She was absent for three days,
And we knew why.
Menaka had moved on
To the group of girls
Who were now women.

They talked in hushed whispers
About straps, seams
And what they can now do.
While we couldn’t.

She was my best friend.Fading...
Now she sashayed
Where she had once walked.
I wouldn’t understand, she said
For things which we had
Once spoken in no words.

They were a group now,
And I had to choose
From girls or
Women ashamed.

I wanted to be with them;
Smell like them,
And have the breeze
Press against my salwar
To reveal the richness
Of my womanhood –

I wanted to talk with them
About different sizes
And giggle at Mrs. Anne’s.
I wanted to coyly throw
My shoulders back
And hold my breath.

All this I wanted
And more
While Menaka and I ate
From our lunch boxes
As if she ate for a higher purpose –
And I, for none.

I wondered
Whether I should eat
Something different,
Or press my stomach
Against something hard
While I slept,
Or drink more watermelon juice
Or sit without bringing my knees together
And gently clench my navel

What must I do,
To wipe the red line
That separates my once-best friend
and me?
What must I do
To wipe the girl in me
With the sanguine brush
of Womanhood?

5 thoughts on “Fading

  1. I found this quite funny: <>As if she ate for a higher purpose –And I, for none.<> 🙂 It was a good shot.. Well put, as if the experience itself had been yours at some point in life.. I recall the same thing happening to me when I was young..Of course, I didn’t stop pestering my then <>once best-friend<> until she told me everything!! 🙂What you mentioned here does happen, but eventually.. not over a span of days or weeks or months, but over years, by which time both friends usually cross over the thin divide between a girl and a woman.. Hence, had the protagonist been a young boy, I think the situation would’ve been more believable, ’cause then the confusion and heartache would be understandable.. girls usually understand.<>And I had to chooseFrom girls orWomen ashamed.. <> Summarizes a lot many things.

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