I believe these windows are a work of the wizards. They are playing tricks on my brain. My study desk faces the windows, and they keep calling my attention whenever I try to study for my college exams. And it’s the same old sight—men on their grumbling scooters and women haggling with hawkers. Sometimes there are funny little school kids, chirping like birds, throwing stones at the haunted house opposite my home and then running away with squeals of laughter. Then there are boring beautiful girls of my age and some college guys who find these giggling girls quite entertaining. I find it stupid.
Late in the afternoon, I stare at these college boys returning from classes, whizzing past on their sexy bikes, fooling around in groups, throwing stones at the haunted house and I wonder if they will ever grow up. Well, they are grown up, with nascent stubble on their jaws and broad shoulders. One of them is chatting with a girlfriend in a corner, holding hands, their bodies very close, making me jealous. I want to be close to him. I want to hold his hand. Why ? Stupid feelings! In fact, stupid windows. I should keep them closed. I go back to memorising laws of gravity. But my heart wonders about laws of attraction.
Another day, I am trying to draw a dissected cockroach, but it looks less biological and more comical. As if in mock applause, the windows are banging loud and a strong wind is blowing outside. I stand up to shut them, but I get distracted by the sight of gray heavy clouds covering the sky. Curtains of rain start falling down. The sweet smell of the wet soil lingers and I hear some wolf-whistles from boys on the street. They are encouraging their friend who is trying to climb the wet walls of the haunted house. The climber’s flimsy white shirt and denims are drenched and he keeps slipping every now and then. His friends are betting on the existence of ghosts. If the climber disappears forever, it will prove the existence of ghosts. He reaches the top of the wall, hops into the balcony and disappears into a room. Some minutes later, he appears on the highest terrace, removes his wet translucent shirt and faces the sky. He spreads his arms and welcomes the rain falling on his broad chest, rolling down to his waist, in tiny streams over his skin, making me weak at the knees. His wet dark hair looks so beautiful. I should not feel such things about a boy. I am a boy. Something’s wrong with these windows. Fuck them. I shut them tightly and turn my back to them. I even close my eyes. But the rain continues to pour outside.
It’s past midnight, and there’s a tug-of-war between my bed and this last sum from the math exercise. I’ve almost solved it, but my eyes are droopy. I get up from the desk, switch off the lights, and the magic windows surprise me with a beam of moonlight on my bed. Strange. I turn around to see the full moon casting a colourful halo through the thin layer of clouds. There are sounds of laughter and I stand on my toes to peep out of the window into the moon-lit darkness. I see two boys, strolling down the street, making funny noises, using slang language, playfully punching each other, laughing… in other words, living. I do have many friends. But I want someone closer, someone more than a friend… a boyfriend ?
An exhausted whispered “Why ?” escapes my lips. I want to know why I feel this way. For a long time, I hear no answer. I drop onto the bed.
The night breeze sings, the windows creak. They lull me to sleep. I dream of him—we are going on a long drive on that sexy bike, speeding against the howling wind. We fall forward into mid air, rolling weightlessly upward, the world spinning around us. My math book in his hand, and he explains to me how I messed up the last problem. But my eyes are fixed on his dark hair shining golden in the setting sun. He closes the book, he looks into my eyes, his eyes smile. And my heart stops.
As I smile in my sleep, I know it’s not my fault. That I like boys. It’s the windows’ fault.