I was infatuated to an extent of beginning to love him, may be lust for him too. Being a wee shy, coming from a conservative upbringing, raised in a small town before coming to Delhi for schooling, or sheer under confidence were my drawbacks to express even ananonymous confession to him.
I would gaze at him for long through my desk near the window, while he practiced on the basketball courts. I would imagine him holding me like the ball so securely and then running away from all, with me in his grip to score...time and again. I would watch him after hours, training on the hockey field, and he stood out amongst all as the Hero. I always thought he was playing for glory and I was his glory.
I was so charmed by his presence during the morning assembly, where inevitably every day the Principal would call him on dais and congratulate on his achievements in sports or studies. It made me feel so proud to hear such nice words about his contribution to the school reputation.
Reema, the prude rich girl who had probably made her way to his heart by offering him a lift every morning from his gym to school, and many a times sent her car to pick him after school to drop him home, as he would be tired after games practise and other such small treats in cafeteria were surely making him drift towards her. He would always sit next to her in the auditorium during outside faculty lectures and staging of plays by the theatre students, and I would remain seated somewhere watching him than the performance. He would walk with her to the water cooler between change of periods and I would remain parched for thirst. He would always compliment her even for her new nail enamel and I would wait for someone to say new-pinch to me even when I wore my new crisp, ironed tunic to school.
It was my birthday and I had decided I will cook him a little meal and ask him to give me a first bite today, as my birthday gift. I woke up so early and got my tiffin box ready with so many little snacks. I waited so anxiously for the lunch break gong to strike and I rushed towards him, full of anticipation, heart beating so fast, my cheeks were already blushing a deep pink, my hands were trembling and I was going weak in my knees at the thought that he will wish me a Happy Birthday and offer me a bite from his hands...
There they were, seated on the bench under the Mango tree...the tree that never bore fruit, and she was feeding him a pizza from the Dominos box that perhaps her driver just delivered for her.
My hopes and dreams dashed like an over ripe mango that falls with just a slight awkward breeze, plop on the ground, then the large black ants gather to get their pound of flesh, within minutes the mango becomes history.
My dream remained, I lay here talking all to my little Lhasa, Alphonso...who silently nods with me, sheds a tear often, when he sees me crying...inconsolably making my anonymous confession!!