Your hands will lightly brush against each other as you walk down the sidewalk. You will quickly pull your hand back and stuff it into your pocket. She will smile to herself and add a subtle spring to her girlish gait. She will tease you and ask you what you are afraid of she will say she doesn’t often bite. You will smile awkwardly and ask when she does bite. She will laugh and change the topic forcing her hands between your elbow and torso locking her fingers. She will gently nudge you off the sidewalk and then playfully pull you back. She is full of laughter, her eyes dance with it, her nose twitches when she’s about to break into one, her cheeks beam, her voice tickles and when she talks you smile for no good reason. You will see her off on a Sunday evening as the golden hour sets in. You will watch as she gets into the bus and let your eyes escort her till she takes a seat. You will walk slowly backwards as she pops her head out of the window to blow you a kiss. You will turn around to walk but she will shout your name, and you will turn back. She will snap her teeth and take a big bite out of the air and giggle some more. You finally manage to pull yourself away from her presence. You don’t know it yet but you’ve fallen in love.
That Sunday and every Sunday after that you will meet. She has a sweet tooth and can’t have enough of ice cream. You will walk down the streets looking for little cozy ice cream parlors. You don’t love sweet things so you always watch her do her thing. Her eyes always skip from flavor to flavor expectant with anticipation. She swears she can almost taste them by just looking. She has an affinity for pistachio. You love the joy ice cream brings her. How her eyes instinctively close when she curls her tongue around the heap of colored ice for the first taste. The silent mmh’s that follow and the way her eyes light up when it slides down her throat. What’s even better is how her smile widens whenever she opens her eyes and catches you looking at her. She usually turns away in pretend shyness. She’s everything but shy but you like it anyway. She will offer you some of her ice cream and you will say no like you always do. But she never took no for an answer so she will threaten to smear it all over your face and you’ll force yourself to enjoy it. You tell her you force yourself but you secretly like it. She knows you do but it’s all part of the fun.
One Sunday you decide to go to the park. You lay on the manicured grass under a bougainvillea. You’re lying on your back but she’s sitting up propped up by her left hand with her legs curved to her side. She has her cone tightly around her right hand and she’s enjoying the serenity. The bougainvillea has a bunch of sparrows flying in and out chirping away without a care in the world. You are staring intently at them until a cold lump hits your face. You look up immediately and see her laughing. She hit you with her ice cream. You pretend to be pissed off but she pins you down and licks it off your face. She’s smiling and she asks if you remember a day you asked her when she bites. Your mind will go back to that day and you will laugh. Mid-laugh you will dare her not to try but she won’t listen and you will end up with a hickie. Both of you will now lay in the grass in silence. You can smell the vanilla off of her breath, you can smell the grass and the earth, you can hear the birds sing, you can feel her heart beat, and you can feel her fingers tingle as she traces imaginary lines along your arm. She will look up at you and innocently admit how she doesn’t want the moment to ever end. There’s a sincerity in her voice, sincerity infused with two drops of resolve. You reassuringly smile but you know she wants to hear you say something. You don’t say anything instead you show her. You pull out a little red box. She looks at it then looks at you. Shock and disbelief are written on her face. You put the box on her laps and tell her if she opens it then the moment never has to end.
It’s been seven years now. She’s happily married with three kids. You know this because you’ve been on her Facebook page. You didn’t marry her. She would never marry you not after what you did. To be fair though you did not expect her to call the bluff. She was supposed to see the red box and freak out. She was supposed to ask for time. But she opened it and it was empty. She asked you why, you told her it was symbolic. She asked if that meant you one day wanted to marry her. You nodded your head in guilt and told her it was empty because your promises too were. At first she laughed because you always joke a lot. Your face was straight so she broke down into tears. You got up and walked her in silence to her bus. This time you walked away but could feel her eyes tear into your back. Who were you kidding you weren’t capable of love you told yourself. Now, you press that little button and lock your screen as you watch her come to you. She’s new but it’s the same old story.