I once knew a boy. He had bright blue eyes and every time that he smiled, the sun shined bright. We played in the fields and we rode the old horse. He gently swung the tyre hanging by the tree. We laughed in the evenings and we walked by the lake. He would look across the street at night and try to peek into my window. We knew a secret language that no one else could read and in that secret language, we’d say “Goodnight”.

I once knew a boy. His hair was golden brown and every time I roughed it up, I saw his face turn red. He’d smile at me with that crooked smile and chase me through the fields. He’d swing me on the tyre that hung by the banyan tree. We’d sit by the lake and throw stones in the water. We’d watch the ripples form. We’d laugh about the kids at school and make fun of the old headmistress. He’d tell me funny stories of how some boys behave. I’d tell him all the secrets that the girls in school would share. Then we’d stroll along the narrow street; slowly walking home.

He’d look across the street at night; he’d try to peek into my window; and in our secret language we would wish each other “Sweet Dreams”.

I once knew a boy. He had two dimples and a quiet wink in his eye. He’d hop and skip and stroll around and wait for the wind to blow my skirt up. He’d take me through the cotton fields and through the narrow lane. He’d take me riding on his horse and we’d sit all day in the barn. We’d sit through the sunshine; we’d sit through the rain. We’d sit and we’d talk all the while. He’d tell me stories of his mother and father and I’d tell him about my home. We’d walk by the lake as the day turned to dusk and we’d throw in a pebble or two, just to see how the lazy water behaved when we tried to disrupt their slumber. We’d walk down the narrow street in the night – me, on the pavement and he, on the road. He’d hop over a stone and I’d skip over ground and he’d wait till I was up in my room.

Then he’d look across the street before bed and try to peak into my window. He’d look at me with his lovely bright blue eyes. In our secret language I’d say to him, “Your eyes are as bright as the stars.” In our secret language, he’d say to me, “Your face is as pretty as the moon.”

In our secret language, we’d make up stories where he were the King and I, his Queen. And long we would live, in a castle by the shore, with the fairies and the sky and the trees.

I once knew a boy. He was as handsome as can be. He thought I was the prettiest girl. He’d send me flowers and cards every day. And one day, he gave me a ring. It was the brightest and shiniest of all the rings I had seen, like it bore the light of his eyes. I wore his ring and he held my hand as we walked down the street for all to see. He was going away, on a cold winter’s day, for some errands to run in the town. He promised to return before the lights went out, lest he’d tire out for the wedding the next morning. A strong wind blew and the snow slowly thickened as he kissed me and said “I’ll see you soon!” I saw him walk away from my doorstep that day. But, alas! He never made it to town.

“The winds were too strong”, the policeman said. “There was no way the driver could tell.” But a mistake was made by some driver that day, for the boy I once knew never returned.

I still wear his ring; I still wait at the doorstep, should I see him by good fortune. I see him walking down the street; hopping and skipping along. He walks up to my doorstep and into my room, so we don’t have to look across the street. No, we don’t speak our secret language anymore. But, he gently kisses my cheek.

“Goodnight, my Love”, he says and he smiles down at me, “I hope you have sweet dreams of me.”

I once knew a boy and he was a dream; one that had lived and breathed. I once knew a boy who was all mine to keep. But, the wind took him away. I once knew a boy with bright blue eyes and hair that was a lovely golden brown. I once knew a boy and he gave me a ring. I once knew a boy who loved me.

 

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