funny” she had squeaked.
“I feel funny too” he had said, his voice quivering.