I miss the tuition today. I wonder if you notice me at all.
I go to the tuition the next day and find you sitting with your friend, as usual the middle row, talking and giggling with them. I come and sit ahead of you, rotating my pen with the hand. Waiting for Nitish Sir to start teaching us new maths chapter.
You say nothing. I feel a little disappointed. We both are from different schools, and the only time I can see you is these maths classes in the evening, 1 hour of watching you. I was good at maths, but you sucked at it and would always borrow my notebooks, books and would ask me the problems. I would explain but instead of understanding them, you would mug it all up.
I would laugh at you, but never made fun of you. I really liked you, I don’t know why? You looked like fun!
You were my neighbor, new neighbor who shifted here a year back. We met at the locality house birthday parties, where I saw you eating cheeseburgers and noodles. Eating cake like a pig. You were foodie and also we belonged to the same class.
You were the regular topper, all cramming, the bookworm nerd but a very funny one. I was the intelligent one, who never scored! I was a cricket person and you drove the bicycle around the park, in front of my house.
One day I enter the maths classes and find your friend sitting alone, I keep waiting for you to come any moment, but you instead skip the tuition that day. I left hurriedly from the evening of you gazing time and I pick up my bicycle from home, to roam about the park boundaries, to know where are you, what are you doing, why didn’t you come.
I cross your house and your sister waves at me, playing with your little black dog. I wave back and stop in front of the wet floors, your mother is washing the verandah, with her tight saree wrapped around the waist and pulled together.
I ask your sister the name of the dog. Sammy! she says
Then I ask where have you been, you didn’t join. That day, that day has been marked as the most important day in my life. It was your birthday. I tattooed it forever. 1st of July.
I ask your sister to call you from inside, so that I can wish you for the very first time. But I am afraid, since you are my crush. I wait and play with your dog, your sister returns but you didn’t I keep making turns around the park boundary, dressed in the blue t shirt and cream pants.
You don’t show up. Tired I get back home and wait for us to meet next.
We meet but I hardly talk to you, I observe you and your friend alone, thinking about how to talk about something other than the maths book, maths problems and anything else.
So I drop at your home after dinner a few days later. I borrow your maths book to do some problems, so that I can score as well as you did. You aren’t home and its your sister and mother again. They ask me to stay. I stay, I look at your untidy room, all smothered books, may be all toppers are like that.
After a few minutes of waiting your sister finds me your Maths book and she gives it to me. I look at the book, disappointed again, not been able to find you and talk to you, I carry the book along and on my way back, I find you returning towards your home. I stop you and tell you that I am taking your book for the weekend. You smile and both of us leave.
Your book reeks of you. I really want us to be friends, so I return your book with a small thank you note in the cover of your book. Hoping to start things between us. I never knew whether you got my note or not? But we didn’t become any good friends.
Exams came and as usual you were the topper and I the average kid. I went back to Nitish sir maths classes for the second term and I didn’t find you or your friend there.
Two days passed, three more days and I began to feel, how much long break is this? I out of curiosity ask Nitish sir, only to know that you changed your tuition from this term onwards. Felt like a little heartbreak. No more books sharing, no more 1 hour of you gazing, no more hoping to start friendship between us, no wishing you birthday the next year. No more nothing.
I come back home sad and lonely as my eyes shed a tear and I look at the sunset alone, feeling betrayed. Feeling lost ever since you left.