Innocent Love

A few years ago, I was standing outside my old home in Wales, remembering every inch of the front house. My mother had been inside the house for awhile, exploring just to find anything had changed since we left for nearly seven years. Nobody had been staying there for awhile now, since there was a report that this house was caught on fire a couple of months ago and they rebuild it again so people could stay in again.
My brother, who was also waiting for my mother with me, was impatiently kicking a few big stones near the house area. I ignored his impatience and looked around the house area, which was surrounded by other houses too. I felt my lips curved up a smile, remembered that I always waved to my neighbors when I was a little girl. Then, I saw my old school which was a few blocks away from my old home. I just stared at it and felt the need to go there.to feel the familiar feeling that I had over there.
So, I waited for my mother. I took off my coat, ignoring the slightly chilled weather that was attacking my warm body. My brother stopped doing his recent activity and looked at me, and then he shook his head. He always thought that I was weird, not wearing a jacket sometimes when the weather was cold. I knew that I was weird but as I said before.I wanted the familiar feeling that I had when I was here before. I had made a promise to myself that one day if I come here to visit or to stay, I'll find the feeling that I once had here.I just need to find it again.
About an hour later, my brother and I saw our mother coming out of the house and locked the door. She then smiled at us and apologized for making us wait for too long. My brother responded with a grumble while I silently nodded only. She then asked both of us.

"It's still early to go back to London; do you want to go anywhere first?"

My brother said nothing while I smiled and answered my mother.

"Could we go back to our old school mum? I just want to look around."

I saw my mother smiled and nodded. Then we all started walking towards my old school.

********************

The gate was closed when we reached the school. I tried to open it and was relieved that it was not locked. I opened the gate and we went inside. As we entered the school, I looked around and smiled. The school didn't changed much since the last time my brother and I were here and a faint familiar feeling went through my body. But.it was not the feeling I was finding for. I took a deep breath and looked at my mother.

"Mum, could I explore around by myself, please?"

"Sure. Just don't go outside okay?"

"Yes mum."

My mother and my brother went to explore by themselves while I walked slowly, trying to remember the sweet memories when I touched any objects around me. And before I knew it, I was in a class, the last class that I was in before leaving the school to go back to Malaysia. I went inside and looked around. I saw a lot of class pictures on the wall and curiously, I went closer to looked at them. I was surprised to find a class picture of 1991. My face was inside that picture with the other little children around my age. I lightly touched the picture, amazed that the school still kept this picture for many years. I looked at the other children in the picture, trying to remember their names and then, my eyes fell to a young blond haired boy. I stared at him in the picture and put my right hand out to touch his pictured face. I remembered him instantly. His adorable smile, his blue-green eyes.his friendship to me. He was my best friend.and he was my first love. I felt tears coming down from my eyes and remembered his name.

"Michael."

I slowly took down the picture from the wall, and sat on one of the chairs in the class. I gazed at the picture again and memories of him came back to me. I started to remember my time with him when I first was five years old.

********************

It was the age of five that my brother and I first came to the school. I remembered children teasing us at first because we looked so different from them. I had black hair and dark brown eyes, so was my brother too. The other children had blond hair or brown hair or so.but never black. I guessed because we came from far away and started to live in Wales, for my mother had to continue her studies in one of the universities in Wales.so going to an British school (for young children) was a bit awkward for my brother and I. Anyway, I remembered sitting in my first class alone, looking at the other children playing and laughing. My brother had found friends to be with immediately. As for me, well, I was a shy and quiet person so it was hard for me to communicate with the other children. Then I heard someone talking to me.

"Hey, I'm Michael. What is your name?"

I looked at him and smiled shyly. He was a year older than me, six years old but we were in the same class. When he smiled, I could see his cute dimples at the side of his mouth.

"Hi! I'm Aisyah."

"I see. Nice to meet you! Want to be my friend?"

I felt myself smiling and nodded at him. We then talked quietly to each other, ignoring the other children in the class room. When I was talking to him, I somehow felt a nice feeling but I never knew what it was.

********************

I stared at the picture blankly as I remembered the first time I met him and how we became friends. As I looked at his pictured face, I silently said to him as if he was really there.

"You became my friend when I was alone. You meant so much to me.."

Then, I felt a tear dropped from my eyes.

*******************

It was my first time celebrating Halloween. There was a party in the school. I remembered my brother and I went to the party, excited about it. We both just wore a mask on our faces. I wore a black dress and wore a purple mask and my brother wore a white jumper with brown pants and wore a white mask. When we had arrived the school, the decorations in the hall were beautiful. The place was slightly dark, bringing a slight Halloween feeling in me. All the children were there, dancing. My brother was dragged away by his friends while I silently passed through the dancing crowds. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my left shoulder and turned around. I saw Michael, dressing up as a vampire. I remembered that I giggled at him and he asked me.

"What? Do I look funny?"

I shook my head and giggled some more.

"No. You look so cute! Well, as a vampire that is!"

He smiled at me shyly and lightly hit my shoulder. I winced in pain and he quickly said sorry; I smiled at him. Then, the music changed into a slow song and he took my hand.

"Dance?"

"Huh?"

"Dance! With me?"

I looked at him blankly, thinking that he was crazy or something.

"Why do we have to dance?"

He just laughed and just pulled me closer to him.

"Just dance with me okay?"

The next thing I knew, my hands were on his shoulders and his hands were on my waist. I knew that I was awkward in this situation so Michael whispered a joke in my ear. I remembered that I giggled and relaxed a little. The feeling that I had when Michael and I first met, came back to me again when I looked at him. Somehow, it just felt right when I danced with him yet I still did not know what it was. We just danced and I remembered saying to him.

"Michael?"

"Hmm, yeah?"

"Thank you for giving me my first dance."

I still remembered his eyes widened in surprise and I giggled at him.

*******************

I laughed softly as I think back that night. It was so innocent to me yet special. There were so many special memories with him.and I suddenly remembered my 6th birthday.

*******************

I was going to be six that day. Both my brother and I. Michael was already seven and had changed into another class that was just opposite to my class.
In class, I remembered the children and I were all sitting down on the floor, hearing the teacher telling a story. When the story ended, the teacher suddenly announced that it was my brother's and my birthday and took out two different color cakes. One was a blue cake for my brother and mine was a pink cake. Apparently, my mother came to the school and gave the cakes to my teacher secretly so we children could celebrate.it was so sweet of my mother to do that.
Anyway, I remembered that all the girls and I gathered around my cake while the boys and my brother gathered around the other cake. They were just about to sing 'Happy Birthday' for my brother and me when we heard a loud knock on the door.

"Excuse me Mrs. Stenson, may I come in?"

Everybody turned too looked at the intruder and I was surprised that it was Michael. My teacher spoke out to him.

"Yes Michael. What can I do for you?"

He came in and walked closer to my side suddenly.

"Can I be here for awhile, Mrs. Stenson? It's Aisyah's birthday so I don't want to miss it. Please pretty please?"

I saw my teacher, laughing softly at his innocent plea. She nodded warmly and then they began to sing. As Michael sang, he looked at me and I looked down shyly. The other girls were somehow giggling but I did not know why. After the singing was done, everybody clapped and my teacher cut my cake first. Michael took the first cut piece cake and put it on a plate. He then surprisingly took a bit of the cake and put it near my mouth, wanting me to eat it. I froze somehow yet I felt my cheeks getting red. He smiled at me.

"Happy Birthday Aisyah."

I blushed more and more. The girl started teasing both of us but we ignored them. Before I knew it, I opened my mouth and took the cake into my mouth from his fingers. And the girls all clapped at us. It was the best birthday I ever had.

*******************

I shook my head and laughed softly, couldn't believe how naïve or innocent I was at that time. 'All the girls knew what was going on and I was the one to naïve to know it,' I thought and smiled to myself. I thought the most naïve moment I had was when I had my first kiss.from Michael.

*******************

Early in the morning, my brother and I came to the school. There were only two other children besides us and one of them was Michael. His face lit up when he saw me and came towards me. My brother went to the class so he could play with the dinosaurs' toys. I saw Michael coming closer and closer towards me.

"Morning!"

"Morning Michael."

"You're early today!"

"Yeah. You too!"

We giggled and talked for awhile. Then Michael asked me.

"Hey, do you want to go to the playground for awhile?"

"Hmm? Oh sure."

So, we went to the playground. Actually, it was not really a playground because it was only a hill-like place, where we children always play over there. So we walked up the hill and sat down on top of it, and talked about some things.

"Aisyah?"

"Yeah?"

"Have you ever been kissed?"

I looked at him blankly; not knowing what he was talking about.

"Uh, what is that?"

"Huh?"

"What is.kiss?"

He looked at me somewhat surprised yet I do not understand at all. He tried to describe that word to me.

"Uh.is where two people.uh you know.uh like.ermm..."

He then became frustrated, trying very hard to describe it. Then he gave up and asked me.

"I don't really know how to say it but.can I show it to you?"

I didn't understand why he looked so nervous. As for me, I just acted like everything was all right, thinking it was no big deal.at first.

"Okay."

"You sure?"

"Yeah."

He turned and sat really in front of me but I still didn't get the picture.

"Okay.but could you close your eyes please?"

"Is that a kiss?"

"Uh no.but I want you to close your eyes."

"Oh ok."

I closed my eyes, waiting for him to show me whatever a kiss was. Then, I felt his lips softly pressed mine. I was so surprised yet couldn't move. I felt his lips caressing mine for awhile as he kissed me. After a few seconds later, he pulled away. I opened my eyes slowly, didn't know how to react. I heard him saying to me.

"Aisyah.I really like you.a lot."

I looked at him, bewildered. And I felt tears falling down from my eyes. He saw it and brushed away my tears and holds me.

"Please don't be mad?"

I silently nodded at him. He just held me until we heard the school bell rang. He never asked me to be more than friends.maybe he also didn't really know about love.but I felt that his feelings towards me were somewhat more.and I to him too. But we were too innocent to realize it.

*******************

I got out from the chair and placed the picture back against the wall. Yet, I still stared at it and touched the picture again. My first kiss with him, it was so innocent and somehow by remembering it, I could somehow felt it on my lips now. I remembered the other children teasing us, after they somehow found out that Michael and I kissed. I had other friends to play with, but I felt myself being closer and closer to him. We both never knew why. It was like this unspeakable thing between us yet it just felt so right. But sadly, I remembered that I had to leave three months after my 7th birthday. I remembered the second last day and the last day of my school as I still touched the picture on the wall.

*******************

"You're leaving tomorrow?"

I looked at Rebecca and smiled. She cried a lot when she knew that we were leaving the school to go back to Malaysia. It was kind of weird because she doesn't really know us that well but it was so sweet of her to remember us.

"Yes. My mum said she finished studying here so we have to go back."

She cried again and hugged me and I hugged her back. A few seconds later, she pulled away and I gave her my handkerchief so she could wipe her tears away. We both went back to our new class.which would be my last. I was in the same class as Michael but I didn't see him anywhere. When he heard the news about me going back, he avoided me and I felt sad. I knew that I was sad to leave the school, and also him too.but I did not have a choice. The only thing I wished was to see him again for the last time.but that day I couldn't find him.

The next day, my brother and I came to the school only for awhile. I remembered that our flight to Malaysia was at night but we didn't want to rush so we went to the school in the morning to give our last goodbyes.
Three hours later, it was time for us to leave the school. My mother, my brother and I were just about to leave the school when I heard Michael calling me from behind.

"Aisyah! Wait up!"

I instantly turned around and saw him standing there. I then turned to my mother, giving a silent permission to speak to him before we leave. She just nodded and she and my brother went out of the school and went in the car. I then turned around to look at Michael as he walked towards me. I realized that we were in the middle of the hallway and there were teachers and children everywhere, looking at us. I was somehow embarrassed but pushed that thought away.

"Aisyah?"

I looked at his sad eyes but I looked away.

"You run away from me?"

"Yes. I'm sorry."

He then holds my shoulders, wanting me to look at him. I stared at my eight years old friend and still, he looks just adorable.but sadly I would never get to see it again.

"I don't know why I ran away. I just felt sad or something when I heard that you're leaving."

I saw tears in his eyes and I felt myself crying too. I immediately hugged him as tightly as I could. I felt him hugging me back. I could hear the teachers saying, 'Oh! Isn't that sweet' and some children whistled at us. But Michael and I ignored them.believing that we were in our little world. I heard him saying to me.

"I'm going to miss you Aisyah."

"Me too Michael. Me too."

I cried and he still hugged me, touching my long black hair.

"I.kinda love you Aisyah."

I felt my body tensed but realizing that.maybe I love him too.

"I.do too. But I have to go and I won't see you again."

He pulled back a bit enough to faces me yet still hugging me. He softly placed a soft kiss on my forehead and touched his forehead with mine.

"Maybe one day when I'm older, I'll come to Malaysia and find you."

I laughed lightly.

"Yeah, and I think you still couldn't find me for a thousand years."

I felt him smiling.

"Okay. If that is so, when I'm in heaven, I'll try to find you there."

I pulled back a little to look at him.

"There will be too many people in heaven. How are you going to find me?"

He just smiled and moved his face slightly closer to mine.

"Simple. I'll find a girl with a long black hair with had the name called Aisyah."

I giggled for awhile then stopped when I stared at him. I felt his face moving closer and automatically, I closed my eyes. And I felt him kissed me lightly on my lips. The children started to cheer loudly, thinking this was a show or something. I ignored them and respond to his kiss and put my arms around his neck. The kiss ended a few seconds later and we both hugged each other, knew it would be our last one. He then pulled away and followed me outside the school. I was just about to go inside the car, when I turned around and looked at him.

"Michael?"

"Yeah?"

"If you have a wish, what would it be?"

He laughed but I could see the sadness coming to his face.

"My wish? To see you again.even for awhile."

I smiled and said my goodbyes to him. I went inside the car and my mother drove off, leaving Michael looking at us near the school gate.

*******************

I closed my eyes, letting the tears fell from my eyes. 'So many memories.how I long to feel it again,' I thought to myself. I looked at the picture one last time, and then wiped my tears away and walked out of the classroom. I met my mother and my brother in the dinning room, talking to the kitchen lady. When they saw me, my mother politely ended her talk with the lady; and she and my brother walked towards me. We all went out from the school, and felt the slightly cold weather again.

"So, want to go back now?"

I just nodded at her and we started walking on our way to the railway station. Then, suddenly I turned back to my mum.

"Mum, what time is it now?"

"2.30pm. Why?"

"Could we go somewhere first?"

My mother looked at me curiously.

"Where?"

"Just follow me."

I started walking into another direction. The direction leads to a row of houses. My mother and my brother followed me from behind. I then stopped in front of a house that I remembered years ago. I rang the door bell, wishing at the same time and waited. Then, a chubby woman opened the door.

"Yes? May I help you?"

I smiled politely at her.

"Yes. I would like to know if Michael Hardson still lives here?"

"Why of course. Do wait please."

I waited outside the house and heard the woman calling him. My heart skipped when I saw a blond haired young man coming towards the door entrance. When he came closer, I looked at him closely. He turned into a handsome young man for the age of fifteen. He looked at me curiously.

"Yes? Can I help you?"

I smiled.

"Hello Michael. Don't you remember me?"

He narrowed his eyes to find anything familiar about me. He looked at my long black hair and my dark brown eyes. He froze in shock ness.

".Aisyah?"

I smiled and nodded at him. He came rushing out and hugged me while carrying me up and swinging me around. My mother and my brother were looking at us blankly. For me, I felt happy again. Even though I knew meeting Michael would just be a short while, but at least I found the feeling that I was looking for. He then asked me.

"Why.I mean, what are you doing here?"

"Remember your wish seven years ago?"

He pulled back and nodded.

"Well, your wish came true. But I'm only here for awhile.I have to go back to London and.."

I was stopped when I felt soft fingers of his on my lips. He then hugged me again.

"I don't mind. Meeting you again makes me happy, even though if it is a short while."

I smiled and he invited my mother, my brother and I to come in to his home to have tea. As my mother and my brother went in the house, leaving Michael and I behind; I smiled at Michael as he closed the door. He holds my hand and we went inside the living room to meet his family. I knew that I had found what I was looking for as I looked at Michael. I had fulfilled my promise. I knew in my heart that he always had a special place in my heart. And meeting him again, makes me always knew that someone out there would really love me for me.like he showed me in an innocent way.and it was worth meeting him again. It was worth it, coming back to Wales just to visit and remembered the past.