The sight of those rocks made me smile. My husband didn’t miss the grin hanging on my face. ‘Good memories?’
‘Those seem quite dumb at 30, really.’ I shook my head and laughed out loud.
‘Mind sharing?’ He held me closer.
I took a bite from his ice lolly. ‘Leave it alone!’ He pulled his arm away in mock distress. ‘First you go ahead and finish yours and then you eat mine!’
‘Hey! Who took you to the ice cream shop of my childhood and who treated you to the world’s best samosas, huh?’
To an onlooker it might seem like we were siblings fighting over an ice-cream rather than a couple who got married a few months back.
‘I’d been boring you with memories of my childhood town since the morning.’ I looked around. The thickets surrounding the park had been cleared up to make more space for children to play. There was even a lake in the middle of it with ducks splashing around. But those rocks remained just like I remembered them from 15 years ago.
‘Not at all, to a person who’d lived his whole life in the city, it feels nice to know the home town of a mountain girl!’
I mock punched him. ‘Stop calling me that! This is the first time I’m visiting this place since dad’s job transfer. But,’ my gaze softened, ‘Thank you for agreeing to come. I have some of my fondest memories of this place. And this,’ I pulled him towards the rocks, ‘is silly but surely one of those.’
I pointed at the heart scratched on its surface, with the A+D written inside it. ‘Derek was my first ‘boyfriend’. Everyone in school used to tease us and that made us think we were a ‘couple’. I met him here that day after school. He welcomed me with a strawberry ice cream and showed me his artwork. A+D stood for Ananya + Derek.’ I chuckled. ‘For the one term that we were ‘dating’, we’d sit with our backs against the rocks, discussing about teachers and friends. It was so cute!’
I caressed the stone, its rough, grainy body warmed by the strong mountain sun, the juvenile scrawls etched on its face, the reminder of a simpler time.
‘At least, the equation A+D turned out to be true in the end!’ My husband, Deep, exclaimed as we embraced each other, the setting sun falling on our backs.