It has been fifteen years since I first saw you, and some of the memories are a little rusty around the edges. For instance, I no longer remember if it was a Wednesday or a Thursday, that day when we sat on the table in the crowded college canteen, talking way into oblivion at friends watching us with poorly masked amazement at how we seemed to have hit off with each other. Some other details seem to have disappeared entirely, like the maze like structure of the ancient institution where our summertime romance had blossomed, spilling over into the rain and the frost. I don't remember anymore if it was on the second or the third floor, where we had discovered a small nook of a corner, and stolen that quick kiss in the weeks after we had started dating. Some of the last few months of us together in the final days of college, seem to have blanked out entirely. Maybe its the age, I am getting old.
And then somedays - maybe on late nights like today, filled with the stillness of a warm summer air, something comes back to me. In bits & pieces, but so brilliant in its self-preservation, that it stuns me that so many years have passed since then. Small details that seemed so insignificant back then. Small things you did. Small things about you. Little idiosyncrasies that you were made up of, you who made me fall so completely and shamelessly.. so helplessly in love with you.
Remember how you skipped over every third stone in the pavement laid with those pale yellow & red, oddly shaped bricks, on the way to the train station, the first day I walked you there? I do. It was your little thing. Like writing letters. You confessed once you liked how smooth gel pens glided over paper, every time you sat to write me a new letter. And that thing with your coffee - six times anti-clockwise and then once clockwise. I never asked you what that even meant, I realise.
I used to tease that no one ever told you how to use bookmarks. You never kept them in your books for their purpose, often much before or after the page you were reading. And I snuck a glance at you once or twice to catch you lovingly smoothening out the dog ears out of the old pages of books you really really liked... And the obsessive habit of collecting one too many books to read. The way you picked them out of old piles from pavement book stores, as if they were precious treasures, hidden away just for you to find.
My chair creaks as I get up, shaking old memories out of my head. Heading towards the bedroom, I hear you call out from near the window, "I think I am going to make myself some coffee. Do you want some?" I look over and notice the book you just kept aside, bookmark stuck firmly in the middle. I smile. "Yes."
P.S.: It is amazing loving someone made of idiosyncrasies, try it sometime.
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