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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

For Shark and Nushki

[Crossposted from this Facebook note, written in honour of these two very non-trivial people who came together in a very non-trivial turn of events.]

He played basketball in the rain, and I watched with the wide eyes of a novice pupil. I watched him play -- uncaring, inspired, unruly -- and thanked my stars for a coach and a friend like him.
Then one day, he mentioned another old, old friend, the flitting school-bus moments spent with whom in simpler times had, by then, fallen to the fate of all flitting moments and greyed under a film of dust. He mentioned her name with a tremor unlikely of the man I knew him to be, and was oblivious to my eager recognition of the woman he spoke of. He just kept talking: practiced palms guiding the ball through the rain, and a heart habituated to its love being unrequited hovering between hope and resignation; and so thereafter he spoke of our mutual friend: in broken moments of trust in his student and rival spirit. I admit, pruned soul that I was, at times, I tuned out of his babbling, despite the obvious duties of one acquainted with both parties -- hence, I don't remember every detail of what he said or how he said it, and will fail if my old friend ever asks (though, prudent woman she is, I'm guessing she'll surmise) how he used to be before their glory days.
But yes, I remember this: he played basketball in the rain, and every time he made a shot, his heart whispered her name.

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