Chapter 2, Part 3: Fake Smile
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Maya and I entered the bathroom and Lakshi was sitting down. She held a tissue in her right hand and her eyelashes were damp. Maya kneeled beside her and put a hand on her shoulder. Lakshi looked at her. “What did I even do?”, Lakshi said in a sobbing voice. Maya hugged Lakshi. “I think you both should go home and rest yourselves, it’s been a busy day”, she said.”But we need to clean up”, I said to her. “The boys didn’t help us set up this morning, so they can clean up”, Maya said, and Lakshi and I agreed with her. Maya was comforting Lakshi so I left to grab our jackets. As I walked down the hallway I saw Aadhi. I looked at him, and he could see that I was disturbed and upset. I gave him a pleading look, and I think he understood that I wanted him to talk to Ashwin. I grabbed our jackets and Lakshi and Maya appeared. “Aren’t you gonna help clean up?”, Aadhi yelled across the hallway at us. “No, you guys didn’t help us at all this morning, and…. you embarrassed us.”, I said. He looked at me for a few seconds, and then I turned around. Maya’s mom finally showed up in her car, so Maya waved at us and left.
Lakshi and I stood there waiting for Niru, and as I glanced at Lakshi, I could see that she was enraged. That’s when we heard a loud “BANG!”. We turned around and saw the table on the floor in front of the Ashwin. Aadhi and Sayohn were picking up the plates, so Ashwin tried carrying the table himself, and epically failed. That’s when Mr. Khan showed up after hearing the loud sound. “WHAT’S GOING ON?!”, He asked Ashwin startled. Ashwin looked at him blankly, and that’s when Lakshi walked over to them. “Sorry sir, I should’ve helped him, it’s my fault.”, Lakshi said innocently and naively. Mr. Khan sighed and returned to his office. Ashwin looked at Lakshi and made a ‘why did you just help me’ expression. Lakshi looked at him.
“We are different you know. We don’t just not help and then get the benefits after, like you guys do. You embarrassed me after all my hard work for this ceremony tonight, yet I’m helping you. That should show you how much of a jerk you really are. Did you really think I would’ve spread rumours about you, even after how much you have helped me? Well if you did, then… I really don’t know what to say to you anymore, because a real friend would know.” There was a long silence, and Lakshi’s face was steaming red. “Goodbye”, she finally said, and she walked towards me. I was proud of her for finally taking the most mature path. Ashwin watched her leave. That’s when Niru’s car pulled up, so we approached him. As I got into the car and looked through the window, I could see Ashwin put his hand on his head. “He regrets it now”, I thought.
Niru didn’t say anything surprisingly, and Lakshi and I didn’t say anything to him. We just stared outside of the car windows and counted the twinkling stars in the glistening night sky. After quite a while, Niru noticed that there must be something wrong, since we haven’t exploded with stories from the ceremony. “So ummm…. everything okay?”, Niru asked doubtingly. “What makes you think things wouldn’t be okay?”, I asked Niru. “You guys aren’t babbling about your day”, he said. “That’s odd, especially because you guys talk way too much… usually.”, he said smirking. Niru was expecting a reaction, but we continued to look outside. As much as I fight with my annoying, aggravating, insane twin sister, I wasn’t going to let anyone speak to her or think of her like that. I had to do something. “What happened?”, Niru asked as he parked to the side. “Why did you park?”, Lakshi asked. “Well that’s how badly I wanna know what happened, I even parked my car on the side of a random road for you guys.”
I looked at Lakshi and her eyes started to water again. Watching her eyes water, mine started to water. I wasn’t quite sure if that was a twin thing… or if I was just emotional, but I started to cry. “What’s going on?! Lakshi, why is she crying?!” Niru stared at Lakshi. Lakshi didn’t say a word. I quickly wiped my tears. I didn’t want to tell him, and I know Lakshi didn’t want to either but I did it anyways. “Ashwin called out on Lakshi and yelled at her about some stupid rumour Lakshi spread around the school. He was yelling while the whole school was surrounding us.” I said quickly. Lakshi still didn’t say a word. Niru stared at Lakshi, but she was still looking out the window. “And Lakshi just stood there..? That doesn’t sound like her…” He responded. I didn’t know what to say. I’m guessing our silence told Niru the truth. I could tell he was angry, but it seemed that I was the only one who cared. No reactions from Lakshi were shown. Niru started the car and drove somewhere, we were driving along the road for a long time. “Where are we going?”, I asked him curiously, but he didn’t answer. Then we stopped at one point, it seemed like we were on a cliff. He opened his door. “Get out of the car.”
“What?”, Lakshi asked him unwillingly. “Just do it”, he said. Lakshi and I got out of the car and Niru grabbed our hands. He walked us over to the edge of the cliff, and we looked up. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my entire life. The glowing stars with the moon right above it in the beautiful black gleaming sky. It wasn’t like what we would see from our home, it was like we were actually there. Like we were actually glowing up there with the stars. It was a breathe catching view, standing so high up with the night stars. “I come here when I try to look for answer…” Niru’s voice trailed off. I turned to Niru. “This.. All I could see are Mom and Dad. You never make me miss mom and dad because you act as our parents but… sometimes… I want to see them. I want to ask them if what I’m doing is right. I want to ask them questions and have my parents come talk to my teachers and meet them like every other kid’s,” I said. Lakshi was still looking up into the sky. Niru smiled. “Maybe that’s why I come here.” We turned around to face Lakshi. I put my hand on her shoulder. I moved forward and shifted my body to face hers. All I could see were her tears. She faced me. “I didn’t do anything wrong…” She started to say. “I know I might be tough and I might not seem like ‘a perfect lady’, but that doesn’t mean I want to hurt everyone else”, Lakshi said, as tears were sliding down her face. “We know..” Niru said. “Ashwin is normally not like this Lakshi, obviously it was just a misunderstanding.”
I looked at her hoping she would agree. “So..?! Even after he saved me from Eth-..” She froze. Lakshi looked at me in the eyes with a knowing look. She quickly wiped her tears and said, “Let’s go.” Lakshi walked towards the car. I quickly glanced up at the stars one last time and Niru watched me. I stretched my arms out into the night sky. “Look”, Niru said to Lakshi. Lakshi turned around. “Abi… what are you..-”, Lakshi started to say as she walked towards me. “Lakshi, mom and dad are watching us, I know it.”, Lakshi looked at me astonishingly. Then she put her arms out, and we felt the breeze run through our hair. “You’re right!” she said. I have the same feeling! They’re… it’s like they’re really there!”, Lakshi said excitedly. Niru smiled from behind us. “Come on”, he motioned with his hands. “Grandma and Krish are going to get worried.” With that, we got into the car and we left, but before getting into the car I looked up at the gleaming sky and whispered, “We love you”.
The next day as we entered the school everyone was staring and pointing at us, and they were whispering to each other. I looked at Lakshi and made a ‘be brave’ face, and we continued walking to our lockers and talked casually to each other as if nothing happened. As we walked towards our lockers, we noticed a tall figure waiting for us. When we got closer I realized it was Ethan. My heart was beating very fast, but Lakshi was enraged. As we walked towards Ethan her face expression changed. She seemed more enraged and less obedient than she usually seemed when she saw Ethan. That’s when I thought, “Hey… was Ethan the one who started this problem?” I looked at Lakshi because I wanted to tell her, but she was staring at Ethan eye to eye.
“I’m the reason to all your problems Lakshi, I told you I could get revenge”. he said with a creepy smirk on his face. “I already knew it was you”, Lakshi said as she carelessly opened her locker. I was shocked, and judging by the look on Ethan’s face, he was definitely not expecting this either. “You better-”, Ethan started to say, but then Lakshi cut him off. “Get out of my face okay?! I got over what you did to me, and I am ready for more. Is that really all you’ve got, because that barely made a mark. With friends and a family like mine, I can handle anything. So you can waste your time trying to ruin my life, or you can go do other stupid things a jerk like you would do.”, she said confidently as she slammed her locker. Ethan’s blank face stared at her. I felt a ticklish feeling in my heart, but I knew it was a good thing. Lakshi shot a fake smile at him. “Leave, please”, she said, and then she grabbed my arm and started walking away. “Wait”, Ethan called. You know how in dramas whenever the villain says wait, the main characters wait. Well I’ve always wondered why they don’t just keep walking but now I get it. Your heart beats way too fast, it just tells you to wait. So when Ethan said wait, we waited, and Lakshi let go of my hand. “You think I won’t get revenge? You’re whole family is…-”, he started to say. “HEY!”, I yelled, turning around fast and pointing a finger at him.
“I get it, we are your problem, but my family has nothing to do with this. Don’t you dare bring them into your problems, or I swear, the outcomes will be brutal.”, I said confidently and roughly. Ethan stared at both of us. “Thank you”, I said, as we bowed down and pulled off a fake smile just to mock him, and he rolled his eyes. Then Lakshi and I left as we smiled at each other, and then we bursted into laughter. “Did you see his face?!”, Lakshi yelled as she laughed loudly. “He did not expect that!”. I said. I watched Lakshi laugh, and I was contented to see that she was happy again. I thought it would take a longer time for my sister to recover from last night, but then again, she’s Lakshi. Things hardly bother her, because she doesn’t even care. And then there’s me… dragging on every problem and I just keep thinking about it time to time, it’s definitely not a good habit. We continued laughing until Aadhi approached us. “Hey, what’s so funny?”, Aadhi asked. “Ummmm…. I’m going.. see ya later.”, Lakshi said as she walked away. That was Lakshi in a nutshell. She can’t stand awkward moments and she was still upset about what Ashwin did, anyone would be. But she didn’t want to hold her grudge against Aadhi, so she just chose to leave. Aadhi watched her leave, and then he looked at me. “What do I do, what do I do?”, I thought.
Next Part: True Silence (Chapter 2, Part 4)
Credit to: AbiLakshi