Yesterday, I saw a 15-year-old girl after 30 years.
She hadn’t changed much. She was wearing a red striped T-shirt and jeans but I saw her in her yellow house sports uniform.
I went up to her and said: “You were in St. Anne’s, weren’t you?”
She looked surprised, trying to recognize me. She didn’t know me then. So she was hardly likely to know me now.
She said: “Yes, Poona.”
I said: “We were in school together. We knew you because you were seniors. You were in the yellow house.”
I know she felt pleased that I remembered her. Surprisingly for me, I even remembered her name and her family’s flower nursery.
What I didn’t tell her was that me and my gang of exceptionally giggly friends had a year long crush on her best friend. The captain of the yellow house. We always hung around them during school recess, or kept our necks craned to look out for them. Of course, they never noticed us. When they did, it was only to scold us for giggling on our way to class instead of marching up in a decorous line.
I still remember standing behind the captain at assembly once, the girl we had a collective crush on, and noticing how pink her earlobes were, and how clean the back of her ear was. I suddenly felt conscious that my ears would not stand such scrutiny.
Whenever I do think of her, (our first love, was she?) I can see her ear. I am not so sure I remember the face too well.