SCHOOL DAYS - chapter - 3 books and stories free download online pdf in English

SCHOOL DAYS - chapter - 3

“After hearing the voice, Rupesh turned around and looked in the direction from which the voice had come. It was Raj, his friend. He agreed to join them on the ground to discuss what they wanted to talk about.

Since it was recess time, there were many students on the ground. They searched for an empty spot, which happened to be right in front of the canteen. In a group of around six members, we moved to that vacant area. At that time, there were Pawan, Rishab, Raj, Sahil, Uday, and me.

Raj: “What’s going on with you? Why are you acting like a stranger to us?” He asked Rupesh.

Initially, Rupesh was reluctant to share the truth, so he gave an evasive answer.

Rupesh: “Nothing, just dealing with some family problems, that’s why I haven’t been able to talk to anyone.”

Raj: “No, I can’t believe that having family problems would keep you from talking to us!”

Rupesh: “Okay, then listen to the truth. A week ago, when we were all standing here and chatting in the group, I was also trying to join the conversation. But I felt like you were ignoring me. That’s why I left the discussion and went to class that day.”

Raj: “Now, listen to me. When we were wrongly accused in class last year, only Prakshi and Sahil were here to support us and clear our names from that false accusation. Since then, our trio was formed, and we didn’t pay much attention to those who weren’t with us during that tough time.”

Pawan and Rishab echoed similar sentiments to Rupesh.

Afterward, Raj expressed that they didn’t want Rupesh to leave their group because they had been friends since 8th grade.

Rupesh: “I understand, but I left the group at that time because I felt that my presence or absence wouldn’t make any difference to the group.”

Following this conversation, they all felt regret for their misunderstandings, and they reunited.

Following the reunion, Rupesh found himself unable to maintain his usual demeanor with his friends. The past few days had been particularly challenging, as he had chosen to isolate himself from his friend circle.

The day after distancing himself from his friends, Rupesh began to contemplate his actions. He was most affected by the abrupt and strange behavior of his long-time friend, Raj. They had been close friends for four years, and this change in Raj's attitude weighed heavily on Rupesh.

In contrast, Rupesh wasn't as impacted by the thoughts and actions of his newer friends, Rishab and Pawan.

A few days prior, Raj had been asked by a substitute teacher to deliver a speech on a general topic. During his speech, Raj's witty words and humorous remarks had the entire class, including the teacher, in stitches. Rupesh, seated on the third bench of the first row, also wanted to laugh along, but he found himself unable to express his amusement. It had been the fourth day since his self-imposed isolation began.

Rupesh was grappling with negative emotions and thoughts, which were causing feelings of sadness and regret. That night, he contemplated reaching out to his childhood friend, Prince. Coincidentally, he received a message from Prince on WhatsApp.

Prince: "Hello, brother. How are you?"

Rupesh: "Things aren't going well. Four days ago, I left our friend circle, and I think Raj has changed. He's not the same friend we used to know."

Prince: "Are you sure? I can't believe that. He's still our friend."

Rupesh: "Whether you believe me or not, the truth is, he's different now. Four days ago, when we were chatting in the playground, I felt neglected and ignored by him. That drove me back to the classroom, and I changed my seat. Since then, I haven't interacted with anyone in our group."

Prince: "You're telling me this now, after four days? If I hadn't messaged you today, I wouldn't have known."

As Rupesh conversed with Prince, tears welled up in his eyes as he contemplated his recent actions. Despite this, he remained hesitant to reconnect with Raj and their group, continuing to isolate himself.

However, two individuals persisted in trying to engage with him: Pratima, his best friend, and Sahil, his math class companion.

On the fifth day of his self-imposed isolation in the math class, Sahil asked, "Why aren't you talking to Raj, Pawan, and Rishab?"

Rupesh replied, "Nothing has happened," and remained silent until the math class concluded.

Later that afternoon, Pratima posed the same question. Given their close friendship, Rupesh offered a response, saying, "I just felt ignored by them, so I believe my presence or absence won't affect them. That's why I left, and I don't think I can reconcile with them."

Listening to Prince, Pratima, and Sahil's words prompted Rupesh to reconsider his actions over the past few days. He began to question whether it was Raj, Pawan, and Rishab who were in the wrong or if his own perceptions had been misguided.

Recalling moments when Raj, Pawan, and Rishab apologized for using abusive language in class and took an oath not to do so again, Rupesh began to see things differently.

He also remembered an incident from 10th grade when he and Raj reached out to a new girl who had been ignored by others, helping her integrate into the class. These memories compelled him to reevaluate his recent decisions.

The group reunited when their class teacher rearranged the seating, placing Rupesh next to Pawan.

During internal examinations, they performed as expected, with Rupesh passing Physics, Chemistry, and English but failing Biology and Mathematics. Unfortunately, Physics proved challenging for most of them, with only a couple of students succeeding.

This was the second time their group faced dispersion. However, it wasn't by choice but due to a manipulative individual who played tricks on the students, creating an insurmountable obstacle.

Unaware of the impending challenge, they focused on improving their exam scores. One day, the Principal called all 12th-grade science students for an emergency assembly, leaving them in suspense about the reason.

As the Principal arrived, his first words were, "Those students who cleared all subjects in this examination, please step aside." This marked the initial step towards the disbandment of their group.