“Oh freak! I’ve missed the bus.” Archit was furious.”That makes it 2 weeks in a row!” He’d have to walk to school again. He shook his head. “Why can’t I catch the bus? What sins have I done in my past life?” Archit’s soliloquy continued till realization of being late dawned upon him and he started walking.
Trying to cope up with his situation, he started thinking all sorts of things all through the 3 kilometer long journey.
He reached the school and stopped, breathless. He admired his run, which took just 55 minutes and 45 seconds.
“Let me guess. You missed the bus and got late and they didn’t let you in.” Mrs. Singhania was visibly angry. Archit tried not to make eye contact, apologized and went into his room. He had nothing to do all day and his thoughts wandered from being late to the school, to his best experiences in the school, to the fact that he was gonna finish school very soon. It made him sad. He would miss everything, the school greens, the auditorium, the teachers, his friends, everyone.
They had become family to him, and he promised to keep in touch with everyone, a promise he knew he couldn’t keep. Bit by bit, his thoughts strayed through every part of the school, living and non-living, till they landed on Ayesha.
Ayesha, his first love.
Ayesha, his first friend.
He had first met her during the annual function of the school, and was immediately enchanted by her simple and modest aura. He was in seventh.
With hair combed down like a 60’s hero, he was full of confidence when he approached her. Her fairy-like appearance captivated him right away. With her hair tied in a pigtail, her mesmerizing shiny eyes formed a perfect base for her tiny nose and beautiful lips that settled perfectly on her circular face.
Their bond grew almost at the speed of light and they both were well acquainted with each other very soon. They had a lot in common, and would sometimes talk late into the night. The feeling was new for Archit, he had never felt so happy, so excited. It was like a Bollywood song for him.
It confused him and he remembered deciding to seek help from his friends. After the inital ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahs’, they told him to go ask her out, without giving it much thought. Archit was nervous and scared. He had never asked anyone out before, and he was quite edgy as he considered the option.
After giving it much thought, he had finally reached a conclusion, to wait for a few months or so, waiting to see if she gives some signal of any kind of inclination towards him.
It was a few weeks before his class 8th first semester examinations, after school, as Archit and Ayesha were walking towards their buses, Archit looked upon her, her face glimmering in the humid September weather. Although suddenly motivated by an invisible force to ask her out at that moment itself, he knew it wasn’t the right time, he knew he’d have to wait.
He’d have to wait, just like the readers who’ll have to wait to know what happens next.