After high school, just before I joined university, I started volunteering for a certain NGO near home. During the long holiday (which is always about 4 months long) I went back there to earn me some money (we were paid a monthly stipend) for airtime, clothes, shoes, you know, the most important things in a teenage-girl’s life.
Back to the story.A couple of weeks after reporting back, our boss told us that two young foreign guys will be visiting us for a month or so. Believe you me, I wasn’t as excited as everybody else around me, but all that changed when, weeks later, he brought them and one of them caught my eyes!
He was tall, had long hair-not Harry Styles long, but long enough for my liking and had a Justin Timberlake body. To wrap it all up, he looked like a cross between Justin Timberlake and Harry Styles and this girl here, had an instant crush!
During what we called, round table introduction, he sat next to me. Boy oh boy, the butterflies in my stomach!
After the meeting, I hanged around a little to try to have a few words with him, but he didn’t even seem to notice me. He was busy chatting with my colleagues.So I told myself that by the end of their stay, he would have eyes and ears only for me. Little did I know!
I started putting my plan in to action on the first working day of their stay. Before he came, whenever I wasn’t working, I used to sit by myself, in an isolated place and read. I love reading. So my first step was to move from that place the office where they spent most of their time.
Within a span of like 30 minutes in that office, I learnt that he is a huge fan of hip-hop. I just happened to have this play-list which was like 85% hip-hop (I am not a fan of hip-hop myself, it was just an identity crisis thing), so whenever we were in the office, I would play hip-hop and even rap along to some (goodness me! I must have looked really stupid doing that!).
When I realized he was neither impressed by my taste nor my rapping skills, I resorted to love songs. I was totally in love with Celine Dion’s songs, especially the Titanic one-My heart will go on.
In the evenings, the boys used to go play football with the primary school boys. On this particular evening, first day in to the love songs plan, everybody had either gone to play ball or do something else, I ended up being in the office alone. I was busy thinking about the adjustments I should make for my plan to succeed when, I saw him walking towards the office. I immediately started playing and singing along ‘My heart will go on’. Those who have heard me singing must be bent with laughter right now. Anyway, when he walked in, I pretended not to notice him, but from the corner of my eyes, I saw a really cute confused expression on his face. He went to the other room, picked something up, came out, stood at the door still looking confused, invited me to play ball the next day and quickly walked out.
Wait! He invited me to play ball! I know it’s not any girl’s idea of quality time spent with a crush and he must have done it out of politeness, but still it looked like a step forward. I could not contain my excitement!
The next day, I carried my ‘sporting’ gear. Notice the quotes? That is because I did not have any back then. I had to be really creative here .I picked a pair of black tights, oversized gray t-shirt (mark you o-v-e-r-s-i-z-e-d) and a pair of black old schools. Don’t even get me started on everything that was wrong with this whole outfit, but back then, I felt hot hot hot!
I am not a football girl at all. I play a little bit of basket-ball, badminton and lawn-tennis after but no, not football. Both in primary and high-school, whenever I tried playing football during physical education, the game would end without me even touching the ball. Yeah, I was that terrible but on this particular day, since there was a huge prize I was angling for, I gave it my all. I played football like real football. I was even as good as some of the terrible male players. This went on for days. Same ‘sporting’ gear. Same determination that by the way earned me thumbs-up from him severally but no, no confession.
On one humid after-noon, I went back to the office right after having lunch. I had this really heavy feeling in my heart. You know that strong wave of sadness that hits you when you realize your efforts are bearing no fruits and it makes you want to bawl?Yeah,that one. The boy joined me shortly after. He looked at me for some time and asked me why I looked so sad. I saw this as an opportunity of expressing myself. I mean, is there any harm in being straight forward with a guy?
I started by getting all philosophical (I can do that too. Wink!) and he listened attentively. Just when I was getting to the part where I tell him how I feel,bam!in came one of my colleagues and through the same door, out walked what came to be my one and only chance of having a heart to heart conversation with him.
The next day, I went to work feeling very frustrated by the fact that I had tried everything I could think of to get this guy’s attention and he didn’t event seem to notice. I remember I had a slight headache, but not strong enough to require painkillers. As my last desperate cry for attention, I asked my supervisor for some painkillers hoping that this guy would rescue me from my misery. But he just sat there, calmly watching my every move and thinking about how crazy I was because I know he knew I was just trying to get his attention. Do you think that made me abort the pills mission? No way! I rarely start something and leave it mid-way. So I popped the pills (speaking of boy-crazy, this was psychotic level!) and don’t for a moment think that made the boy pour his heart out to me. If anything, it drove him away from me. Way out of my reach.
One week to the end of their stay, he bought some African print material and asked me and some other girl, to help him design some female outfits. I asked him who he was making the outfits for and he told me one was for his mother while the other one was-just wait-his girlfriend! Go figure!