This is Ahmed.

He lives next door to my mother. He is nine years old. And his enduring passion for me has not faded, after all these years.

When I lived with my mother two years ago, Ahmed would call to my bedroom window literally *every* day, wanting to show me drawings he had scribbled and tell me what he was having for lunch. It was so cute it was painful.

Ahmed two years ago - the fire burns still.

Two years on, staying at my mother’s house briefly, I had thought that perhaps Ahmed would have forgotten about me. That his young heart would have moved on, as might be natural given the shortness of a nine-year-old’s attention span.

Not so.

In fact, his flame seems to burn even brighter. And he still doesn’t quite understand what it is that is going through his wee mind.

As the Brits say: Bless.

Last week a rather hilarious and yet slightly disconcerting occurrence. Ahmed was hanging over the fence, eagerly gazing into the kitchen, awaiting my inevitable appearance. This I did not know. I came striding into the kitchen, in an empty house, clad in only my bra and knickers, thinking myself peacefully alone.

Not so.

The lad burst into a broad and, I must say, endearingly innocent smile. I still don’t think he really understands what is going through his wee mind. I hastily grabbed my clothes from the laundry hamper and dashed out of the room.

But, the damage has been done. “Well, that’s it,” my mother said. “You’ve ruined any hopes his parents may have ever had of finding him a nice Indian girl. All he’s ever going to go for now are brassy Canadian broads.”