"Huh... I was in 8th grade. So I guess around 13?"
She gave him one playful look. But started narrating.
"It was after that year's cultural program. Until then I had no idea that such a guy was in my school. One of the new girls in my class was pretty popular by then and she had already gotten a few proposals as well. He was one among them."
Gaurav almost spilt the drink. "You developed a crush on a guy who had proposed to one of your best friends?" he exclaimed. The whole story was amusing for him.
"Just listen would you... She rejected him and was happily in a relationship with another guy. So this guy, Prasadh used to come to our classroom at any given excuse. I won't even notice him much. I was one of those anime heroine types. Always sitting next to the window and day dreaming about something or the other. I didn't notice him until we all were pushed into mandatory RSP training. And he became the lead for my class." Sanjana got up to clean the table. They started this whole first crush story right after lunch and she still hadn't cleared the plates also.
"What in the world is RSP?"
"Oh that is one of those service units run by my school. We were the first batch. Road Safety Patrol. The roads leading to my school were pretty hustling and always accident prone. We had training every Friday before school started and duty every Monday morning. RSP duty was where we would help regulate the traffic in and around our campus and our class was scheduled to do that every Monday."
"Let me guess. You were the class leader and had to interact with him quite a lot." Gaurav sat on the kitchen counter now. One of their favourite spots for chit chat.
Sanjana started cleaning the dishes as she continued.
"Actually no. I was never the class leader and I pretty much hated this whole RSP thing. This guy Prasadh wanted to make Hiral miserable with more work. So he would assign all the big stuff for girls. While the boys would get easy tasks. Hiral would hardly turn up for duty or will be very late. And he never noticed that. Naturally I got pretty worked up at the whole scenario and would always end up arguing with him. I hated his guts..."
"Ah... First hate and then love..." he couldn't finish the sing song sentence because he was sure to get a black eye if he continued.
Taking her death stare off him Sanjana went on. "As I was saying, most of my 8th grade went by in hating him and somehow trying to get away from RSP. You see most of these infatuation love thingies won't start from the two individuals involved but a third black sheep who is in no way connected to the whole scene. For me that was Sandhya. That girl's observant powers started the whole problem. One Monday evening we were finishing up duty and the sprinklers were switched on. Me being the crazy girl I have always been started playing in it along with a bunch of primary school kids. I thought my friends joined me. But turns out I was the only high schooler there. And this fellow had been watching me for a good ten minutes before I was pulled away by my friends. It started there. These girls said he had been watching me with amusement. One time we were all eating ice-cream. Hiral and I were standing in the rain will still having the ice-cream. And Prasadh happened to see that with a smile it seems. After that he sort of softened up with the RSP duties. He even smiled at me a couple of times.
Girls always have this habit of imagining what is not there and creating a story around it. So a story started revolving around how the new boy likes the rowdy girl. And Sandhya made sure to always point out that Prasadh is looking at me during prayer time, RSP training time and what not. For god's sake I am short and I have to stand in front all the freaking time. He happens to be the leader and will also be in the front line. This went on and I started liking the attention I guess. I also found him cute. So that is where I got smitten I suppose."
"Ah... So the rowdy girl fell for the new guy and turned into a girly girl..."
As he looked for a big plate to shield him he heard her laugh.
"That is exactly what happened. 9th grade was even better. Both our classes were located right next to each other. By that time my whole class knew that I liked him. And his entire class knew that he hated me. I was not exactly the good looking school girl you see. But for me he was one of the reasons I came to school. We would enter the school at the same time coincidentally. Almost every morning. And we would leave at the same time. I was never able to pack up the courage to tell him how I felt. I dreamt about him every single night. My friends started getting annoyed at me and my Prasadh diaries." She finished arranging the clean dishes in their racks.
"So did you tell him at all?" Gaurav asked. "Oh can you make me some coffee while you are at it?" He grinned.
"You know you are the only reason I buy coffee in this house. Or else I won't need to waste so much money on this expensive Moroccan blend."
"If that is such a pain for you I will buy some iced coffee from Starbucks..." he made a face.
"Gosh.. For just some water, ice cubes and the same coffee powder you want to spend 200 bucks? Give that to me and I will make you better coffee..."
"Just go on with your story would you... Did you ever tell him that you liked him?"
"Ha ha... Yes. I don't remember if it was Quarterly exams or Half yearly... But I made a friend slip one greeting card into his bag. He gave it back to me through one of his classmates. A girl I despised a lot."
"He had written 'I accept' in it?" Gaurav was very much involving with the story.
"I don't know. I saw that girl and got angry. Tore it right in front them and flushed it off." Sanjana turned around with the coffee mug to see a dead panned look on Gaurav.
"So even if he had had feelings for you, you pretty much ruined it."
"Well I did try giving him my slam book to fill. For which he humiliated me in front of the whole school. And I officially hated him from that day. It hurt for a long time. I used to cry a lot. The first ever crush I develop on a guy was crushed by him mercilessly..."
"You know..." Gaurav spoke sipping the second mug of coffee. "I got my first crush when I was in 4th grade..." if there was a way to imitate that smiley with heart for eyes, he was doing a pretty good job at it.
"Too bad you ended up with this rowdy girl..." she punched him and ran out of the kitchen.
"That hurts woman! Come back here wifey..." he ran after her.
Two mugs of tea and coffee were abandoned on the kitchen counter just like that.
This is pretty much my school crush story. Most of the details mentioned happened and it took me about 6 years or so to get over that guy. I don't know if he would read this. I still have no idea if something was written on that card. And I never bothered to ask him if he ever had a liking towards me...