was seven o' clock. The sun was already up and about, urging the rest of the world to follow its example. My brown curls lay over my head in a perfect crow's nest. This would need all morning to distangle. I reached out for the alarm clock which had no other work in its lifetime than to scare the shit out of me every morning.
As the message flashed upon the broken screen, a familiar scream entered my ears. Oh, of course not a scream but the alarm ringtone. I tossed it down on the floor. It was shocking that I had managed to live through all this years without suffering a massive cardiac arrest. Mumma didn't let me sleep with my phone ." Radioactive Radiations damage your brain." she recited at top speed whenever I attempted to slip the phone into bed. She was okay with a cardiac arrest but didn't want my brain to be damaged. Uh - crap!!!
I clutched the orange cased cushion to my heart. This had been a birthday gift to Mumma from Papa. Mumma loved the case so much that she put it up in the trunk to preserve it from any damage. After he passed away, Mumma handed it over to me. "A small reminiscence from your Papa." she said with a watery chuckle. After that, she turned away from me, apparently to lecture me about the condition of my room. But I had seen those tears streaming down her cheeks. I had seen her crying alone in the room when she thought I was not around . I had seen her work day and night for my sake. After Papa passed away, she was never her old merry self again.
I drooled over the pillow, the orange fabric fading in small patches across the cloth. This was my favourite pillow, because I could smell Papa in it. Sometimes I saw Mumma holding it against her heart, tears streaming down her cheeks. I didn't interfere. I just looked on silently from the door, trying my best to hide my presence.
The morning sun flooded the room with a fresh aroma which made me want to take a quick shower. I switched the geyser on and sat down on the living room sofa to plan out my day. Was I forgetting something? I had packed my bag yesterday night. Notes exercise book- check. NEET Solved Papers- Check . I had to go through them during a free period. No, not this. I was forgetting something else. Aha - the boyfriend issue!
But could I really manage hiding such a big truth from the world? And even if I did - wouldn't that feel like a scam? A scam on my best friends ? True, they were leaving me and all but playing such a big game would make me feel like a sinner. The last thing I wanted in life was to die with a large ounce of guilt in my heart. No, I wouldn't lie to them. What I was thinking was a bad idea. A really , very bad idea.
"Good morning." I looked around and found Mumma standing behind me, large dark circles under her eyes.
"You didn't sleep yesterday?"
"Couldn't " she corrected . " Had to complete a presentation. Anyway, leave my topic. What about you? How's life?"
I stared out into blank space, seemingly lost. How was life? Just normal. I thought. Normal and boring.
"The usual." I said , gulping a mouthful of the steaming hot tea that she had just put down on the table."School, home- home, school."
"And? And- what else. Guess that's what my life is now. Home , food and school."
Mumma laughed, a small dimple appearing on her left cheek. "No." she said, bringing the cup to her lips and giving it an elegant sip. "I want to know what's special in your life. Like you know, a crush or- a boyfriend..."
I chocked on the large gulp that I'd taken of my tea. My eyes were tearing over and it was not long before I noticed that I was crying. Crying both from my eyes and my nose.
"Oho , did you just choke on your food? Do you need some water?"
I glared at her cheery picture with my watery eyes. She seemed to be enjoying the whole affair.
"I need to go to the shower." I said, my leaking nose still covered under a handkerchief.
"Well go then. Check if the water is hot or not." she called after me as I entered the small washroom with my underwear and a pink bathing robe.
I let my brown hair loose over my shoulders and pulled off my night gown. Next, I turned on the switch to let the crystal streams of water drench my hair and soak into my skin. I gaped at the shampoo tin; hadn't it been a week since I'd last shampooed my hair? The apple scented froth disappeared down my dense jungle in seconds, and I had to pour some more. I sighed. Everything in my life was imperfect. Why couldn't I have blonde hair like Becca's, or even straight n' shiny hair like Danny's ? Why did my hair always have to be the crow's nest? Why did I always have to be the one who's still single ?Why -why couldn't I simply have a boyfriend?
I was jotting down notes during my Biology class, when I suddenly received a call from Danny. I gaped at the receiver in awe.
Didn't this girl have classes?
After class, I called her back .
After 3 missed calls and 30 minutes of waiting for her to call me back, I gave up. I threw my phone into my backpack and marched down to her class, only to find her class empty and not a sign of Danny in the entire school.
"So love me like you do, la la love me like you do. Touch me like you do, ta ta touch me like you do..."
I jumped violently on hearing my own ringtone coming from my backpack. Must be Danny. I'm gonna kill her.
Sure enough. Danny. 7 missed calls and a message.
Come meet me at the park. I'm sorry.
I smiled at the kissy face . This was not Dannielleish behaviour. Becca was setting this up.
I was surprised to find no Becca standing by her side, when I found Danny at the school park. Most of the time, they were simply inseparable. Best buddies, they said . I was merely the third wheel.
"Where's Becca?" I said , as Danny passed me an innocent smile. Danny giving me smiles. Ummm- suspicious...
"She's off to class ." she said, giving me another undanielleish smile. " I just wanted to spend time with you. Wanna go to the movies with me?"
Aha - so this was just a bribe.
"Sure." I said serenely. " It's been long since I last watched a movie ...you know... with these NEET preparations and all."
Danny gave me that smile again. I was gonna knock off her teeth if she gave me that smile one more time.
"Oh - all right. " she said, striding behind my steps. " Which movie do you want to see?"
"I - " I froze.
Danny gave me a hard whack on the elbow which made me yelp out in pain , my eyes streaming with tears. Danny should join Mumma's gang. They would fit in perfectly. But as for now, my scream had aroused the boy in front of me to look at my direction . He gave me an amused glance.
"Hey." I said weakly.
The boy smiled and passed me a hi five.
" Didn't knew you bunk classes too." he laughed. Gosh- how could someone look so cute when they laughed? I looked like an oversized tadpole when I chuckled. "Anyways, bye. See you at the practice tonight."
"Yeah." I said quietly. "Bye."
As he passed on, Danny gave me a loud thump on the back which brought me back to my senses.
"GodDamnIt Danny!! What the hell do you you're doing??!!"
Danny grabbed my shoulders, her eyes bright with laughter. " He just talked to you. Dude, he just talked to you!!!"
I let go of her hands around my shoulder."Yeah." I said. " He talks to me. Not because of anything else but simply because we are partners at music practice."
Danny looked at me, her blue eyes bright with mischief." Want me to make him your partner for life?"
I gaped at her unbelievably for a minute, then lunged at her hands. "No." I said firmly. "Please don't do anything Danny . Please don't mess this up."
"Come on." she said. " You had a crush on him, didn't you? Come on don't lie now. You told me about it."
That was true. I had told her about a teeny weeny crush on Roger Brown but that was what it was. A teeny weeny crush. Now if she went to him and told him everything, our entire relationship would be ruined. He'd stop talking to me . Things would get awkward between us. No Danny, you can't do this to me.
"No I'm going. It's high time you learn to speak up about your feelings."
" No Amy. I wanna go right-"
" Danny no."
"Amy why don't you understand ? I'm trying to help you. I'm trying to-"