WHEN EYES SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS
The school bell rang telling everyone that the school day had come to an end. Friday and the thought that another long weekend was up ahead seemed so bleak. Never had liked the weekend, never had liked anything which took me away from school and --- ‘him’.
“Hey, let me give you a hand with that” and flashed his gorgeous smile. He picked up all five books I had dropped on the library floor. “You’re not going to read this all, are you?” he teased.
“Uh…it’s for research… on a project..” I blushed and stammered badly.
“Save your energy. All you need is this one” and lifted up the blue book “it covers everything you need to know”. And smiled his million dollar smile and before I could even hear myself say it, off he went to meet up with his friends waiting by the corridor.
“Thank you” beeped a low whisper from my lips. And my heart was never the same again. That was July, seemed like ages ago.
Senior high was in a flurry of activity and preparations the past weeks for the upcoming big day two months away – graduation. I was in the midst of preparing my paper to qualify for top honors. We were three vying for the coveted honor. For the final selection we were asked to submit a paper on a subject set down by the panel. The score would comprise 20% of the final rating. We three having tied with other scored areas were now racing side by side in close pursuit of the goal.
I wasn’t impressed by him in early senior high though he was apparently good-looking with brains to boot -- Quite a combination. But I don’t know it never struck me to notice him at all. Books, projects, choral practice, drama class, and the school newsletter all took up my energy attention and time - Plus working two hours every night at the principal’s office doing work stuff. A routine started since I was in freshman year paying my way through school.
He was himself active as captain of the basketball team, a book club, and president of the school’s student body. He was everywhere with friends on campus grounds, auditorium, canteen, and principal’s office meetings -- Popular. And all through that he never lost his cheery smile and pleasant disposition. Not a surprise then that he had the girls swooning everywhere he went.
I was halfway through the blue book, the library now quieter, and having begged off from work to do the research, was in no hurry to leave when I felt someone standing there near. Looking up – I saw him and his megawatt smile.
“I knew you’d still be here” he said. “May I?” and took the chair to my right. “Oh so you’re half done with the book” he noticed. “Look, I’ve done this a month ago and if it’s okay with you let me show you the pages where you’ll get a good understanding of your material.”
I just sat there – stunned with not a word, tongue-tied.
“I’ll take that as a yes” he looked at me with his deep brown eyes, smiled again then proceeded to write down on my notebook the notes. I simply sat and looked at him.
Why oh why – and what is it that makes you see a person in a different light now than ever before? What ties up your tongue and renders you speechless but divinely speechless? Why does it seem that you have been transported to a strange new place of stars and moonbeams where not even that matters but the person there beside you? Why can’t you hear anything but the drone of his sweet voice? Why does it feel to be so good so close like this? And why oh why do I feel the way I do?
“There you go” he finally finished and gave me back my notebook. “I hope it’ll help you like it did me.” Rising to leave, he hesitated and sat down again …” Uh…You’ll not find this in any book... but does pizza sound good to you? It’s quite late and I presume you might be hungry?”
Couldn’t believe what I was hearing but I heard myself say… “That sounds good to me!” Ah! Finally found my voice.
So there it all started. Everything that followed through the weeks and months was of stars and a moonbeam, red roses, boxes of chocolates, hamburgers and fries, shared books and walks in the park, lover’s brief senseless spat, endless phone calls, and gazing at each other’s eyes. And… he taught me how to play the guitar! All so heavenly – how else can you say it?!
All but that one day a week before graduation.
I was sitting in my grandmother’s garden. Grandma asked Mom that we live with her as she was old and needed company in her big house. So we did while Dad commuted and worked in the big city. He came up to me with one big beautiful red rose.
“Every time you see a red rose… remember me and my love for you”.
Something felt different my heart told me so. I searched his face and saw deep sadness embedded in his eyes I adored. Something was wrong.
“Tell me” I said.
“Dad is taking us all back to America. We’re leaving on Saturday” and tears fell from his eyes.
Speechless again was I -- Now for a different reason.
How does a heart break? - In bits and pieces scattered all over the floor? - In broken dreams and lost promises? – In unspoken burning pain cloistered within? – In coming to the meaning of gone forevermore? – In seeing happiness take up wings and fly away? – In seeing tears in his eyes and feeling it in yours too? So how does a heart break?!!
Nothing remained but the memory of the look in his deep brown eyes--- never will forget the thousand words spoken within – ever.
And now I shall close the pages of my high school notebook. Maybe at some other time I shall come back to this old box, take my notebook out and let the memories hug me once again. Ciao!
posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:52 AM