the right approach

Everyone at our high school were obsessed with her. All the boys drooled over her and all the girls fantasized about being her. It’s not that she was a flawless masterpiece, wasn’t even damn near perfection if you ask me, but there was a certain je ne sais quoi quality that gave her an intoxicating allure. You know the type – ephemeral, barely out-of-this-world and always just a fleeting step away from your fingers when you most wanted to touch her delicate skin. A moment later and she was gone, her summer-y scent lingering on long after recess was over and the corridors were empty.

There was an unspoken game of winning her over going on between all the seniors. There wasn’t a surviving male friendship in sight because of her; all the hormone-crazy teenagers were frenemies and secretly raiding their parents’ wallets every chance they got to try and impress her the old-fashioned way – by showering her with the type of silly obsolete stuff adolescent girls liked. It didn’t work. Then someone had the brilliant idea to join the football team and get to the gal’s heart the American way or at least the way all mediocre rom coms teach us is a safe bet, so for a few months there was a streaming line in coach’s office every day. The poor guy had to finally start turning away love-crazed adolescent boys who had nothing better to do with their time, but try and impress some chick. It was every teenager for himself; more cunning means had to be developed and pursued in order to engage her fleeting attention.

Luckily, all the time this was happening, as her best friend’s brother I was able to hang out on the inside, thus acquiring direct access to her inner emotional unrest (if there was ever such). I wasn’t attracted to her and it struck me as weird when all my classmates, friends and random acquaintances found any excuse to bring up her name in virtually every conversation we had. Come to think of it, it was the first time I learned that having everyone want something instantly made me want to run away from it as far as possible. I’m like this even till this day..Anyway, so I sat and observed how her homework was always written; her assignments handed in on time; she was picked up from school and her house in the hippest, coolest cars there were; her cute pink Swarowski-encrusted phone got a matching dangling pink thingy to go along with it and so on and so forth, but there was never one King of The Kill crowned, if you know what I mean.

Well, at least not until Mike Foryshewski came along. He was tall, well-built and had sharp features that gave a somewhat menacing look. His cold grey eyes were always nervously scouting around and his movements were brisk and concise to a point of machine-like accuracy. He noticed her immediately, although she remained as aloof towards him as she had always been with everyone else. One day after classes he pulled over and invited her in his convertible with a gesture. They had barely exchanged a word until then, but she was used to being driven around by every guy in sight and had started to think of it as somewhat of a birth right accompanying the fact of being born a pretty woman.

The rest I know by overhearing her many, many, many exhilarated conversations with my sister in the following days, but apparently instead of driving her straight to her house he took a little detour down to the creek and after pulling off, wasted no time in coming on to her. He had been passionate, eager and firm in handling her or so she described it. Couple of thrusts and the girl no one had ever made it to First or Second Base with had lost her virginity in the back seat of a shabby convertible.

News of this sort of thing is not bound by the meager laws of physics applicable to everything else on Earth and that same night the entire school was on their phones outrageous about the turn of events. The next day as Mike was making his way down the corridors you could feel the hate emanating from every single guy he walked past. What made things even more awkward was the sight of her skipping alongside him, carrying his books for class. This continued for the rest of that day as well as the following ones. Mike was acting as if though it was the most natural and logical thing in the world. While the rest of the guys were busy glaring at him and brainstorming what could he have possible said to get ahead so quickly, the female population was blowing the story out of proportion with gossip about the mythological size of his private parts (which seemed the only logical explanation as tho why he got her attention in the first place) and were desperately trying to seduce him to prove their thesis. Neither succeeded and rumors lingered on till prom when we all parted ways.

With a more scientific rather than personal interest in the whole thing, I decided to tactfully approach the subject one warm evening few months after things had began to settle down. My sister had conveniently sneaked out the back to make out with her then boyfriend and I jumped at the opportunity to ask the question on everyone’s minds:

– “Tell me how did he do it? It’s not like you were short on attention; you had guys lining in front of you, ready to jump hoops just for a look of approval.”

– “I know.”

– “So why him?”

– “He found..the right approach to me.”

So there you have it. May we all find the right approach to the women of our hearts..


the circle of hurt

Sometimes she enters your life with a loud bang in a haze of dazzling scents and sensations. She’s overwhelming and intrusive and it leaves you feeling violated in a way. There was never any space for her in your life, but she rudely pushes people around, rearranges your priorities and before you know it – you’re left longing for her presence in the early hours of the mornings when her scent is still lingering on your pillow. You kid yourself that you’d be perfectly fine if she went away as unexpectedly as she wandered into your life, but when it actually happens there’s a huge feeling of abandonment left to fill her space.

Other times she slips into your life in the most unfortunate of times when your guard is down and you’re still mourning the departure of an out of place love affair. You turn to her in search of solace and comfort and, little by little, you come to yearn for her convenience, warmth and bleak attractiveness. Realizing you care surprises you more than it surprises her. Unable to chase away the feeling that you were never meant to be and this is, at best, something temporary, you move towards the logical conclusion of parting ways. But it is when the last sign of her comforting presence disappears from your life that you realize how much you’ve grown attached, dependent and fond of her. Years of posing as a self-sufficient adult give way to a scared, clingy and emotionally unstable child who’s desperately trying to find someone to take care of them.

But worst of all is the frightened girl with the look of timid hope in her eyes. Naive, sincere and honest to a point of insanity. You welcome her into your life reluctantly because you know you will destroy her. Just like one of them destroyed you a long time ago. You have to teach her everything from scratch – how to walk, to talk, to be in the world of responsible, self-sufficient adults. She will reward you with pure joy in return and she will never hold anything back from you. Everything is serious with her; everything is final. You feel compelled to yell at her: ‘You shouldn’t be up this late; it’s long past your bedtime. Just go home.’ She will look up at you confused and press her warm cheek against her palm asking with her eyes ‘Let me stay a little longer, please. Don’t send me away.’ She will leave you only after she grows up and both of you realize there is nothing more you can teach her. When she understands you’re too old or too tired to hold her hand; to run your fingers through her hair; to tell her stories before bedtime; to push her on the swings..