The moon is a milk-white paper lantern, drifting down to the gulf of sunset. The balmy sweetness of the spring dusk mingles with the spicy piquancy of perfume spilling from the cups of the flame-striped gulmohar blossoms. You are in love.
Call it Spring Madness, call it hormones, he stirs you in a way you've haven't been stirred. Well perhaps you have before, but you can't remember that now.
You're sitting on a bench, silky cloud-skeins twirling – doing the ballet you think, in your present mood of heightened romantic awareness – above you in the frost-blue sky. And then he walks by. It's the season for love and you're ready – you're so ready – to fall that you do. He doesn't look at you and you, for your part, try not to look. It's impossible. You see stars and fireworks, smell roses (how do roses smell like? Never mind, you think you smell roses) and your knees tremble and knock into eachother.
You don't notice much about him except that he's tall and broad-shouldered and a veritable Greek God (or perhaps Indian would be more suitable?). A heady, chocolate-sweet rush of sensations spills down your body. He is gone, but what he has left remains. The glow of the evening palls distinctly. You tug at the edge of your T-shirt restlessly. The crickets begin their low chirp of evensong and the frogs join in with their more belligerent cacophony. There is a chill in the air now and it is no longer sweet, mirthful dusk but night.
You see him again, but that's only natural, you live in the same complex. You've seen him many times, when he was a scrubby-kneed little kid playing cricket in the back-alleys (and when you were a scrubby-kneed little girl prancing around in frilly pink frocks and playing with your Barbies). But now, now all of a sudden, he's changed. He's tall, so tall that you spend many hours fantasizing in bed how you two will look standing side-by-side (and how big, how beautifully big, his feet will be next to your dainty little ones). Time and genetics have conspired to model his once rough features into a delicate ivory grace that seems not of the world of the sun-kissed land in which you were both born and bred in. Broad shoulders and a fine sinewy strength in the taut lines of his body, so alien to the other boys you know – the gangly, scratchy-voiced, uncouth creatures still in the midst of their growth spurts.
And you waste no time passing on that news to your friends. You obsess. You are addicted. And of course you turn – like many before you – to stalking him on Facebook. You download all his photos and store them in a file called "Greek God". You check his status updates at least thrice a day. You pray for his Relationship Status to stay Single, just a bit longer.
"It's not worth it, you know?"
How wrong your friends are! Of course it's worth it; it's worth every fiber of your being and more. You think about him, about his long, lean body sprawled across your bed. You undress him with your eyes whenever you see him – and feel distinctly unfeminine too, after all aren't guys only supposed to do that, not vice-versa? Whenever he bestows even a casual nod on you, you feel like fainting.
You investigate everything about him. You badger friends, acquaintances and everyone you're even remotely connected to. Perhaps it would have been easier if he was not so perfect… not so intelligent (class topper!), so outgoing (head of how many school teams and organizations you can't remember), so hot. Perhaps it would be easier to get him out of your head, to dismiss his memory and turn to the countless other less-hot but still hot enough studs who actually want you.
"There are limits to a crush, you know?"
"And there's a fine line dividing a little crush from an obsession. Just to remind you."
So what if you're obsessed? You like it. It's… odd to say, yummy. It gives you a rush, the sweetest and purest of highs, whenever you think about him. Not roses and fireworks anymore, more like the tingle of a core of pure sugar (or it might be liquor, who knows when love is concerned?) within your heart. You smile dreamily and burst into little bouts of giggles whenever you think about him. Even in class, which leads to some interesting consequences.
"Can't we please, please talk about something asides from him today? Pretty please? With sugar on top?"
"Ugh, I swear, what is your problem? Can't you see that he makes me happy, that I actually like talking about him?"
"Babe, you don't stand a chance with him."
You don't. You're slim and slight, with a cherubic innocence of expression and geeky cuteness about you that makes you the centre of attraction for well, geeks and nerds. Not Greek Gods.
A few tears trickle out from your eyes as you think about that, at night. Not often, not much – just little pearly baby beads.
The sultry fumes of June parch earth and throat alike. The summer's heat wave induces a tepidness, a languor as the whole country waits patiently for it to subside. The gulmohar flowers wilt, trampled fire-roses that have outlasted their time.
There's a brightness, a glory about everything. Sun and wind burnish everything with their glittering sheen of gold-and-brown –mangos bursting, exposing their ruby-tinged hearts, under the baking sun, dust swirling the colorless sky with creamy-brown specks that fade and brighten as you look at them. There's just a tired, faded prettiness about everything.
Maybe about him too.
You don't know how it starts – perhaps it's his latest photos, which hardly show him at his best – or how it wanes – wanes with the moon, now a glassy shadow of itself. It's slow, the waning. You think less of him and more about other things. You practice flirting on other guys. You manage to nod when he nods at you, without turning into a blushing, fumbling, fainting wreck.
And then that day, that day you've been dreading, comes. His relationship status changes from "Single" to "In a Relationship". With a luscious Barbie doll no less, one you'd never, even in your wildest dreams, hope to compare yourself with. You're able to stare for a moment at those words, and then you're able to turn, as cool as the cucumber slices you're sucking on, to another window.
It's over. Just like that.