Things I still think about

1. That chit you left on my desk in third standard: I like you, I love you, I want to marry you.
Sorry I handed it over to the teacher without reading it. She made you read it aloud in front of the class. My mother called your mother, who explained you were learning to write letters to your grandma. I was deflated. You never spoke to me again.

2. That time in 8th grade when no one knew which experiment proved condensation. I knew because it was the only one I had ever tried. I earned Peacock House 10 merits. Why didn’t you guys carry me out on your shoulders?

3. When I got on the bus and your waved me off with both arms over your head in that avenue of Gulmohurs. I knew I was irreversibly in love with you and this could only end in sadness.

4. How you lovingly re-tell that story of 20 years ago. You came to visit us and we fought all the time. I was asleep when you were leaving for the airport but sensed you were going and cried out, “Mama, nakona jau (Don’t go).” I still feel the same way every time you leave.

5. That time you stopped our game of Cowboys and Red Indians. Your friends called you to ride the bike. They laughed at me as I stood with your shorts over my head, my skirt around my waist and my bare torso streaked with paint. That’s why I agreed to spy on you for them.