We sit in a warm café, tables lit only by the flickering light of the candle, warm food on the table, untouched. She is distracted, annoyed. She fiddles around with the leather strap of her handbag, pulling it this way and that. Her hair falls, in perfect harmony to her shoulders and her eyes, so beautifully decorated with her kajal, is wrinkled with anger. She sips her wine, then gulps it down, ready for the battle that is about to begin. She says something to me, anger resonating from her voice but I don’t listen. Her lips move frantically, throwing questions after question but I don’t have the answers. Today was the day we first started going out, our “anniversary” as she put it and I’d forgotten. She’d remembered and I’d forgotten, did that mean I loved her less than she did? I closed my eyes and she disappeared into the darkness of my eyelids.

I open my eyes and I’m in the school garden with my friends, talking about this and that. The girls have their own groups of giggles and close-knit conversations, sharing each other’s food from their handy little tiffin boxes. We eye them from time to time, watching them smile from the corners of our eyes, all of us too afraid to approach them. They’d watch them and I’d watch mine. It was amazing how a single flick of her smile would send shivers down my spine and a soft “hi” would send pockets of electricity through me. Time would pass by on the streaks of her hair and the little turtle hairclip that restricted them so easily. We walked home together every day, she would talk and I would listen, she would lead and I would follow. She would move close and I’d close my eyes.