There I stood, with my light-up unicorn sneakers and minuscule Dora-themed backpack
Feeling the most grief and despair a six-year-old could ever feel as I watched
The love of my life, in my grade but one year older, jump into his mom’s 2003 Kia,
And leave me behind forever
Nalan could barely speak any English, and I couldn’t understand a word he said in his native language
All I knew was that I heard the most melodic sound ever the first time he opened his mouth
Even more breathtaking than the lady singing about Friday nights over the stereo
And I swore to hear that voice for the rest of my life
But then, the teacher brought him up to the front of the class, smiling this great, big smile as she delivered the news that permanently altered my first-grade mind
“Nalan will be leaving our class and going back to his home country, Sri Lanka”
My heart sunk down to my kitty-cat socks, Sri Lanka?
What even was this place, stealing Nalan from me, stealing my heart right out of my chest?He gave me a dizzying kiss on my forehead that day at dismissal, and I had to stupidly watch him drive away
I still remember him, cropped dark hair, bright brown eyes
I wonder if he remembers me,
Wherever he is now