Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Christmas Snow Globe

For once Charlotte was apprehensive to attend her High School Reunion Ceremony, she had seen the attendees list and knew he would be there. Though she had confirmed of her availability but even on the D-day she was in a dilemma. Her No-Show will definitely disappoint her batch but the turmoil of heated emotions were flaring up and refused to subside. ‘This is not happening, I must drop my plans” she said.  

10 years ago, Charlie (that’s how she was known to all) met him and couldn’t take her eyes of him. He was new to the Class and was an instant hit among the students (particularly the female crowd). He was one of those guys who could gel up with almost every head present – Smart, intelligent and attractive.  Charlie’s world revolved around him – he became the man of her dreams and the centre of her world. His presence in her vicinity would race her heartbeats and jump her pulse rates. Her face turned crimson when his eyes met. Charlie’s life had changed to become a die-hard romantic from the bookworm she was popularly known before. With the ditching of spectacles and moving over to lens, to the new hair-cut in layers and ditching the braids……. Charlie had really changed. Always a fun-loving and a talkative girl, with big brown eyes, honey skin, long straight hair and a tall-slender frame but she just didn’t have the guts to approach him even with a bagful of questions she had made-up in her solitary times only to strike a friendship and get to know him better. She was always back to the square one, fantasizing Richard as her hero of all times in her fairy dreamland.

End of Term 1 gave way to the Annual Day Celebrations, Richard stole the show with his dance moves and guitar. Whole School went ga-ga over him, even the teachers sang his praises. The popularity he was earning with time made Charlie withdraw all the more and there had been no exchange of words yet, just a few deep eye locks and smiles during the classroom teaching was all they had communicated.

Onset of winters – welcomed woolens and of course geared-up for the exciting Christmas celebrations which were one of the best times every student of the School had. The nuns left no stones unturned to treat them the best Rum cakes, Angel wings, Ginger-breads, Chocolate cookies, Brownies,  Lemon Tarts, Marshmallows and Fruit Candies. These delicacies were the highlights of the Christmas platter served to the whole school. How kind and generous of the institution! Charlie always took up the Crib-making and Christmas-tree d├ęcor department, being highly creative she did well in these arenas and always received immense appreciation for her sincere hard-work. So like every year, the Christmas party began with all its pomp and show. School was heavily decorated with Stars, Wreaths, Tinsels, Bon-Bons, Stockings, Lights, Peg Dolls, Mantle garlands, Ribbons, Candy Canes, etc. Charlie was dressed in a wool knit black skirt teamed with a red pull-over, boots and a Pashmina stole round her neck. She was as usual with the Crib and the Christmas tree and garnered a lot of admiration for her resourcefulness and vision. She yearned Richard to drop down to have a look at her creations and shower her with compliments but to her dismay……he was hardly interested. Soon after all the hustles of celebration when the students had left for home, Charlie was among the few who had stayed back to wrap up all the things and also lend a helping hand to the nuns. It was during that time when Richard came to see her work. He was pretty generous with his words. Charlie fumbled with her “Thank you” and while he left, thrusted a little gift in her hands. Charlie’s joy knew no bounds, she was bowled over with his act.

As soon as he left, she didn’t wait for even a second more to open the gift and there came a little Snow Globe with a note “Merry Christmas”. Charlie walked back home like a dreamer smiling in love and on top of the world. The School had closed for Christmas-New Year break and all the while she was positive that Richard was in love with her too.

Ten days of break seemed like ten years to her and finally after Epiphany, the School re-opened. As soon as she entered her classroom, she saw her friend with the same Snow Globe that was gifted to her by Richard. Anaida told her that since Richard’s mother was a dealer in Christmas decorations, he could afford to gift the whole class. Her heart broke in pieces, she was just another girl to him. Soon final exams approached and the temperatures soared high with anxieties and worries. Richard had never approached her after that, except the deep eye locks and smiles as usual. Charlie still drooled over Richard and just couldn’t take him out of her mind. Their deep eye locks assured her of his consideration & his glances told her that “You are Special”. To her that was all it mattered.

On the last day of exams, Richard handed over a note to her which read, “Meet me at 5 in the backyard”. She was on Cloud 9 again……….and reached exactly at 5. She kept waiting for nearly an hour then came her friend Anaida who informed her that even she was called by Richard. Charlie got furious and went came home, never to hear anything from Richard. She was sure that he was playing games and labeled him a JERK. It was just then that she came to know about her father’s immediate transfer to Assam and she thanked God profusely because she never wanted to face her class anymore and specially Richard.

The flashback made her weak on her knees because she still carried the same emotions for Richard and had longed for the meet to happen at the backyard. Just then her mobile rang, it was her friend Anaida confirming of her presence in the Re-union. With a bagful of mixed emotions, Charlie somehow managed to dress up for the day and reach the venue. The School Auditorium was beautifully decorated with old pictures, books and uniform. Her soul got full with nostalgia and suddenly, she felt a gentle hand on her shoulder. She couldn’t believe her eyes, she was face-to-face with Richard. He had transformed into a handsome young man. He gave her a light hug saying how beautiful she looked in her purple dress and asked about her whereabouts. Richard shared that he was working in an MNC in the IT department. Lastly, he confessed as to why he couldn’t be there at the desired time in the School backyard. He narrated about his father’s sudden demise that afternoon and how he had been shouldering all the responsibilities of his mother and sister. His struggles and hardships spoke of his amazing qualities as a man and Charlie felt so ashamed of herself to call him a JERK. He later added that Anaida was called in the backyard because she was the only person with whom he had shared his deepest feelings. The Snow Globe was gifted only to Charlie,  Anaida had cooked up the story on his directions.

Richard took Charlie’s hands, led her to the stage, drew the spotlight on them, went down on his knees………and a beaming Charlie says it all. 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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