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Fine - Harini S - Batch of 2019

Long was the day that we first met

You flashed your teeth at me - a perfect set.

As all first days of school go, It did not meet my expectations, although low.

Yet, I managed to conjure up a smile

And I told myself that everything was fine.


A few weeks passed and we’re friends now

The good kind, the one without any rows.

Constantly you would smile

With teeth so white, I could see it away from a mile

And for a while

Everything was perfectly fine.


I’m so sorry. I swear upon everything that I hold dear

That that conversation wasn't one I meant to overhear.

I misheard surely?

After all, I was paying attention barely.

Tone somewhat uncertain,

I told myself that everything was fine.


Months passed and by now I know without doubt

For you had confided in me with your very mouth.

I'm so confused. How do your eyes still twinkle and lips still beam,

When I'm holding myself together with sheer will and trying not to scream?

Optimism, I had read, could be powerful at times.

Hence, I tell myself that everything is just fine.


You return to school after so long

Skin paler, body thinner and hair gone.

Your smile. It is rare.

But miraculously perhaps it’s still there.

I offer my prayers to gods I hadn’t acknowledged in years

Every remaining bit of faith pleading for everything to be fine.


Revising for an exam feverishly hoping to pass,

The last thing I expect is to be pulled out of class.

Driven for miles to witness a dreadful sight:

It is you shroud in the purest of white.

I feel a terrible lump in the throat of mine,

With newfound certainty, I know nothing is fine.

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