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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants graduation scene
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants graduation scene
Warner Bros. Pictures

A love poem for my friends

Edited by: Janani Mahadevan

Bed sheets strewn around like love notes, friends’ fingers interlocked.  

Laughs laced with laziness, courtesy of buttermilk. A lover stroking the hair of another. 

Jackets silently slid over chattering teeth. 

Steamers, green tea, and cold medicine passed around like candy. 

Swishes of mascara and swipes of lipsticks on a Thursday night. Rapid concealer strokes to cover purple hues on Friday morning. 

Squeals of appreciation over gentle nail polish strokes. 

The pitter patter of small steps, the thud of a plate. Easy talk translating to I won’t let you sit alone.  

Backs and arms rubbed  as bodies noiselessly shake, head in hands, tasting salt.  

Tugs and pulls and one  quick questioning glance before stepping out to face the world. Reassuring smiles.  Go enjoy your date. You look beautiful.  

Winter picnics. Sweet Caroline. Loose ponytails. White shirts. Unabashed, raucous laughter.  

53 texts ranging from ‘wya’ to ‘COME QUICK’,  missed calls and glares that simply mean I missed you. Your presence grounds me.

I wonder what it will be like when I leave college. How will I deal without being able to occupy a space as bravely as this one? 

We take laptops and shawls and bottles of poisonous fizzy sweetness, traipsing around brick red walls, finding a place to exist. The campus is ours to take. 

I only read Hoskote because you appreciate his obscurity. 

Lemon peels make me think of your smile. 

I try not to eat the first bite of another’s food. 

I can’t watch trashy bollywood movies alone.  

Every day at 5 PM, my eyes search for your maroon checkered pajamas. 

I marinate in the comfort of knowing where to find rose tea, banana chips, and hugs. 

Mean Girls reminds me of your Halloween costume. 

I always beat coffee for four

You are happy. I am content. 

I look to my right and see you read,see you breathe and sip and twirl your hair. I am revelling in your satisfaction. 

I wake you up for hot water and bring you lunch. 

You come to borrow my hairdryer and leave armed with fox nuts, gossip, and a promise to meet for dinner. We will spend the entire semester forgetting that promise. 

I catch you tottering towards your room at 4 AM, eyes laced with what I am hoping is only sleep. You giggle at my dirty underwear-holding bucket. It is now 5 AM and we are singing away to glory, bathed in your room’s sunset coloured glow.

I respond to your 9 AM breakfast request with a cup of tea and butter soaked in bread. You are asleep. I place it on your table and softly walk away. My phone dings with a heart at 10:30. I smile. 

We move in swirls of pink and blue. You scrunch your nose at my coffee and promise to make me a matcha latte. I walk you home and you quote an obscure white guru. I silently promise myself to walk you home more often. 

I scold you for not writing assignments and making me wait, walking off in a hungry huff. You let me. Next thing I know, we are laughing our guts out, hands covered in cigarette smoke and watery tea. 

We are decorating tables with paraphernalia and I am in my element. I turn away and you see my face shrink. You hug the back of my neck. I don’t pull away.

 It is 9 AM and we are walking to your room, armed with my shawl and overnight bag. You open your room to me, you open your arms. I lean into them with soft desperation and an almost violent gratitude. 

Thank you.

Thank you for doing my dishes. For letting me sink into your soft blanket. Thank you for letting me drink from your water bottle. For bringing me breakfast, lunch, for not letting me eat dinner alone. Thank you for stroking my hair as I sleep. Thank you for letting me steal your lighters, joining in your laughter, giving me a piece of your heart. Thank you for letting me vandalise your room with smileys and lists. Thank you for detouring to give me a kiss. Thank you for seeing me, and not turning away. Thank you for sitting with a hollowed out shell of a person and loving them whole. Thank you for letting me take all that I need, and then some more. 

Hi! I’m Reha, perpetually hungry and unapologetically hyperactive. I love words. How they roll around in my mouth, what they mean, how they are strung together in beauty. It fascinates me. And so I write. To me, it is a means of survival, much like compassion, comfort and sunshine. I write about anything under the sun, have zero filter, and am always up for a chat!
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