“Will you marry me?” AJ asked, his heart missing a timid beat.
Susanne Love considered a moment before giggling a negative reply.
“But…why?” AJ asked hopelessly.
“Because you are ugly,” Susanne Love told him.
“No I’m not,” AJ protested.
“Because you are poor,”
“No I’m not,” AJ protested again.
“Because you are stupid,”
AJ finally lost his cool. “You’re stupid, you’re ugly and your father is a beggar.”
“How dare you bring my father into this, YOUR father is a beggar…and your mother is a maid, she cleans toilets,” Susanne Love shouted.
AJ looked uncertainly at Susanne Love. He wasn’t very good with words, and it was enough to have a marriage proposal spurned but to be insulted thus…?
AJ did what any sensitive seven year old boy treated shabbily in love by a seven year girl would do. He began to cry.
Susanne Love giggled seeing AJ cry but checked herself. The last boy whose proposal she had turned down had pulled her pigtails hard and kicked her in the shins before running off. And that had hurt a lot. In comparison a boy who cried was a lot less trouble.
“Please don’t cry AJ, I’m sorry…I’ll marry you.”
AJ however had difficulty controlling himself, so Susanne Love gave him her hankie.
“Please AJ don’t cry…I’ll share my lunch with you, my mommy gave me macaroni in the tiffin today,”
“Macaroni?” AJ asked gradually wiping his tears with Susanne Love’s hankie.
“Yes, and chicken sandwiches,” Susanne Love added.
“Chicken sandwiches? I love macaroni and chicken sandwiches,” AJ said, his face now dry.
“What did your mommy make?”
“Bhindi and daal,”
“You are poor,”
AJ looked at Susanne Love uncertainly but smiled when he realized she was only teasing him. Susanne Love dug into her school bag and pulled out her tiffin bag and handed it to AJ with a smile, “I’ll bring you sandwiches again tomorrow.”
About Guest Author
At a different time, under a different name and a different avatar Ekarat has been a magazine editor, a lecturer, salesman and a novelist whose debut novel is being adapted into a Bollywood film. This is his first fictional offering as Ekarat.