It was a weekend and he was excited. The college has been hectic that week with new assignments and projects and presentations and whatnot? But who cared? He didn’t. He stayed at hostel and a two day off was all everyone wanted, craved. He made a plan to go out into the city, explore a little and while at it, pamper himself with some great food at the new place that everyone was talking about. The hostel food had killed his organs inside out. Out of all the things in the world he made a plan, which was rare for him. He had two days to himself and it was all allocated for enjoying.
He set out on a expedition and while on his way he sat beside a cute little girl. She was small, probably in the early classes, may be 2nd grade. She reminded of his cousin sister, who too lived in the same city but the other part of town. She was equally chubby and almost the same age as her. He had to brush off his thoughts of pinching her cheeks. But then ,she broke his chain of happy-thoughts with a tap on his hand. She searched for something with her big dark eyes, innocently staring in his eyes for a moment and then asked for the pen from his pocket. With her tiny hands she gestured to show his hand. He was unaware of what was happening. But he was curious nonetheless, because she seemed excited. Her eyes brimmed with joy for some reason. May be it was the feeling or having a pen. Or may be it was the conversation she was about to have. He opened his palm for the Picasso to paint something beautifully brilliant.
Too tiny were her hands to hold the pen. But she still managed to write, still cute in all possible ways imaginable. She finally wrote on his hand with a little difficulty but confidently with ease battling the uneven roads sitting by the window in the bus. The ink on the palm read “Class” and she made a questioning expression with those inquisitive brows. No matter how much he was enjoying the company of such a talented young girl, he was left clueless for a moment. In his mind he thought how to tell her that he was going to college. His cousin sister herself has trouble figuring out numbers greater than ten. He hesitantly replied, “13” to which there was a little more obvious questioning look as a response. She didn’t understand, so she slowly opened each finger one after another slowly counting in her mind. And when she reached eight she showed them to him with a victory smile. He smiled and opened the other two fingers and three of his own. She didn’t understand what he just did, but she smiled and that all mattered. Before he could contemplate she took his hand again and wrote “Name” and made the same questioning gesture, double the cuteness. He told his name which wasn’t quite audible in the chaotic traffic that surrounded, so he wrote on his own palm. She looked at the words keenly as if she was holding something too fragile. She read the name in her mind each letter accompanied with a nod. As a formal response, he asked her name by gesturing at her writing on his hand and at her and even tried to reciprocate the same questioning etiquette she just taught him. She smiled ever so bright showing her teeth. May be he didn’t sell off the cute question mark face like she did, which probably was funny to say the least. But she didn’t respond for a moment. He thought, may be she was shy.
The announcement came that his stop will be arriving shortly. He suddenly came out of the bubble and the bus was almost coming to an halt. He tried to ask her name, for she wasn’t someone anyone could ever forget and for such a beautiful soul there would be an equally charming name. But she just smiled. The bus came to an halt and he bid her farewell, waving. She waved back and gestured she couldn’t speak. The crowd swarmed in and out carrying him out. Everything went dark for a while as he saw her still waving from the window, smiling, ever so genuine. He waved back with a smile, but he broke inside a little bit. He stood there silently staring with a pinch in his heart, at the bus until he could see no more. But that image, her, that smiling face was still in front of him.
I still remember her. Small, cute, bright inquisitive eyes. She was everything beautiful. But, then the reality sets in and I still feel the same pinch, deeper and painful, each time.
This impromptu rambling is written for the prompt: Fragile Lives