What if you never walked into the class with a whiff of woodsy cologne and a grin that matched the white of your shirt? What if I never followed every movement of yours from the back row? What if you never caught me staring at your biceps as you stretched your arm to the back of your chair? What if I never asked you to be my project partner? What if you never offered to drop me to my room that evening when we were working late in the lab? What if I never slid my cold hands in the pockets of your windbreaker while riding on the back seat of your motorcycle? What if you never pulled my arms to encircle your waist as wind blew my hair into my eyes? What if I never tasted the mint on your breath, never felt the tickle of your mustache on my lips? What if you never whispered my name again and again like a mantra, your body crushing mine? What if you never popped the question in the last semester? What if I never walked down the aisle with the lacy veil covering my shoulders? What if you never read the vows that made the mascara run down my cheeks?
What if today I wasn’t lying awake on our garage sale mattress, gazing at the miles stretched between us, shining a book light on your back, searching for answers?
Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American. She was born in a middle-class family in India and will forever be indebted to her parents for educating her beyond their means. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee; her work has been published online in The Fictive Dream, Lunch Ticket, Star82 Review, Spelk Fiction, and also in print, most recently in The Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She blogs at Puny Fingers and can be reached at twitter @PunyFingers.