Friday shot: falling in love with strangers

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I fell in love with this little girl every day for 7 days in February.

I was in India for a volunteer trip. Each day she would walk into the community center and look for me. And when she found me she would just stare at me with her beautiful, big, fawn-coloured eyes. No words were spoken. It was just me, her and the eyes.

And that is how I fell for her.

She didn’t speak English well and she didn’t need to. Every day my heart and hers met and we said all we needed to say:

“I’m so happy to see you today.”

“Me too. Isn’t life a lovely thing that it brought you my way?”

Sometimes she would silently and shyly slip her tiny hand into mine while I stood in moments of hardness (because volunteering in India is a hard thing) where my mind was far away oblivious to everything and everyone. I would feel the imprint of her small palm against mine and I would hold on tight with no inclination of letting go.

I would wonder about her future.

She reminded me so much of me. The deep quietness that seeped out of her, that cannot be explained only experienced. Her sharp observing eyes which took in everything around her, turning over things and finding safe places for each one of them.

Sometimes I caught her smiling. A real smile. The curving of her perfect lips following the lines and paths joy imprints on our faces. I would simply stop and stare then, the magic of her smile becoming my orbit. I would take all of her in, this little stranger whose world was unknown to me 7 days prior but whose very being had become meshed with my own.

I loved her. For no reason other than that which love affords: it exists.

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