Day 2: The Nameless Thing

It was late afternoon and a lingering dull wamth remained though the sun had subsided. I was 16, holding a basketball in my hands, over my head, about to pass it, hard, when a Boy loped towards the court and something in me shifted.

I don't recall what happened to the ball after I saw the Boy, or what happened to the ball, the rest of the pick up basketball game, for that matter, or even who was with me, but I do remember what the Boy looked like because I could not stop stealing glimpses at him that afternoon. Not if my O level results depended on it, not if my SAT scores depended on it, I could not stop looking.

He moved in a lope, a smooth, rolling gait with a brief jar of hesistance, as if he was inhabiting the shell of a body that was almost his. But that wasn't what moved me. It was his smile, the way it played over his face, stretched his broad mouth up and softened the odd, fierce intensity in his eyes. It made the corners of his eyes crinkle up and brought the planes of his cheekbones into relief. It woke something in me that I'd never felt before.

Soon after, I made enquiries of the Boy. Discreet of course. The wildly friendly 12 year old girl who looked more of a 16 year old than I did, and who'd had the arsenal of weapons of mass fliration at her disposal was best friends with the Boy's younger sister. Little Lolita told me many things, to my consternation. That the Boy lived two blocks over and was someone whom I'd seen before. Whom I'd taken no particular note of, and for good reason.

He was the gangly nerd who'd worn ash grey, thick plastic spectacles before this, distinguished only in their ungainliness. With the horrible haircut by Raju the ACS barber or a near cousin of the Barber. With a mouthful, and then some, of large steel dental braces in a wide mouth that resembled nothing so much as a giant beartrap.

When I seen the Boy for the first time again that day, the long December school holidays had gifted him with contacts lenses, waved away his braces to reveal a beautfiul, wide smile of gleaming even teeth and bestowed him with regular visits to the dermatologist. And revealed a sharp, even bone structure that had always been there.

As it turned out, I was the first girl to notice and act on this newly resplendant swan. It was the privilege of being the girl that lived almost next door. Or in the same estate, at any rate.

So I called the Boy at his home, as nonchalantly as I could muster, the way I'd imagined myself as a girl who'd had a previous boyfriend under her belt before would. I asked him if he wanted to hang out and if he was free, we could go for a move sometime. He said curtly that he was busy with school. That was the end of the conversation, and I was rueful.

The Boy eventually called back two weeks, a month later and a date was fixed for a movie, the name of which I've long since forgotten. It was at Lido, I think. But the date was charming. And he confessed to me on the bus home, sitting on the same seat with me, almost but not quite that close, that he'd gone to great lengths to get me where I was. His mock indignant words to me were "Do you know how many people I had to call to get your number?"

I smiled and raised my eyebrows. Something inside me shifted once more. I had no name for it, but it felt very, very nice.

4 Comments:

Blogger starfish story said...
I like it.

Especially the last part...

I'm following this, so do keep writing.. =)

It's always nice and touching to slowly 'see' a love story unfold.
07 February, 2005 22:06  
Blogger bliskit said...
gosh. this is beautiful! why doesn't k have a blog? I want to read more!
07 February, 2005 22:18  
Blogger k said...
Karate Kid IV has her own blog. It just isn't for general public viewing!

But thank y'all for your kind comments, it keeps me writing.
08 February, 2005 11:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
you should write a book! i loved it! pls post another one...
07 February, 2006 13:46  

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