When I was 15 an studying in the 10th grade, I can remember being at a personal crossroads. There were somethings going on in the extended family that was difficult for most of us to handle. Looking back now things should not have been that complicated but knowing my family, it was inevitable that things would get blown out of proportion. I remember the summer before I just turned 15 – most of my relatives were gathered in my grandma’s house in Mattancherry and the adults were spending hours discussing and debating. It was a tough time for some of us, but mostly for 5 people who were going through a really tough time. Anyways, things were a bit awkward at the extended family side and I was getting a bit affected.
I needed someone to spend time with and share my feelings about the things that were happening. That’s when she walked into my life. Well, I saw her pass by heading to the 9th grade on her first day at our school and like everyone else, I wanted to get a closer look; cause she was really beautiful and looked more like a Caucasian rather than an Indian. This is because she was an Anglo-Indian and shared her looks more from the Portugese side of her heritage rather than her Indian side. Which I thought was weird because her genes should have been diluted with a few generations of lives in India but I digress. I didn’t pay anything more than that initial attention for some days but soon she would waltz her way into my heart. Her name was Michelle and I fell hook, line & sinker.
My cousin Sandhya was studying in the 9th grade and having a cousin in the same class as the object of your affection should make it easier for you to get a good word in. So yeah, I used the old routine of getting my cousin sister, who became very close with Michelle, to keep talking about me and say good things about me, while I also tried to become pals with her. It took a couple of weeks but we became friends. Then I wanted to tell her that I liked her and between the hints by my cousin and me talking to Michelle, I finally did say that I liked her. And I wanted to know if she liked me back. She said that she would need to think about it. And she also told me that a guy in her community also liked her. I said ok and sat on my thumbs for a few days. I remember when I called her one weekend and we spoke for a long time and she said that she liked me.
That day and over the next few days we would sneak up without our family knowing and spend a few hours on the phone. At school I got this funny feeling, a good funny feeling whenever I saw her. It was so sweet. I even drew a portrait of her; those who have seen it said that it’s a good drawing. It was just the face with a single tear running down from her right eye. I dunno why I added that but I did. We had a few days off from school coming up and everything was cool until that break. 15 days later when I came back from vacation, she would be giving me the cold shoulder. And that she didn’t like me but rather the Anglo-Indian guy who lived near her. I was stunned. I didn’t know what hit me or what had happened. I got some other people telling me that Anglo-Indians will only end up with other Anglos and not to worry, it’s cool cause she wasn’t the right kind of girl for me anyway. I was quite upset and it would take me a while to get over the hurt feeling.
Other the next few months until the end of school I tried avoiding her and hated it everytime our paths crossed. Our school was small and her class was right next to mine but I did a pretty good job at making a heartbreak worse. In about a year or so I would forget about her completely, like the whole thing was a joke so why get frustrated over something silly anyway. Once in a while I would remember her, especially when I hear the name Michelle. But I got over her well enough and even forgot she looked like. I can’t seem to remember her face until – I saw this woman two days ago who looked just her and bam! it all came rushing back. Only this time, I wasn’t sad, no hurt nothing. Just a name from my past. I smiled and walked away.