Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kauthar and the Ring

Kauthar got her first crush ring at the age of 16. It was from a thin, shy boy with shoulder-length hair and a goofy sideways grin. The ring was silver with a heart-shaped red jewel at the centre. She knew the ring would be too small for her cherub-shaped fingers – it got stuck right before it hit the knuckle on her left ring finger. Nevertheless, she feigned gratitude.


In the absence of things being official, I wanted to give you something, so umm...I made this for you David said as he slid the ring across the table towards her. He was flustered, staring at his hands as they retreated from her and biting his lower lip. He couldn't meet her slightly amused and quizzical gaze.

The ring was made from a thin metallic wire bent into the shape of a flower with five roundish petals. Kauthar picked it up and stared at it with bemused wonder; who would have thought any given boy would be able to make a gift so thoughtful, even cute. Though the proposal was not the most romantic she had envisioned, she quickly concluded that this was the best gift she had ever gotten from a boy. A smile tugged at her lips.

Yet another suitor in a line up of potential mates, David was in greater need of a tan than Kauthar herself. His skin was a creamy pale, and he had eyes the colour of an autumn patch of golden sunburnt grass. His beard was light brown with a shocking tinge of orange at the edges. Upon further questioning, Kauthar had discovered the orange was indeed natural (not henna) – and that particular trait came from the Irish side of his family. Her friends joked with her that if the two did get married, their children would be translucent, if not fully transparent. Though he was slightly shorter than her, Kauthar didn't mind so much.

David was, by far, the shyest of the bunch – his hands always fidgeting with something or another, and eyes looking every which way they could, before landing on Kauthar's face. When he spoke, his words were slow and deliberate with a hint of a southern accent, as though he wished his every statement to be concise, clear, and not open to interpretation. Sometimes when their eyes did lock, it was difficult for Kauthar to read any emotion. She couldn't tell whether he admired her or thought she was a fool.

Kauthar had become rather fond of his quirk of having very few quirks at all. She often mimicked his accent with its elongated, softer sounding vowels, and on occasion called him a whitey because of his distinct non-ethnic professionalism. It jarred her a bit at first, but she eventually came to find it pleasant.

She remembered his actual proposal quite well. It had happened the day before over the phone, and she still chuckled at the memory:

I know I should have done this a long time ago, and I'm sorry it's taken so long. But, with the approval of your family naturally, I'd like to ask you to marry me.

When David proposed, he had paused often while his voice rattled with all kinds of nerves; at some moments Kauthar couldn't tell if they were nerves of excitement, or the kind that made you want to vomit.

And now his serious eyes were transfixed on the ring Kauthar was twirling between her fingers as if to (not so discreetly) ask why Kauthar hadn't yet tried it on. She ignored his gaze and changed the topic; secretly, she was afraid the ring wouldn't fit.

1 comment:

Asma said...

I want you to write a novel so that I can read it. :D