Joined: 08 April 2012
The cool air whipped through her hair as she sat down on the beach. The impressions on the sand that her bare feet had made were already being washed away by the crashing grey waves that seemed to taunt her. The stars were shining and the moonlight was bright. It was a night for lovers to kiss on the beach, and walk hand by hand, making promises that would soon be broken, but would be believed in the dark of the night nonetheless. She looked towards the horizon and wondered for a fleeting second of what he might be doing. Not missing her that's for sure, she thought with a slight smile. It had been four months since she had left. Since she had let go of the happiness she had found after so long.
Her heavy heart and unshed tears were choking her, but she held on to them, and forced herself to think rationally. She had done right by him. He deserved a chance at something better. But she couldn't control the memories that came unbidden. Of a smiling face, and a tender touch which had made her feel alive. Have I made the right decision? She suddenly asked herself, for the thousandth time it seemed. She had thought of the same thing in the weak moments, when she missed him the most. She sighed and let herself wonder, wonder what it would have been like with him, how it would have felt to wake up with him, to feel him besides her late in the night, to feel his hands on her when she needed support, to talk to him after a long day at work, to spend her life loving him.
Tears fell unnoticed on her cheeks, and were dried by the cool wind that seemed to carry a whisper to her, a whisper of a man telling her that he loved her. She looked up in the sky wondering why God had filled life with impossible choices, why couldn't it be easy. Maybe because if it had been easy, she wouldn't have appreciated the magic of love, the magic that had made her strong enough to let him go, and live only with his memories. She let herself remember as she sat on the beach alone.
Let herself remember the day she had first met the man who had changed her life.
Part 1--Chapter 1
She was getting late. First day of the new school year and I am late! She berated herself as she ran out to the porch in her sleeping suit, hurriedly pouring tea in the cup to take along, and cursing herself for sleeping late at night-again!
"Sara, at least eat something!" her mother's ringing voice was ignored as she opened the gate, reversed the car and was on her way, only stopping to honk the horn to signal the maid to close the gate behind her.
Only ten minutes to cover eight kilometers in Lahore's traffic rush. She groaned to herself as she stopped at the first signal, and looked at the empty seat next to her. Oh great! I have forgotten to bring along a notebook! Not only am I late for the job, I wouldn't even have a notebook on the first day of college. She sighed at her unorganized morning, and then a smile broke through as she thought of the students.
She had started teaching a year before, right after graduating. After doing Bachelors in Business Administration with major in Finance, she had tried working in a multinational, but did not like the long hours or the culture of the office. So after three months of unsatisfactory work, she had quit and had taken a teaching job, at an elite school only to kill time. She had found to her surprise that she was good at it. She loved looking at the faces of the students when they understood a concept, liked to talk to them and listen to their diverse ideas, and liked knowing that in some small way she was contributing to the men they would become. She taught O' Levels students'all boys, and loved almost every part of it.
Impatiently waiting at yet another signal, she looked around the city that she loved. The tall buildings, half finished as they might be, added a certain character to the city, the dusty air, the crowded roads, the countless beggars; all were an integral part of Lahore where she had grown up. The city was in her blood, she thought as the scorching heat of the September sun forced her to turn on the air conditioning in the car. She looked in the mirror to see if she should brush her hair, she had only washed her face, brushed her teeth and grabbed her purse after getting out of bed. Make up and "getting ready" were not the words most familiar to her. But she was naturally attractive with large brown eyes and full lips which made it possible for the staff of the school not to scoff her for showing up daily with no makeup whatsoever and hair long brown hair tied in a ponytail or plaited.
She entered the vast compound just as the students were going to their classes. Made it! She thought triumphantly and rushed to greet one of the three classes which she would be taking this year. First two weeks were always the hardest, establishing boundaries between her and the students was the difficult part. They saw her, a 24 years old teacher, skinny and simple; and assumed that she would be easy to fool, which they found out to their dismay was not the case. She was friendly but tough, and expected the students to treat her with respect.
She entered the class and looked around, twenty curious sixteen year old looked back at her. She *was dwarfed by many of the students, being only five feet five inches, but that did not stop her from standing in the doorway, silent and stern, waiting for the boys to sit on their seats instead of roaming around the whole class. Only when everybody was on his seat that she entered the class, introduced herself and asked the students to tell their names and interests.
"And please interests should be other than wrestling!" she said with a smile, which caused some of the boys to groan in protest.
"I am Musa, and I like to watch football." The tall, skinny boy sitting in front said, with his face towards his shoes.
She smiled encouragingly and did not ask him to elaborate. There will be time later to build up his confidence.
"I am Ali and I like to play sports as well as watch them." The sturdy looking boy said with a charming smile that she instantly liked. He was tall, almost five feet eight already. His tanned complexion and strong build verified his statement that he liked to play sports, and his disarming attitude told her that he was one of the boys who thought he could charm her into ignoring his carelessness in class.
She smiled and asked, "Which sports?"
He seemed surprised that a female teacher had asked him the question, "Lawn Tennis, football and cricket are my favorites, but I also watch rugby"
"Who's your favorite player in tennis?" she asked intending to get the class involved as they seemed to slip towards sleepiness with each passing second. Who could blame them, she thought, they have known each other for eight or nine years and here's a person asking about everyone again.
"Pete Sampras" he replied, with a slightly smug smile, obviously thinking that she wouldn't know him.
"Really?" she replied, surprise evident in her voice, "I really like Rafael Nadal. Pete Sampras is no match for him."
Immediately the chorus of "Yeah" and "No way!!" started. Playing devil's advocate she contradicted her own statements again and again, introduced several other sports personalities in the discussion to get everyone involved and participated actively in the discussion, getting to know her students far better than a dry introduction session would have allowed her too.
It was well after 2 30 when she reached the college, for the first class of Masters in English Language Teaching. After deciding once and for all that she wanted to be a lecturer, she had taken admission in the Lahore National University, one of the few who had an educated faculty and a degree worth the fee. She drove into the parking lot, got out and took a look at the campus.
But as she locked the car door, her gaze was drawn to her right, instead of the building in front of her.
A man was standing there, looking at her, and her heart missed a beat. Oh my, he is handsome, she thought as she deliberately looked away to show that she did not appreciate the intense and rude stare that had caused her to look around in the first place. Her eyes were not looking at him, but her mind was stuck on the image of a tall man standing next to a battered jeep, cigarette in hand, his slightly long black hair rumpled obviously from his fingers, and gazing intently at her.
Like he has nothing better to do, she tried to forget him with a shake of her head, and walked towards the main building to find her classroom.
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