i was eighteen that summer.
just back from college. with two months to kill.
he was twenty.
waiting to go start his training. with two months to kill.
we had to meet. we were just three people that age out there. he, his sister and i.
so, like it happens in the movies and the books, we hung out.
we went for walks. we drank copious amounts of mango shake sitting on the steps of my house. we went exploring on his scooter. and we talked and talked.
his sister at some point left us alone. so that's how we ended up spending most of the summer together. my mother was amused, and insists even today that he polished off all her snacks waiting around for me. but it was perfect.
warm in the mornings. warm enough to drink cold coffee in tall glasses with lots of ice in it. warm enough to go driving off across bad roads, stop under a large tree and watch a train roll past in the distance.
warm enough to just sit in my room under the fan, talking about friends and things we wanted to see and do. warm enough to walk lazily to the mess, and pick books from the library. warm enough to stand at the gate endlessly, talking again, until it was time to go home for lunch.
warm enough to meet again in the evening, and hang out at the kids park. to sit in my driveway, and try and fix my rickety old moped together. and warm enough for regular tambola nights.
then, finally the day when we had to leave. strange, because somehow we were on the same vehicle to calcutta. i don't remember saying bye or what it felt like. but i remember writing to him for a few months. and then slowly the summer faded from my memory.
it was the sweetest summer. i liked him. i thought he liked me too. but i never asked. and neither did he.
then sixteen years later, i speak to him this morning. he doesn't sound anything like he did. but then i really don't remember. we laugh, talk all jumbled, try and fill in the years.
i tell him we'll meet. but i don't think so. not because of anything. but because somethings are meant to stay blurred, slightly faded.
and some summers are meant to stay perfect.