1 23rd December, 2020

Once upon a time, there was a girl and a boy.

It was a snowy dawn but it didn't snow in the morning, yet snow was spilled like white powder over everything.

They picked up their bags from their very beautiful small snow covered homes, wore their boots and treaded up onto the other hill to give their college entrance exams.

Nobody in the world knew they were going to meet. Nobody in the world knew what was coming.

It was 23 December, and it was 8:00 A.M. and it was very cold, and it started to snow again.

"DPS Manali." They read at the same time and looked around each other, there was no one else.

Sadly, they were standing at the opposite gates.

The girl cursed under her breath even when there was just wind to hear her curse, but who said winds don't hear you and whisper your talks to god and others. Her grandmother always said, the winds take your wish to the gods above the mountains and make it reach to the stars, you can see them coming true. So the girl was very careful about what she wished, who knew what wish comes true?

She walked up to the gate and banged on the green painted metal gates. Even after she was wearing her grandmother's hand knitted bubble blue gloves, the cold metal bit on the insides of her hands. What if she was two hours earlier? Everybody is supposed to come early on their exam day, aren't they? And why wasn't anyone in the school authorities to see if the students came early in the snow. The snow stuck on her double plaited hair, the entrance exam wasn't even supposed to happen in this weather. She sighed, banged on the gate and shivered a little. Why was she supposed to wear skirt in such crazy weather? Thank god she wore her red and white stripped Christmas stocking earlier this year. She banged on the gates indigently once again.

The boy heard a distant sound of someone banging on the gates, wrapped his navy blue fleece jacket tightly around him and started walking towards the other gate, he heard the banging sound again and increased his speed, his Columbian snow hiking boots hunching on the snow. The banging continued and he turned the corner with a grin on his face, he wasn't all alone in this skin biting snow finally.

The girl was five feet four inches, the boy noticed. He knew because his older sister was the same height, her hair was spilt into double plaited braid, covered in snow flakes, who doesn't remember to bring cap in this cold weather? Then his eyes went to her Christmas stockings, her back was turned so he kept noticing other things about the girl. He looked at the black leather bag she was carrying, a big Santa face inscribed on the front, a pair of key rings made of Christmas tree, tinsel, garland and Christmas bauble dangling from the front zipper of the bag, to the red leather boots and the red plum bomber jacket she was wearing. The only thing that did not scream Christmas about her, was the blue gloves she was wearing on her hands with which she was currently banging on the gates and the black skirt she was wearing in this cold weather.

He rolled his eyes, what was such a big deal about Christmas and people, he hated Christmas, have been for quite a long time.

And then, she turned her head.

He felt a punch to his gut, like a snow storm erupting inside of him. His breathing stopped when he looked at her, he was afraid that this moment would vanish, that he would blink and it would all be a dream. Her doe-like eyes which he knew so well, dreamed about so often, regarded him carefully, as if she was trying to understand something about him, her brows were hunched together and she was staring at him, just as he was staring at her. He held his breath and waited for something.

Something he didn't know he needed until she smiled, she smiled like glitters in the tinsel she was carrying, like when the snow was fresh and it landed upon your hands as if it was waiting for that exact particular moment for years.

She smiled and waved at him.

His hand moved on his own accord, he didn't know if he was waving or dreaming or staring like a creep, all he knew was, her face was just as he remembered, small light changes here and there, just a little more grown and arched and somehow even more beautiful, but her eyes, they were exactly the same as he remembered.

He was frozen on the spot but his heartbeat was erratic, he did not know how to speak or how to move.

She walked to him, still waving and smiling, her smile was like the flowers in spring, cheeks so red that he had to wrap his hand in a tight fist to keep them from moving.

"Hi, I thought I was the only crazy person here," she laughs and he hears his heart sigh, his brain feels like it is electrocuted. "I am Misha." She holds her hand out towards him.

His hand fidgets on his merino jeans, shivers and he stands like an idiot, hardly believing his luck, he thinks about the several times he thought he was never going to hear that voice again in his life.

He wants to say, I know, I never forgot.

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