The way up the elevator was a long one, ‘of course’ Pragya mumbled, ‘give the claustrophobic girl the longest ride ever in a tiny space.’ The whole day had been one big disaster. It had taken her three days to drive from chennai to Mumbai. She had packed up everything she owned, which wasn’t much. Gave the key to her apartment back to her – now former –landlord. And started driving to her new home.
Technically there were two reasons, no three reasons that she decided to drive. The first being that she didn’t want to say goodbye to her car – and that there would be no way that she would have been able to afford a new one. The second was that it was a beautiful ride, she had been driving straight through rivers, mountains est., – and how she wished she could have shared the beautiful views with someone. And the last, despite all the therapy sessions she has been to in the last three years, she was incredibly afraid of small spaces where she had no control over and thus she refused to go into a plane. She had done it once, when she was moving to Chennai, the panic attack she had in the cramped airplane space had been so bad, that they literally had to shoot her with tranquilizer. She had, apparently, in her panic, injured herself so bad that she had to spend the first two days of her new live in Chennai in the hospital.
She had liked the small towns, always wondering what it would be like, to live in such a close knit community. All the people that where walking down the streets looked like they were where they belonged, like they were home. But today had been a disaster. What was supposed to be a long hour drive had taken her. She had left early in the morning, thinking it would be nice to arrive in the early afternoon so she would have enough time to unpack, get some food, explore the campus and just settle in. But instead she realized after one hour of driving that she had forgot her passport at the main desk of the hotel she had been staying at. So to turn around and pick it up had meant a three hour delay, meaning she got stuck in the traffic jam witch seemed to go on forever, and when she was finally out of the jam, the battery to her phone died witch happed to be her gps as well. She had ended somewhere in the middle of nowhere before she had realized that she might had taken a wrong turn somewhere. Deciding to go old fashioned se actually got out of her car and asked a man walking on the road for directions. Some mean sneers about how she was nothing more that a dump later, she finally knew where she was and witch direction she had to go to get to Mumbai .
So when she finally arrived at campus and learned that she had to share her room… well she would apologize to the receptionist later. And that guy! Who the hell did he think he was!
The elevator dinged and the doors opened, Pragya sighed in relief and stepped out. The first thing she looked for when she walked down the hall was to see if there was a staircase, there was, but it was supposed only to be used in emergencies and the alarm would go off if you would open the door. ‘shit’ Pragya mumbled again, no today had not been a good day.
She looked at the paper in her hand, it said that her dorm was number 12-319 and that she was sharing with a girl. ‘well this is gonna be fun’ Pragya sighed, she looked at the door numbers, none of them had 12 before them, the 12 was only there to signal witch floor they were on, she walked past 316, 317, 318, she halted in front of her own door realizing that she had the corner room .
Grabbing her key she fumbled with the look a few seconds before she finally had the door opened.
The room was huge, and Pragya looked at the fancy looking couch and trough the big windows that looked all over campus. In was gorgeous, all the lights illuminating the streets and buildings in the late evening sky.
‘WHO THE HELL ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY DORM!’ Pragya screamed and took a step backwards. A wild looking girl had jumped from the kitchen space right in front of her. The girl didn’t look so big, but the baseball bat she was holding up certainly was ‘IF YOU DON’T LEAVE RIGHT NOW I’LL CALL THE POLICE! MY BROTHER MADE ME PUT THEM ON SPEAD DAILL!’
Pragya sighed annoyed, ‘yeah no’ she looked at the pretty brown haired girl before her ‘you do understand that I opened the door with a key right?’ Pragya closed the door behind her and walked past the girl to put her heavy bag on the couch, the girl still hadn’t said anything and just stared at her, still holding on tight to the baseball bat and apparently trying to decide whether to call the police, hit her with the bat or actually listen to her and find out who she was. ‘I’m your room mate’ Pragya said and actually saw the understanding grow in the eyes of the girl ‘O MY GOD’ she dropped the baseball bat and started giggling ‘ I thought you were a burglar or something, you know since I only arrived here today as well, so I’m not quite used to all the different sound around here, and I always lived with my brother, so tonight would have been my first night ever to be in a house on my own, so I was actually really scared and then I heard somebody open the door and you just scared me you know, because I thought you wouldn’t arrive until tomorrow, and my warned me so often to be careful and stuff, but now I’m actually really wondering why you arrived this late, but now that you are here I’m actually really happy because now we can start to get to know each other and become best friends!’
the girl smiled at Pragya ‘you know, the first thing you should know about me is that every now and then I really talk too much, my brother tells me all the time, he says that I never should become a public speaker because all the people would have died of old age before I’m done with talking, so you can just tell me to shut up, and I won’t be offended. You know, otherwise I could just continue to talk on, and on, and on… please tell me to shut up now..’ Pragya smiled at the girl who had turned a bit red, either for the lack of breaths she took during her rambling, or because she was a bit ashamed of her word vomit. ‘shut up’ the girl smiled ‘thank you’ Pragya looked around the room, ‘so’ she said ‘my name is Pragya Arora, what is your name?’ the girl laughed ‘yes! Always nice to know your roommate’s name, hay..’ she held out her hand for Pragya to shake ‘my name is Bulbul Mehera’ Pragya smiled, and took the girls hand. The girl, Bulbul, actually seemed nice, although very perky ‘but you can just call me Boo, everybody already does anyway’. Pragya looked at her old watch ‘it’s almost eleven’ she said ‘how about a grand tour of the apartment, and then we can get some food, I’m starving’ – ‘oh no need to get something’ Bulbul said, ‘I’ve got some left over’s from the take out me and my brother got tonight if you want some’ Pragya sighed in relief, she really didn’t want to go out tonight anymore ‘ yes’ Pragya smiled ‘keep this up and we are definitely going to be friends.’
It had only taken that evening for Clarke to fall – platonically- in love with Bulbul, she was funny, smart, happy en really bubbly and best of all she completely lived in the moment. The next day Pragya had found a job in a local bar just off campus, called Bhagya. Because of her working experience in Chennai she was promoted to shift supervisor right away – the one before had graduated last semester so the bar was actually really happy with her showing up asking for a job .
She would be working every other day, and the other shift supervisor was working the day’s she wasn’t, except for the Saturdays when they would be working together.
It was on her second day there that she met the guy, the other shift supervisor. Her boss was in the back leaving her in charge of the bar, to test if she could handle it on her own. Luckily it was a Wednesday and most students wouldn’t be arriving until Saturday, the very last weekend before semester started. So it was a quit day in the bar. She walked through the double doors to get a new pack of napkins from the back when she heard the beer tap and turned around.
‘Excuse me’ Pragya said to the boy that was hanging over the bar to fill his cup with beer ‘what do think you are doing?’ He just smirked at her, and she cursed in her mind, it was the annoying boy from her dorm building. ‘You know princess ‘ he said ‘ I thought people as high and mighty as you wouldn’t need to work with the normal people.’ Pragya was shocked yet again when he called her princess, but unlike the other day, when she had been completely speechless this time she got angry, who did this guy think he was! ‘Don’t ever call me that again!’ She spat out in his face. ‘Whatever you say, princess’ he smirked. God, she wanted to punch the guy.
Pragya looked down and saw the beer in his hands, ‘you can either pay for that or give it back’ she said pointing at the beer. He just laughed ‘nah’ he said, ‘I think you will give this to me on the house.’ Pragya stared at the boy in wonder, what was he trying to achieve? Pragya reached for the beer to grab it out of his hands, but he saw was se was doing and strengthened his hold on the cup. ‘Since that won’t be happening I guess you will give it back then’ Pragya saw that he was actually enjoining the struggle over the cup. ‘Really?’ he asked. ‘Yes’ Pragya sneered, he smiled mischievously at her, ‘okay’ he said while letting go of the cup. Pragya who had not anticipated this move fell backwards and spilled the entire content of the cup over her shirt. ‘You Idiot’ she cursed at him, he just laughed at her, obviously he got what he wanted. ‘O god,’ he hiccupped from the laughing ‘you looked so stupid!’
Pragya felt her eyes well up with tears, the guy was an absolute idiot. She turned away from the guy who still hadn’t stopped laughing and walked to the back of house angrily, wiping the tears out of her face. There was no way she would be crying on just her second day of work. ‘Here’ the boy said, apparently he had followed her ‘let me help’. ‘ You are not allowed here, this is a private part’ she said with her back still turned towards the guy. ‘Nah’ he said ‘I’m allowed here’, ‘no you are not!’ Pragya turned to the boy, she really needed him to leave now. ‘I’ve got a clean shirt for you’ he said obviously trying to make nice.
‘Ah Abhishek’, she hearted Mr.kapoor say, her boss who had just walked in , ‘I see you’ve met your new co worker’ Pragya looked in shock at Mr.Kapoor. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ Mr.Kapoor just chuckled at her ‘what did you do with your shirt?’ he asked kindly. ‘Well uuh –I uuh’ she stammered. ‘Veer threw beer all over her’ Abhi jumped in, Mr.Kapoor nodded – ‘we got to do something about Veer’ he sighed ‘ well Pragya, just get cleaned up and get back to work’ he said his goodbye to Abhi and walked away again .
‘so’ Abhi said, ‘ do you still want a clean shirt’ he asked holding up an shirt in front of her face. Pragya sighed and grabbed the shirt out of his hands. ‘You are still an Idiot Abhishek’ he smirked ‘and you are still a princess, princess’ they both heard the bell of the front door ringing before she could snap at him not to call her such ‘I’ll take this customer while you get changed’ he said and walked away .
Pragya sighed and started pulling her shirt of ‘oh and Pragya,’ she heard Mr.Kapoor say, walking back in to the room ‘o my god’ he said and Pragya got out of the shirt as fast as possible –there was no getting back anymore – and held up the shirt in front of her frame. She stared at Mr.Kapoor who was looking with dark eyes at her before he remembered that that was really inappropriate and covered is eyes ‘ I uuh’ he started ‘I wanted to ask if you could maybe start an hour early Saturday?’ ‘Yes’ Pragya mumbled while trying to get into Abhi’s shirt as fast as possible ‘that’s fine’. Mr.Kapoor just nodded with is eyes still covered turned around and walked away.
When she got back to the front she saw Abhi putting a tip in the tip bar. ‘You can have that’ she said ‘you served him, so you can keep the tip’ he smiled at her trying to say something but for some reason the words didn’t come out of his mouth. He turned around and started to grab his stuff that he had thrown in the corner behind the bar ‘nah’ he said ‘I’m good.’ ‘uh if I may ask’ Pragya started ‘why are you even here?’ he smiled again at her while he was pulling his bag to his shoulder ‘forgot my charger here, have to meet my sister, and I need to be reachable for all my girls you know – they can’t be too long without me.’ Pragya felt a shiver going through her spine, what a perv – ‘ so you are not only an Idiot, you are an Donkey.’ He smiled at her again and started walking towards the door ‘well, at least we understand each other princess, can’t wait to see you Saturday!’ he said and opened the door ‘DO NOT CALL ME PRINCESS!’ she screamed to his back. He just waved to her, and walked out
Precap- Maybe Bulbul was right and they would hit it off. And then he wouldn’t have to think about his co-worker anymore.
‘Shit’ he groaned because now his mind was back at his Princess again.
‘Shit’ he cursed at himself, Pragya was definitely not his Princess. He grumbled and looked around himself once more, trying anything to get his mind of her again, this really wasn’t the time to do something…inappropriate. he was in his sisters bath room for god’s sake!
Abhi sighed, and before he could imagine anymore things about his Princess, he turned the tab from nice and warm to stone cold .
‘SHIT!’ he shouted again. NO, she definitely wasn’t his Princess he thought to himself and got out of the freezing shower