Friday, November 24, 2006

Ammani's "I Ask, You Write" 11 - My Story

Read the other entries to "I Ask, You Write 11" here

First it was red. Then yellow. Now it's red again. Why can't Shailu make up her mind?

13 years is that exact age when a girl is no longer considered “little” and is not yet treated as a young woman. It’s the age when a girl usually tries to be older than she is, the drawback being that her reactions to everything are still instinctively childish. It’s the age when a girl can get her first serious crush – and not necessarily on someone of the opposite gender, because that intense but undefined feeling is the outward manifestation of a longing for things as yet only vaguely imagined. And that feeling is no less intense for being directed at more than one person at the same time.

That, in a nutshell, was Shailu’s dilemma.

She was going for a barbecue party with her parents. The idea of the barbecue did not attract her so much as the knowledge that two of the people she secretly most admired would be there as well. Jason and Sirisha. Jason, a godlike 16, a top athlete, blue eyed and black haired, who had been her neighbour for the last 10 years but had suddenly turned into a Greek God in the last year. And Sirisha, who was in Shailu’s class but was so trendy, attractive and worldly-wise that Shailu would have given her right arm to be like her.

She wanted to let them know how much she thought of them, but in a subtle way that would not make her stand out like a fool. Her plan was to give them each a perfect rosebud from the garden. She had two of them - a red one, and a yellow one. She couldn’t decide, however, which one was for whom. The red rose for Jason, and the yellow for Sirisha. No, red roses meant love and she would just die if Jason laughed at her. The red one for Sirisha, then. But would someone think she was in love with Sirisha? In love with a girl? No no, the yellow one for Sirisha… but… what did yellow roses signify? No… Shailu simply couldn’t make up her mind.

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