We were fifteen-year-old classmates. He was quiet, intelligent, and a good friend. My soon-to-be- best friend thought he was cute, and I had never really noticed him until then. Slowly we all became friends, a big group of friends (wonder where they are now?). We would hang out together, borrowing books and notebooks, taking long walks home and gathering at a friend’s house after classes. We were young, and looking back at our pictures I cannot believe how unbelievably young we were; I with my short hair and innocent face, he with his shy and innocent smile.
I liked him, but not in that girl-likes-boy kind of like. He was mad about music and books, and we were at that age where we first discovered the wonder of novels, and the freedom of reading non-study material. He would bring me his Sidney Sheldons and Jeffrey Archers, and I in turn let him borrow the textbooks I had.
On his sixteenth birthday we went for a class picnic. My best friend was mad about him then, and another friend and I followed him all day, essentially being pests. Maybe we thought we were spying on him, but he didn’t seem to mind it. I guess I must have harboured a crush on him all the time because I was just too happy to spy on my friend’s behalf. Nothing developed between him and my best friend, and we all remained good friends.
In the Physics and Chemistry labs we were divided into groups of four, and with a little manipulation we ended up in the same group. There was that one time we used potassium permanganate in one of our Chemistry experiments. We must have played around with the stuff, and I went home with a big purple stain on my shirt which didn’t wash off easily.
It’s been many years, and the memories are dim. College happened, we went our separate ways, and lost touch. I am not big on keeping in touch, and it was a nice surprise when we ran into each other on the streets some six years later. We said our hellos and how-have-you-beens and not much else. Life had taken over, and suddenly there were more important things, more important people.
A couple of years back another friend of our old group and I discovered each other on Facebook, and we talked about the good old times. Somehow the conversation turned to him and I asked if she had his phone number, to which she replied “He’s married.” I went “Oh, that’s nice!” and that was the end of it.