They were perched very comfortably on the old cement seat. Behind them was carved "Lover's Seat" and never for a second did they forget it. In fact, several of the fits of giggles that were breaking out of the young girls was turning into explosions when they, out of a corner of their eye, caught sight of the carved words, and if was enough for one to grin to set the other off with the bosom heaving, breath gasping exercise.
They held hands under the shadow of the huge tree – Priya could not identify the species, but it was one of several on the green campus, and she was unlikely to ever know, or if she did know, she would most probably forget. There were too many important things to figure out, and too many things to just do to worry about botany and whatever else they were teaching at school these days. Her free hand – the left – tucked her short hair behind her ear and then smoothed her grey-and-white school uniform before going back to hold her friend’s hand.
This was probably the news of the ninth standard and though she wouldn't blab it, she really had to know. Curiosity was eating at her. Behind them, across a road, the owner of the little shop smiled indulgently at them. They were not regular customers, but they were nice when they did show up. At least he had never caught them shoplifting.
"Well, what happened? What did he say?" There, it was out. The question that had been keeping her on tenterhooks over the weekend, because one could not be expected to talk about such serious matters over the phone, and definitely not within earshot of parents who would take a dim view of such happenings. This was a – what was that line Uncle Veni had used? – 'sober community, and such things just do not happen, child!' But they did now, she thought rebelliously as her elbow prodded her friend to spill the beans. Yes, these things became private, but not between old chums like Payal and Priya. Every aspect would be dissected, every twitch of the eyebrows analyzed. It was probably this that made Priya more excited than anything else.
Payal had that sparkle in her eyes again, "Huh?"
Exasperated, "Oh, I know you heard the question!” Punctuated by giggle, ”Hurry up and answer it. Stop being a meanie!” Another stream of giggles ensued, and as the school bell rang the end of the fourth hour it subsided. They'd been here three hours now, and they had thought or talked about nothing else… 'just getting comfy'. But from the tone of that last exclamation, it was obvious to anyone who knew Priya – and it must be admitted, most people did – that she meant business.
"He said ‘huh’."
“That’s all?” Priya couldn’t keep the disappointment and dismay out of her voice. What if this guy never made up his mind? What about their plans to… err… help him? And of course, all that plotting they would have to do to get Payal and him some quality time together – they weren’t going to give up these between-classes (and these days through-all-the-classes) long talks, they were too important!
”Yeah. Said he needs to talk about it… and think about it.“ That wasn’t precisely what he had said, but lets let that pass for the moment, Payal, after all, was slightly worked up. "What’s there to think about it? Man, can you believe the guy is crazy enough to want to think about forever?" A slight shudder ran through her.
“Betcha he’s playing hard-to-get.” Priya offered, in her infinite wisdom from zilch experience, “You just wait, we’ll…”
And so the masterminding continued, to bring their life to heel, to find something to do. At least they were occupied for now.
PS: I know it’s not like that a lot of the times.
Oh, and I write about this pair quite a bit. Just never posted it.