The Moonstruck Columns

Zoya… A Short Story (Part V)

My fingertips were trembling, but I had them well out of her sight.

‘Sure, I guess, after ten years maybe’ she replied after a while gazing me deeply into my eyes.

‘Would you even remember me?’ I chuckled funnily and a moment later, wishing that I had rather punched myself in the nose than say that.

She laughed.

‘Of course. It isn’t too hard – the English song guy.’

The dreaded bell rang. We bade goodbyes to each other and wished each other luck for the rest of the days and when I walked out of the classroom, I knew it was over at last. It was the last time I talked to her.

I still remember the day as clear as the best polished marble.

On March 13th, I had one of my papers of final examinations and when I arrived at the venue, I saw her standing there at a distance. She was deeply immersed into her book and I was unable to take my eyes off her. We didn’t talk; I didn’t try to. I was completely aware that the feelings I had for her were free of expectations. It was but merely an anthology of little things carefully concealed in the little time that we had spent together. The starting bell rang a little too soon than I wanted it to. I stole my glance away from her to walk towards my room, from what I knew for certain was the very last time I was going to see her. And so it was.

After I moved to Calcutta a month later, I tried to look for her for a few years and when I recalled the story to my best friends, they too joined the hunt, but none of us ever found her again. It was, perhaps, meant to be one of those bizarre fairytales which come to pass accidentally, and we merely find ourselves extraordinarily fortunate to have lived through them, if not more, then only for a while. They are never meant to come true but only be cherished and treasured in our memory. Whenever miracles like this occur, there is a reason, maybe universe’s bigger plans which are beyond the realm of our momentary realizations.

Even though, back in the summer of 2006, I didn’t believe I would stop looking for her, but deep down, I knew I would, eventually. However, at the same time, I knew that I was going to keep her, and the entire pleasant adventure, safe in my reminiscence, forever.

Today, I know why I never expected to find her…



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