In the time when I still went by the name boy, in my hostel there was a bit of wall with a patch of white paint on it, no one knew from how long ago. It wasn’t a very respectable room where this wall stood. It was the wall you faced when you stood in the lavatory. Unclean, unacknowledged, a faint yellow odour lingering about it. It wasn’t a place you’d expect to find things.
But I had. I was facing this patch of wall one day when I saw that it had eyes.
It was a woman. I could see her. Just the eyes. Her face was hidden behind this white grey veil, that hid her, everything but the bridge of her nose and those eyes. But the eyes were enough.
I could somehow tell, from the eyes, that she was beautiful. Also, that she was saying something. But no one heard her. Everyone came and went, but no one looked at the wall.
I used to wish that I could pry out that part of the cement, the concrete, and carry it off with me. It’d be like taking her away from an uncomfortable place. But I couldn’t do that ever, naturally.
But I did go back later, when I was no more identified as a boy, I went back to my hostel and I went to that wall. I took a picture of her.
I don’t know if she is still there if you go to my school and find that room and stand before that wall. But at least, I have a photo to remind me of her.