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Sofia and Jay are childhood lovers. The story gives a brief yet touching description of the emotional bonding that they share. The story shows the transition of the couple from childhood lovers to a married couple, living a fairy tale. However, a misfortune changes the course of their lives.
She still remembered every tiny detail of all the time they had spent together. Gazing soundlessly at the ceiling fan from her bed now, Sofia felt the knot in her stomach grow tighter. Even bright sunlight peeping through a beautiful French window, gliding past a compact room and kissing Sofia’s tender face, failed to retrieve her from her trance. While birds chirped, inducing the world to get up and about, Sofia’s mind drifted 10 years and 8232 miles down the memory lane.
A new day , a new classroom, a new excitement. Sofia walked into class 9D with a vibrant smile on her lips and a flip of her high ponytail. Her soft brown eyes swept across the classroom, gleaming at the sight of familiar faces and softening to acknowledge new classmates, until they were locked in a pair of equally soft, brown eyes already staring in their direction. Sofia felt her heartbeat rise as she examined the owner of those innocent, brown eyes. He was standing at the back of the classroom with one foot on the back wall and his arms crossed across his chest. His lips curled into a smile and Sofia quickly turned away, realizing she was ogling at the tall, dark haired-what her friends would call-cutie.
Sofia had always been shy, especially when it came to interacting with boys.
Although ,since the encounter with the boy at the back of her classroom, who later introduced himself as Jay to the class, Sofia could not wait to go to St. John’s school the next day.
Jay flashed a sly smile as Sofia entered her classroom. Involuntarily, she felt herself smile back. Sofia was reading a copy of Angels and Demons during lunch when Jay walked up to her. “How do you like the book? Dan Brown is a bloody genius! ”, Jay beamed. “Um I just started reading it. The world cup had kept me busy”, Sofia said with a smirk. “ The FIFA World cup? No shit! Whose side are you on”? , Jay asked, clearly intrigued. After Sofia’s answer, Jay continued, “ Netherlands? Me too. Why didn’t we meet before?”
In four months, Sofia and Jay had learned everything about each other. Favorite books, guilty pleasures, favorite dessert, car, actor and everything else a ninth grader needed to know about another person to be considered best friends. On 25th October, St. John’s school organized a one night camp in the outskirts of the city. All the students were singing and dancing around a bonfire except a couple of students, Sofia and Jay, standing a few feet away. Sofia, being the shy girl she is, blushed and avoided eye contact. Sofia could never imagine how Jay built up the courage that night, to look into her eyes and say, “ Hey, so I, uh, I like you.” Fourteen year old Sofia felt she was too young for love but nevertheless, she could not tame her heart to not feel the way that she did for Jay. “I like you too.” Then Jay said something that amused the couple for years to come. “No, you don’t get it. I like you ‘that’ way.”
Jay was Sofia’s first boyfriend and Sofia was Jay’s first girlfriend. They were young but their love for each other was beyond real. Sofia would never forget the butterflies she felt in her stomach when Jay held her hand. The memory of their first kiss was forever imprinted in her mind. She could not imagine anything or anyone else who could make her happier. Who would have thought a casual football chat would blossom into a childhood romance? How mutual interests and hobbies would transform best friends to lovers?
Jay and Sofia had been married for two years now. They lived in a whole new world, halfway across the globe, in New York. Living together for six years in their own house, with a backyard, in a quiet neighborhood, the couple had endured life in all its forms, together. Life was great. Sofia was living a fairytale with her prince in shining armor. Jay meant the world to Sofia, who lost both her parents an year after her wedding to Jay.
But when everything seems too good to be true, life hits you out of nowhere. In this case, life slapped them in the form of a medical report. Jay was diagnosed with coronary artery disease after a general check-up to sort his chest pain. Her knight in shining armor, was now weak, helpless.
The doorbell had to be rung thrice for Sofia to realize she had visitors. Reluctantly, she stepped out of her bed and walked towards the door.
Her eyes glanced out the window from her living room, brimming with tears as they landed on the half-grown trees she had planted with Jay.
They were meant to grow old together, the trees and the married couple. Sofia knew well that the hole she felt in her heart could never be filled. God, if he exists, had taken away Sofia’s will to live as well when he took away Jay.
Sofia strode towards the door as the bell sounded a fourth time. It was Mr. Ian Hawking. Hawking was the owner of a studio Sofia had bought. It had been two years since Jay’s death. Sofia needed to move to a smaller place in the city because it was only logical. “ Mr. Ian, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I was asleep. I’ll sign the papers right away and move in to your studio, I mean my studio now, within two days”, Sofia forced a smile. “That’s quite alright, my dear. Move in as and when you please. I just need these papers signed before I leave the country.”
It took Sofia four days to stuff eight years into forty boxes. She waited by the truck as the men loaded the boxes. Sofia decided to take one last look at the house, the house Jay and Sofia made their home. She looked again at the trees they had planted and recollected how handsome Jay had looked in his loose gardening pants, his face painted with mud. A tear rolled down her cheek.
As she brought the wooden doors of the house close to shut, Sofia could swear she saw a beam of light appear through the tiny space between them. She could swear she saw a familiar face bathing in that beam of light, smiling down at her. The same soft , brown eyes staring at her, just as they had fourteen years ago in a classroom.