“Can you also join us for those Algo Design extra classes? You can choose to discuss any topic”, Rohini’s WhatsApp message popped on my laptop’s screen.
It took my eyes off the red porcupine hopping and riding towards the broad brown wicket having a direction board, in the shape of a pentagon, with “Goal!” written in bold white upon it. I blushed only to be interrupted by a screech on my gaming tab. “Game Over”, it announced.
“Oooo! Fuck! Lost it. Looks like I missed saving a pit”, grumbled I, switching to the other tab. “Wokie! Anyways, I achieved my goal in reality…Sexy! Look at who has texted me!” I opened her chat and read the message.
“What? Tomorrow…”, wondered I, grabbing my mobile at once and checking my calendar.
“I need to ask my father if I must go to deliver saris.”
“I will confirm by tomorrow afternoon if I can come.”
As soon as I threw my phone back on the bed, I held my teeth in a diagonal fashion and sipped nothing but my own saliva. What’s wrong with me? Why did I share such a sensitive personal matter with Rohini? Are we already close enough to share family matters?
Yes yes, I agree that she shared about her pasts with Kavin but it isn’t personal as such discussions mostly happen among friends rather than with family. Besides, at that point, when she was feeling down, how could I see my classmate sitting right in front of me and sobbing alone? It was my duty to lend a helping hand.
I remained a stranger while she narrated it all to me, in the canteen. I just wanted to comfort a depressed mind. One must heal others in pain. That's what I too did but now that the healing hours have gone far behind, what was the reason behind me blabbering indirectly about our family boutique to her?
Fuck! What’s this, Dhilip? When did your tongue loosen? I shook my head rapidly at my mirror image on the dressing mirror opposite my study. Have I ever shared such intimate stuff with random people or have I changed suddenly? I shook my head once again.
No, neither do Sameer, Jacob, Kareena, or another college friend of mine know my deep personal stuff. After all, Rohini is my random classmate, at maximum, a friend, I accept, not even such as my best friend. Who are you, to me, Rohini? Is there much more that both of us don’t know about ourselves and life will unveil things one after the other, in the long run?
Above all, look at her mature reaction. She must be wondering at my reply but didn’t bother to gossip further. Why did I feel like telling her, though? I blushed, moving my right hand back to hit the back of my head. It was the first time in my lifetime that I had let out words straight away at someone…why do I feel so free around her? Is she my comfort zone?
“Well. How many of you have secured fifty?”, asked Imilie ma’am, enlarging her round eyes via the thick black-framed cylindrical glasses. She turned back from the first bench where she sat. She looked around to spot just two hands raised up.
“Ma’am, Kareena too”, added I, taking out her bluebook from under the desk.
“Ok. So, three of you? Dhilip, you and Rohini are here. Where is Kareena?”, asked Imilie.
I agree that love is unanticipated. I also agree that the identity of our lover is a true mystery
until we feel the love!
Following the same lines, one thus ends up falling for a bad partner-the wrong love. It's fine!
Making a wrong decision is common among ordinary homosapiens like you and me.
However, correcting our blunder and returning to our right love is a worthy question whose
answer may either be a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’ or sometimes a combination of both! There is only one
superpower that can answer this query: ‘TIME’
“She is working to complete her project in the library”, I informed her, to which Imilie nodded and called us. I stood closer, beside Rohini, as she handed over her paper to Ma’am.
“It's a direct fifty. Good!”, she noticed. Rohini nodded, withdrawing her answer script. “What about yours, Dhilip?”, she asked, taking my paper and shrinking her eyes to scrutinize it. Neither did I nor Rohini look at one another. We were standing next to each other.
Aww, look at how our destinies always coincide which I’m noticing now, during my reliving journey! Sexy! There was definitely some sign I failed to catch the last time. Must dig deeper now…
“Alright, I see. So, yours too is a complete fifty. Kareena got an incorrect answer in one of the bunch-type numerical questions. Will catch up with her later”, uttered Imilie, handing over my paper back to me. I nodded and received it.
“Also, Rohini, over here, you could have used…fine..any approach holds good and takes the same time”, said she, as Rohini spread out her paper in her hands. She walked back to her first desk with Srithika and a few corrupted girls. Oooo, medam, break your ties with them. How I wish I could tell you but you guys seem to be besties; at least that's what the entire class believes.
I sighed, sitting on my seat, as Srithika frowned at Rohini’s answer sheet lying on the bench. Innocent Rohini hardly noticed what happened behind her back while she was engrossed chuckling at a jealous buff-cut girl with yellow-framed spectacles and another girl who had an elongated face and was talented enough to crack an annoying style of laughter that sounded as if she was always heavily drunk.
I blushed at Rohini’s beautiful smile inviting deep dimple marks at the corners of her lips whose surface had a peel or two evidently half-peeled. Aye, don’t pluck those, medam. I chuckled to myself while Rohini had already turned back. Hmmm, why don’t you talk to me, medam? At Least congratulations on the marks, nah? I looked down and shook my legs restlessly.
Wait, why do I want her to talk to me? No..no…I don’t care. She’ll talk only if she wants to. But, how many more moments should I continue reliving with mere silence?
My eyes happened to witness Gaurika, sitting behind Rohini, bending to secretly open a side zip of the latter’s college bag. I held my breath with a mobile in her hand with Nishanka’s photo as the back cover. Gaurika and Nishanka were the other girls I mentioned, quite a while ago.
“Rohini!”, I called aloud, at which she turned back and shrugged at me. I also happened to notice Gaurika placing Nishanka’s phone back on the desk. Fuck! Why was poor Rohini always surrounded by such toxic friends? Srithika, Gaurika, and Nishanka-all of them were equally toxic. When will Rohini see their other side? I hope it's not too late.
Fuck! I can’t believe that mere college students could go to the extent of framing a friend in robbery, out of jealousy. I pity whatever she must have undergone during our original lifetime.
“What happened, Dhilip?”, she asked, in her usual serious female tone voice. The bad gang around her chuckled among themselves. “Add Dhilip too. Ten guys now…”, I heard them vaguely, from the second bench.
“Dhilip!”, Rohini called me again, this time, waving her hand at me and chuckling along. I chuckled back and nodded.
“Good job! All the best for the semester!”, I diverted, at which Sameer shrugged with a blank face.
“Thanks. Same to you too! Let's rock the finals!”, said she, shrinking her eyes and turning back. Fuck! All eyes were on us. Sexy! It was just the two of us talking in a silent classroom with Imilie Ma’am busily grossing the fat and long blue-bonded Thomas Calculus reference book. I shrugged back, with my eyes rolling hither and thither, after which all others got back to checking their papers.
“How is this?”, asked Rohini, protruding her tongue out as Vaishnavi snapped. The girl's gang burst into a round of laughter at Rohini’s dog-like face. Rohini too laughed and asked her bestie to share it with her.
Sexy! I chewed mouth-watering rolls from my box. I smiled at Rohini’s funny poses. She was no less than a kid while enjoying these healthy friends. I blushed as she rested her chin on her right palm and bulged her eyes to capture a blur and bulged sobbing face. She got up and turned back to peep into Vaishnavi’s mobile.
Her craziness knew no bounds as she pouted, running from Vaishnavi’s bench to hers and vice-versa, traversing through two benches, to shoot another snap. She hugged Lilliput and kissed her. Veena laughed, slamming her own forehead. Rohini too burst a round of laughter.
“Vaishooo! This is so much fun. Hahaha!”, said she, as her friends advised her to finish her lunch soon. Lunch breaks were our only free hours and that’s when she was always around me. I blushed alone as I finished my box and sighed. Her good friends' gang, bad friends' gang, and my guys' gang were the only ones who mostly dined in the classroom.
Almighty had always wanted to indicate that Rohini’s life joined with mine, otherwise, why did he always have to make us cross paths quite often? Whenever I moved away, the heavens brought her closer to me and vice-versa. Had I lost my cognitive abilities back then?
Will Dhilip save Rohini from her toxic gang?
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