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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

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ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

The story of the Blue eyed boy

Blue eyed boy

The blue eyed boy would always come to class with messy hair, and an unwashed baby face, even though class was at four in the afternoon. I don’t think he ever once bothered. I always imagined he got out of bed, put on a shirt his maid would have prepared for him and walked out the door.

The first time I saw him was in class. Despite wearing my slippers, I was late because I couldn’t run while carrying heavy hardbacks, which had nothing to do with the subject of the class, but I wanted to smell old books to celebrate the final hour of my first day of high school.

He was the first person I saw when I entered the room; he was on the other side, almost in front and resting his back on the wall — observant, but ignoring the professor. I learnt his name when the latter decided to shout out the attendance. I hoped he learnt my name on that day too when I saw that he kept glancing over at me.

He would always sit on the other side of class from where I sat. His looks weren’t striking, but the way he would consistently look at me was enough to become accustomed and addicted to his glances. I would wait for four hours ­— after my English lecture was over and until our class would start at four, so that he would steal doses of me and I could ignore him. The only reason I would attend that class was because of him, so when he did fail to show up occasionally, I would suffer pangs of withdrawal, knowing I would have to wait until the next week to see him.

One Sunday, I went to a different church than usual when I saw him, sitting on the opposite side of me. I would never fail to attend mass for the next three years. From that very first Sunday onwards, we would sit on the pews found on opposite sides, with the altar and priest between us. We would avoid each others’ eyes for the entire ceremony, except for when we were asked to extend the sign of peace, where we would ignore everyone around us and nod at each other.

I would search for him everywhere — in grocery shops, gardens, during the Good Friday procession. One time, on Christmas day, he left the church before the priest walked back to the sacristy. I saw him leave and realised I would not be able to nod goodbye to him. I walked slowly down the church’s steps; people were gathering in clusters, giving their best wishes to each other when I saw him, hands in pocket, head bent, standing there by himself.

I excused myself, I wanted to pass in front of him and ignore him but once I was close, he looked at me and extended his best wishes, to which I smiled and wished him the same. It was the first and last time we ever spoke to each other. It was the best love affair I had ever had. I did kiss another boy during this time, but it felt wrong, so I ended it before it had even started.

Two years of school passed by with intense longing and furtive glances. I spent the year after school was over going to mass and expecting him to be there but he showed up only once. After a while, I learnt to long for someone else.

Story credits: Prada.

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One Response to The story of the Blue eyed boy

  • Ooo At some point in time every girl has a similar experience. It reminded me a lot of my own experience. ..haha

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