The High School Crush and the Inner Sanctuary
It was a new school which meant she was a little apprehensive about how will her classmates be. “Will they accept me? Will I like them? What should I wear for my first day at school?” She thought.
She could still remember like it was yesterday the skin tight faded jeans with the matching jacket full of golden buttons a la Michael Jackson, not sure why she wore high heels as well and a little bit of lip gloss – maybe to add what she thought would be glamour and sophistication..
She walked into the classroom and everyone was already greeting each other, the girls were hugging and kissing and the guys hi-fiving, for a split second she was afraid and then she walked to the girls and introduced herself. That’s when she heard him say ‘what a gorgeous ass and look at those legs man!’. She turned around and there he was looking at her with his mischievous smile his long silky black hair covering one eye. Her heart missed a beat and never recovered for the rest of the year as she watched him date the other girls then cry on her shoulder when they would break up. That was the year she learnt the term patience …and to weave fairy tales.
Twenty five years later…Sitting laughing and chatting with a group of friends at the restaurant, she noticed a tall gentleman two tables removed from her party. She could only see his broad back, but the shine of the hair and its colour caught her eye. She was engrossed in the conversation and gesticulating for emphasis when she felt someone gently tap on her shoulder. She turned around, surprise and a little bit annoyed ‘yes? What can I do for you?’
Mariam? He said you ARE Mariam? She looked hard into his face, it’s been a long time and his hair was now no longer like that of a rebel, but that lopsided mischievous smile was still there. Her heart missed a beat again and all those feelings bottled up by the 15 year old rushed into the heart of the woman. But that woman carried unfulfilled romantic desires and she allowed herself to believe those fairy tales weaved a quarter of a century ago. In that one second she thought that dreams actually come true if you waited long enough. It was as if the time apart never happened, they picked up naturally where they left. How do you make a man see you as a woman and not as a friend? And why did he suddenly appear? It must be a sign.. Unfortunately that 15 year old had never left her…A whole year passed like a bullet train and as much as she wanted to, there was nothing she could do except be the friend he wanted and accompany him for that journey in time in the hope he will wake up and realize that the woman he has been describing to her while he was checking out potential brides was her.
So she decided to give it one more try if that did not work she would walk out once and for all – damn those fairy tales in her mind; she had lived without him a lifetime she could continue to do so. Friendship could be a good basis for love but she did not have all the time in the world that the 15 year old had and she did not want to be around to be invited at his wedding that would be really be ironic.
A golden opportunity came their way and she vowed to make the best of it, this was going to be the make or break time. As if by fate their vacations coincided with each other and they were able to spend even more time together than then ever did. They were constantly doing stuff together and talking at all hours of the day and night. There should be a moment where she could crack that shield and let him see she was a female no?
He had surprised her by suggesting a picnic and she went to meet up with him on that beach. She was walking towards him in the warm sand, and noticed that he had used the time waiting for her to prepare a lovely picnic breakfast, tuna, cheese, olives, eggs, tea, juice, honey, milk, fruits and freshly baked bread which he just bought from the bakery and had spread a chequered burgundy and white sheet on the beach . She thought it was as romantic as it gets and he was looking at her smiling and beckoning with a debonair expression. How dashing he looked, his Ipod was blasting Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma from the speakers…she thought it must be a hint…It seems his mobile rang because she saw him pick it up and laugh and talk excitedly. She reached him just in time to overhear him say ‘ I love you too honey, only one month and you will grace your new home…’ Then he put the phone down and looked at Mariam again. ‘Remember Dania from my cousin’s birthday party? We’re buying the wedding dress from France next week.! Oh Mariam, wish me luck I’m so happy, she is beautiful you will just love her’
She felt the dagger turn in her heart how could she be so wrong? But no he never said anything to her that could be construed as the shadow of a hint. Maybe once when he was particularly down he revealed more than he should and had a spontaneous moment.. The rest of the day went in stupour. She made all the right moves and correct replies, but the heart was no longer in it. She had thrown the dice and taken her chance and lost. The 15 year old inside crumbled and died. Now was the time for a prompt and discreet retreat. He must never know what she felt for him ever! It must remain buried as the high school crush it was all along. In terms of closure it could not get as clear or more melodramatic that this.
If she wanted the friendship to remain unscathed and thrive, she had to give him space and make space for herself. He will be too busy now to notice her absence anyway.
Meanwhile she will busily be exploring the inner sanctuary…