Once upon a time, there was a girl called Reene, like an adolescent she dreamed of growing up fast and meeting the man of her life (handsome, intelligent, rich), of getting married, having two children and living in a nice house.
She had just turned thirteen. She had a group of girl friends who mostly talked about guys and the prince charming, who will magically appear one day, sweep them off their feat and take them away to conquer the world together.
Everyday while walking back from school to home, all Reene did was to dream. One day she realized that on her journey back home, she wasn’t alone. She was accompanied by a guy who lived in the neighborhood and studied in the same school as she did.
She started enjoying her ten minutes silent walk, with the guy around, sometimes she walked quickly to keep up with him; sometimes the guy walked slowly when she wasn’t able to keep up.
Months passed and none of them tried to speak a single until one day, the guy asked if he could borrow a pen from her. Reene got petrified and completely ignored the guy.
“May he knows how much I like him”, she thought and got panicked by his unexpected approach and started walking faster. She had dreamed of taking his hand in hers and walking pass the school gate together like best friends. But she went blank at that time.
For the rest of the day, she couldn’t concentrate on her studies and kept thinking of coming out a perfect excuse about why she freaked out when the guy tried to talk to her. She was happy and relieved that the guy noticed her and came out with an excuse to start a conversation. She already saw a pen clenched in his hand, he already had it, he just wanted to talk.
During the night, she kept re-scripting and re-visiting the scene of them talking, walking together and she explaining to him about her behavior and start of a new friendship.
Days passed but the guy never spoke with her again. Everyday, she kept a pen in her right hand to ensure that the guy knows that he could borrow one today but he didn’t approach.
Reene felt stupid about her behavior, she thought she had lost him for always, they could never be friends now.
After the final terms exams got over, students were given a short break starting from ‘Holi’ (Indian festival of colors to celebrate winning of good over evil) which for Reene meant that no walking back from school. She got used to seeing him everyday, she hated weekends when they didn’t have to walk back. The thought of this break made her sad and irritated.
Today was the last day at school before they would go on leaves. Reene left school and wished that the guy talked to her today, giving her a chance to apologize for her rude behavior. As she started to walk, the guy was nowhere to be seen. She waited for him outside the gate for some time but he wasn’t there. She started to walk and kept looking here and there in the hope of spotting him but couldn’t find him.
With a heavy heart and apparent disappointment on her face, she kept walking. It was almost half way done and tears started rolling her eyes as she experienced for the first time how it was like to miss someone. Missing someone so close but yet so far.
After a few seconds, someone tried to pour dry colors on her. She covered her face with her palms and looked away. “Stop it! I hate this”, she said and the pouring stopped.
She opened her eyes and found the guy standing and smiling to her. His fair, half face and hands were all covered in red, yellow, green, orange and blue colors. Reene tried to stay calm at his unexpected approach this time.
“You can borrow the pen from me but do not put colors.” She said.
“I already have a pen. Why you don’t want to play? Are you a little girl scared of colors?” He teased her.
Renee wasn’t a little girl anymore, her mom told her. She became a young woman recently.
“I am not scared.”
“Then let us just play.” He said and started sprinkling color all over her. She ran to save herself but the guy was faster. She opened her bag and took out the small bottle of colors her dad bought her. She took the colors on her palm and started to put them on the guy.
She started enjoying and they kept playing with colors. There is a song that clearly describes the spirit of Holi, which is, Holi brings people together and even enemies hug each other and become friends.
Reene was happy that the silence between them was finally over. She came back home, took a bath, ate lunch but at the background of her mind, all she could do was to think about that guy. She waited patiently for the holidays to get over and to start attending the school soon.
Her father offered to get her a bike but she declined. “I like to walk”, she told him.
Her wait came to an end and it was the first day in a standard higher than the previous one. She flaunted her new dress, took a little time to notice how she looked in the mirror and went to school. First day got over and her heart started to beat as she walked towards the exit gate of school.
The boy didn’t appear. And so other agonizing week passed, until she found out through some school friends, that he had left town.
“He’s gone somewhere far away”, someone said.
That was Renee’s first encounter with how stories ended in real life. “Somewhere far away” is a vast space to explore; anything which is not around and within reach is called “somewhere far”.