"Statue!" Tanisha exclaims and we two 8-year-olds pretend to freeze in an awkward pose till one of us breaks into a laughter and the other follows suit.
We continue the merriment all day, only to stop, when the sun turns crimson and a cool breeze blows in our direction, marking the end to another day.
In that moment, we promise, to remain friends forever.
'Forever.' The word echoes as the sun goes down.
My reverie is broken at 14 when I take my first piano lessons at twilight and a new student joins me.
Shy, his face turns red as we exchange glances but when we hit the keynotes in sync, our lips break into a smile and we fill the air with music, all evening, till the moon comes up, resonates with our magic and a shooting star falls from the night sky.
'A magical evening,' I flip a page in my diary.
At 19, I step on to a foreign land for the first time and unfamiliarity beckons in a land which is alien to my native language.
I feel lost until I look at a woman educating her child, a lover's eyes welling when her partner embarks on a journey, an employee getting screwed for turning in late for work and I smile at the familiarity as I recollect having seen the same in my homeland.
‘Home away from home,’ I fold a page in my diary.
When I return at 21, a pianist greets me with a smile.
I'm immediately drawn to him and he reciprocates. We reunite to fill the air with music and magic of our love...
I reach the last page of the diary.
I violently flip the pages backward.
Melancholy seeps within me.
Stop, I say as the word forever echoes when the sun goes down.
Stop, I say as I try to catch the falling star.
Stop, I say as I smile at the woman, the lover and the workman.
Stop, I say as I hold his hand just before his image blurs and disappears into nothingness.
Stop, I tell the hourglass as the sands of time continue to slip away.
Stop, I say as the past begins to create an illusion of things I wistfully long for.
As I scribble my grief, I pen a note.
Saudade, I title it as I borrow a word from the Portugals.
What does it mean, you ask me.
A longing for something that will never return, I reply.