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  • Seven years ago, on the 17th of January, a little boy handed me chocolates for his birthday. I stuffed the chocolate into my mouth and smiled between the gaps of my cocoa-ridden teeth. I then pushed the toffee wrappers into my pleated school skirt and forgot about them. I went home with giggles of the school-girl. And that--was all.

    The very first stranger crush.

    I had to give him a name, obviously, a secret-code to be whispered to a pink school-girl journal. On monsoon nights, I scribbled 'pineapple' into pretty pages and told him many things. I told him I liked his mouse-hair that cascaded all the way to his temples, that he shouldn't talk to Ashritha because I thought she was mean. My favorite beige sweater was worn and admired in a faulty mirror, and I smiled wide and stupidly. Then, I grew scared. I scratched out 'pineapple'.

    I then lost him. For seven years. We grew up. Young, hesitant and differently. And I knew nothing of him. In the seven years, many things happened to me. I made new friends and changed notions, I went from naive to knowledgeable, moved oceans away and worked hard, strained and lost a few relationships, stressed and opened my eyes to being old.

    Chapters had silently closed and I was not remorseful, having forgotten the pure innocence that comes with your first love, like dreaming with eyes wide open.

    He collided into my life virtually like it was meant to be casual, with the sort of 'hello' that forgot that there had been a silence of seven years spanning the last 'bye' and today's greeting. He had changed. But with the 'hello', there was suddenly a smile that automatically produced itself on my face, like belonging had come back. I opened my eyes wide in surprise and trembled. Are you still here?

    In the summer months, I traveled oceans across to talk to him and tell him a few things. Being friends with your first crush was something extraordinary. We roamed the bazaars and the food joints, before the cacophony of a thousand whirling lights, we told each other stories in mild conversations. In tumblerfuls of Chai from some faraway restaurant, we exchanged gossip. We traveled like nomads, and laughed our hearts out, swapped music and rode around town. We became the listeners and the dreamers, the composers and the artists, the friends and the fighters, the grand sky and melodies. It was only for six weeks, and nothing would happen, except a startling reassurance that occupied me: he knows me now, and atleast, we'll always be friends.

    For there was no way. I was too grown up to believe in magic anymore. Hard, encrusted, suspicious. The malice that had occupied me like venom discarded every slight inch of hope. I had taught myself to not read too much into anything.

    A year later, on 14th February 2012, a rose plant came home on valentine's.

    It said this

    I went back to my journal and un-scratched 'pineapple'. I believed in miracles again.
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