Red Jeans

I once had a lover
who preferred suggestions over gestures
in an endless list that I, fifteen,
like jar candies,
without thought,
one after the other.

‘How about those red jeans,
like hot women in the movies!’,
he said one day,
eyes lit, smirk on the face, and ran back to
his mates with slick hair and hoodies, and left me lost in a trance,
red jeans,
red jeans like hot women,
hot women in the movies.

young and in love, I looked at the stacks from
the corner of my eye lagging behind
my mother busy searching
for her purse in the bag of goodies,
I found just enough time to grab
but not enough to fit,
sat looking out of the car window then,
‘just four days it is!’

too pretty for the mirror,
burning cheeks that pulled in without effort
I walked,
in an aura of confidence and the weight of my dreams,
In my brand new red jeans, not black it is,
like a celebrity who could sing, dance and act
all at the same time
amidst paparazzis who have not taken notice.

I searched for him in the after-mass crowd,
face after face from under the tree, and
there he was,
among his friends with slick hair and hoodies,
who stared at me for a few seconds from afar,
and then burst out laughing.

young and still in love,
the crowd suddenly turned
into a mass of cruel, blood-sucking giants who laughed hysterically at my red jeans,
every eye,
young and old,
pointing at me, laughing,
and laughing
and again in a trance there,
he left me hanging.

my cheeks began to inflate, my tummy heavier
I shapeshifted into a bloated ogress
with a double chin and his awful grin
in my mind,
those sleek hairs in hoodies,
me too young to know
men who roar in packs purr in solitude
my hands began to move towards my chest
that felt heavier and heavier,
and heavier.

Eight years later,
the fifteen-year-old far too behind to
pretend an acquaintance,
I do not remember my lover’s place or his face, nor his slick-haired friends and their names,
the red jeans, again, have come into light,
cut into shorts and taken to parks,
sleepovers and walks,
and this time,
still young and a little too proud,
I laugh,
I laugh along with the crowd.