The next evening we met at the tuition again. I first thought I’d clear it out then and there, but a lot many of our friends were around, so I decided to postpone it until the tuition ended. I texted her once in between, “Talk to you after the class.” She checked her phone, saw my message, and did not respond. The least I expected was to make an eye contact with her in the next one hour that followed. It turned out she didn’t want it to happen. As soon as the tuition ended, she picked up her bag and made her move to leave. I called her, I was three people behind, and the doorway wasn’t wide enough to overtake the others. She went downstairs and before I could speak, I saw her mother waiting for her. Both left, and I left shortly, wondering what I’d do next. I was lost.
I realized it would be possible for me to talk to her when she was on her way to school. I started leaving for school early from the next day, detouring each day towards her school, waiting for her until I felt I was getting late for school, and then leaving for school. I did this every morning, and every evening, I waited on the road which led her back from school to home. Unfortunately, and rather to my surprise, I never crossed her path. It wasn’t possible this way, for there were only three routes back towards her house, and she definitely wouldn’t take the other routes, she was too lazy to take the other path which was longer.
An evening of November, cold and dry, when most of us feel too lazy to leave our quilts and step on to the floor, I was standing on the way from her school back to her home. I was pretty sure she had changed her routes, I hadn’t seen her for the past few months; I never met eyes with her parents, and they reciprocated similarly. But today was different. The air around me was lighter. Perhaps it meant something was in store for me. As I waited on my bike, a scooty suddenly came to a halt a few inches away. She was pretty, in a white dress, open hair, a white hairband, and it seemed her vehicle had broken down. I went up to her, offering to give her vehicle a push to her house or the mechanic, whichever was closer. She smiled and forwarded a hand. I held it and said, “Hi, I’m …”. She smiled back and said, “Hi, I’m Saeeka.”