The gentle sound of the violin stopped me short.
Stanford’s White Plaza is an open, outdoor space. It sits directly across from the student union and the bookstore. I was on my way to the prayer room in the union; a quick break from the crazily long hours spent studying. From a distance, I heard the melodious tune, but could not find the source. The day was sunny and gorgeous; an early taste of spring.
I swear to God, it was like I was suddenly transported to Kai and Sae’s first encounter.
I was brought back to that brilliant, fateful, sweeping and unsuspecting moment when Kai first heard the sound of Sae’s violin. She looked at him perplexingly with her eyebrows twisted to form a frown; half-annoyed, half-angry. He looked back at her just as quizzically and in true Kai-fashion, started chattering a mile a minute to break the awkwardness. Suddenly, she extended an arm towards him and splayed open her palm. She shook her hand once, twice. Sae did not budge – neither her posture, nor her glare.
Kai fumbled and fiddled around in his pockets, trying to retrieve loose coins; no luck. Sheepishly, he handed her an orange he’d just plucked – stolen, more like – while on his way to the university, in place of the cash he thought she was requesting for. She took the orange, examining it with the same deep, penetrating gaze she gave him. Throughout this brief encounter of theirs, she did not utter a sound. Not once. She kept mum, and he puzzled over her deliberate silence as he continued to fill it up. The air was heady; potent with unspoken words.
The way the sun tilted at just the right angle towards them, the carefully placed orange on the wooden makeshift bench, a hand-drawn flower with red petals on the violin’s leather case, the death glare she gave him without flinching even once, and his signature, sheepish smile in response…
Two words: Orange Days.
The spell broke; ah damn you, reality. I looked around the wide plaza, but of course I did not spot anyone with a violin. There was no Kai, Sae, and we’re no longer in 2004.
Ah damn. Damnit. Now I miss Orange Days. Badly.
Disclaimer: the screen capture used is credited to this site.