The heart is a lonely hunter
It was the year of long skirts. When more cloth overrode comfort. Stiff white long petticoats under longer colorful skirts; petticoats that rubbed raw against your legs. Petticoats that saved you from your two sticky legs being seen as silhouettes. Marilyn Monroe disagreed. So did I. I don’t know what Monroe's mom had to say to her, but I sure heard a lot from mine.
And that’s how I was dressed to go for the concert. I loved music. But I loved disobedience and rebellion better. So I was seen protesting, sulking and agreeing- all for something even I wanted.
We had good seats. They became the best seats when I saw you. I guess it was my lucky day, when I was asked to sit beside you. You smiled me a smile. A smile that was all mine. I pretended to adjust the creases of my skirt.
All that it takes to transform a girl into a woman is a smile.
I always held it against my parents that they weren't better friends with yours. Our mothers talked in friendly politeness so characteristic of acquaintances who would never be friends.
When the curtain rose and the hush murmurs drowned themselves out, I stole a look at you. And then ever so often I'd look at you, casually so.
The music must've been good.
When the curtain fell again, you turned and looked at me. Complete attention that I didn't know where to tuck away.
You asked me about school. About friends. About what I was then reading. I never asked you anything back and that was only because there was so much I wanted to know.
Mother on coming back to her seat gave me a not very happy look, seeing how unabashedly happy I was. When my smile fell as her frown tugged it down, you noticed it.
Just as the curtain rose and the lights dimmed, you took my hand and whispered 'Lets go out'.
I knew for sure I had to go back home with mother. And maybe that we'll never meet again in the same romance. You might fade. I will fade.
We brush aside several looks of disproval and step on many polished and unpolished toes.
Those were the years of scooters. Bikes were a luxury. Stolid blue scooters parked in military fashion.
You sit on one and pat me the empty seat beside you. I take it.
We don’t talk. The music sounds better from where we now stand. I turn to look at you ever so lightly. You catch that one.
I go back to just the music.
And again when I look at you, you turn to me.
We both smile.
When the next time it happens, I am flustered. No woman who is woman enough lets her love be seen. I was but a girl. And you were but my first love and mistake.
You smile and point out to the shadow we make on the wall.
Of a boy who sits on a scooter.
Of a girl with her head slightly turned… looking at the boy beside her.
The shadows just don’t show me blush.