The old bus rumbled to a stop right in front of the school. Just like I expected. Students started scrambling to get on. My eyes darted to see if she was there. Too many students, I couldn’t be sure. Then I saw her. Everything was almost in slow motion as she stepped onto the bus.
In her ‘baju kurung’ school uniform, tall and slim, dark dreamy eyes, her rosy cheeks and as usual, her hair tied in a pony tail by a blue ribbon she was a sight to see. Her eyes surveyed the bus looking for empty seats. And for a second our eyes locked as she looked my way. She smiled shyly turned away and sat next to her friend in an empty seat. They whispered to each other and giggled. She turned to look my way and almost immediately turned away again
That’s it, I got to get to know this girl! This has been going on for about 3 weeks. I would go to town on the bus. The bus would stop to pick up students coming back from school. She would get on board with her friend on the same bus. In town we would come across each other everyday and smile at each other shyly. I never had the guts to say Hi to her and I guess she felt the same way too. Probably waiting for me to make the first move.
I decided to make the move. No, not to say Hi to her. I wanted to make a bigger move. I was going to move to her school! That way I could be closer to her and I could see her everday. I was waiting for my SPM results then. I decided that when the results came out I would transfer to that school to do my Sixth Form. To do my Sixth Form in my own school offered no more attraction to me.
I often wonder whether it was a good idea to move. Had I stayed on in. I would probably be one of the big shots there since most of my friends had left for college. But I decided to forgo everything. My mind was set on the girl with the blue ribbon. I just couldn’t resist her .
It took me 2 months before I finally could move to PD High School. I was so excited to go to school , to see the girl with the blue ribbon. For the past week she was not on the bus like always. It pained me not to get to see her for a whole week.
I was not interested in my class, my classmates or the new school. All I did was look around to find the girl with the blue ribbon. But I couldn’t find her in school. I looked for her during assembly, recess, school functions. I even purposely walked on the corridor in front of each class in the school, my eyes fixed on every girl in the class. Still I couldn’t find her.
A whole week passed but the girl with the blue ribbon was nowhere to be found. I was sure she was from that school. I had seen her come out from the school many times. Maybe she was sick. Maybe she would come back the following week. I was not giving up just yet.
Days and weeks went by but still there was no trace of the girl with the blue ribbon. After three months I was resigned to the fact that she was no longer there. I had made a big move, one that charted the course of my life for nothing. Had I stayed on in my former school I wonder if my life would have turned out differently.
I never saw her again in my whole life. We had only exchanged shy stolen smiles. For all I know she was not even interested in me The memory albeit a brief insignificant one to most, meant a lot to me. I never spoke to her, never knew her name, never knew what happened to her. But I will never forget her, her shy smile, her rosy cheeks and especially her hair tied in the blue ribbon.
by Azlan Rahman