The Moonstruck Columns

Zoya… A Short Story (Part I)

There exists a bunch of words, which I believe, can prove to be exceptionally difficult to define. Maybe that’s why sometimes it’s for everyone’s well-being that words like ‘Love’, are best left alone from our attempts to define it. Nevertheless, we often unconsciously happen to relate it to a few of our actions. This also qualifies for a convincing justification as to ‘why different people have different opinions about love’. Just like, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

I wouldn’t take more time to confess that I don’t have the slightest idea whatsoever about what love is or what it can possibly be. However, I, like so many others, have taken the liberty to associate it with two of my unforgettable and most treasured experiences. One of which, I am about to share.

It was the December of 2005 and the city of Bilaspur used to swing delicately between chilly and soothing. Our school, being one of its kind, stood out from the rest by not having winter vacations.

Even though they had spared Christmas day, there wasn’t much left to celebrate because the examinations were scheduled to start the next day and continue till three days into the New Year. But the universe somehow manages to amuse us with its curiously placed miracles and turn our dull, boring life upside down. I found mine the very next day; the first day of the exams.

I was a boy of fifteen back then, with a decent height, messy short hair, athletic build though I was not too much into sports and not to forget a pair of glasses. The sun spilled itself all over my room but still couldn’t confiscate the cold. I had to drag my feet to get up and get dressed. My head was still frozen from the previous night’s heavy dosage of unopened pile of textbooks. I somehow managed my morning chores, nibbled some of my breakfast (with a lot of help from Mom), and after a while, climbed into the big yellow bus filled with serious people, who still didn’t seem to be satisfied with their preparations, and got to school.

‘Who’s sitting here?’ I quickly asked a twelfth grader, pointing to my empty bench, when I found her voluntarily answering identical queries of my friends. We were supposed to sit with twelfth grader girls alongside us at each of the desks. We were in tenth grade.

‘Lemme see, one… two…’ She counted, ‘that would be… Zoya, if I am not wrong’

My heart skipped a beat.

‘Wasn’t she the cute girl you kept looking out for whenever you got the slightest of chances?’ a voice in my head broke loose, and I was pretty sure it was loud and as correct.

I waited patiently on my bench, as the minutes ticked by, for her to arrive and take her seat, alongside mine.

‘May I come in sir?’ echoed a sweet voice…

To Be Continued…


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