Chapter – 3 ( Friends )
I looked at my watch and realized that the lunch break would be over in five minutes.
f**king shit. I had to meet them. Today in the morning when we all had gathered around the notice board, we decided that we will meet in the botany class since there was a substitution in the that section. I was happy when I came to know that we all will be together. Me, Piyush, Ananya, Navya, Farhan, Shriya, Shiv, Sana, Udhay, Manik, Tanvi and others too. I didn’t care about others. I was happy to meet our own group which included eleven of us. We had a great bonding. We were all together since five years. It wasn’t that we couldn’t get along with others, it was just that we all seemed to fit together perfectly. Everyone in our group was paired or shipped together. Everyone except me. There were two reasons for this. One, I had a habit of flirting with every random girl. I knew it wasn’t good on my part but the pleasure to see a girl blushing deep red at my single comment is just too much to forget the guilt. Two, there were eleven of us in our group. Since everyone else was practically paired with everyone else, I had no partner. And I didn’t need one. Whenever my friends ask me the reason for being single, I tell them the second one.
I suddenly jerked back the thoughts as I realized that I had to be somewhere. I scurried towards the corridor when I bumped into her. Nerdy Adi.
Oops! Now she’s gonna yell. I waited for her to shriek or shout but she turned around to go. She suddenly stopped midway.
She is gonna yell now. Before she does, I should apologize. I thought.
“Sorry”, I said but I am sure I heard someone else’s voice too. By the look on her face, I knew she was surprised. Wait. Surprised? That I apologized? Why would she be surprised? Was it her who apologized? Well then, I nodded my head to accept her apology and she did the same. That was a surprise though, an apology from nerdy Adi.
She turned to go but something possessed me and I blocked her way, “Where do you think are you going?”.
Okay. That was a bit rude. She seemed shocked at first but composed herself. She raised her eye brow at me. She looked cute. Wait. Cute? Nerdy Adi? No! Something was wrong with me.
“Excuse me, I can go wherever I want as per what I know about fundamental rights. And its none of your concern to know where the hell am I going.”,she said and pushed me aside. I was shell shocked. I concluded two things from her reply. One, she was witty. And two, she was pretty upset over something. I had never seen or heard her snapping at someone.
Earlier when I looked at her face, I am sure I saw hurt in it. Her eyes had too much to say. They were moist as if she was going to cry. I felt guilty. I don’t know the reason but somewhere deep down I knew that it was my mistake to snap at her. I turned around and saw her going towards girls washroom. I was pretty sure she was going to cry. Poor girl. She had none to console her. None to lend her a shoulder. None to listen to her problems. I sighed and went towards her class. All of my friends were sitting there. They all were goofing around with each other probably unaware of the fact that she was upset. It wasn’t that I liked her or something, but she was really very sad and I just wanted to help her in one way or another. She was a nice person as per what I had heard about her from Shriya and Tanvi. I had myself seen the way she talked with her juniors. There was sure as hell no one among the whole senior block who could be so polite and understanding with the juniors. She surely was something. But the problem was she was in too much pain and she didn’t let anybody in. I sighed thinking if I was the only one who could see that she was hurt.
I went towards my friends and stood beside them. They all were laughing heartily. What were they so happy about?
“Whass’up guys? “, I asked as I sat on the seat beside Ananya. Everyone was here. Our whole class. From our besties to good friends and just classmates, everyone was here, except her. How much time would she take to be back?
To be honest, I had always wanted to be her friend. Not out of pity, but because I felt the need to befriend her. I tried talking to her a few times, but she being she, didn’t let me in.
By now, I am f**king sure that if she doesn’t open up, she is gonna land into a big problem.
“Nothing much, bro, were waiting for your highness. “, Piyush said, sarcasm dripping in his voice.
“Ah..ha.. I don’t think so. You guys were doing pretty well without me.”, I said uninterestingly.
They all gave me sheepish grins and continued with their little games. “Now what?”, I asked not interested at all in whatever they had decided.
“Nothing… Just gossips and latest rumours….”,Ananya said.
She just didn’t say that. I, Siddarth Raina will gossip about latest rumours. They seriously didn’t expect me to sit idly and talk bullshit.
This was not happening. How could they expect me to gossip around?
The whole class fell silent when a soft voice asked for permission to enter the class. I turned around and saw her getting in. After realizing that the owner of the voice was none other than nerdy Adi, the whole class went back to their so called important discussions.
”I thought it was some s*xy chick, but it turned out to be the nerd.”, someone from the last benches said.
”Nerd or not, she is s*xy though. I am gonna play her around. Won’t it be fun.”, someone else added.
Adi? s*xy? Maybe.. I had never looked at her that way though. But I didn’t feel right about the way these guys were talking about her. It was as if they were perving over her. And the thought of somebody playing her around riled me up.
I myself do the same with other girls, I thought.
”She will make you deaf if she comes to know that.” The first voice warned.
”Well, I do have an escape plan.”, the latter added chuckling.
If what they said earlier wasn’t enough, this surely made me angry. I needed to warn her. She wasn’t the one to survive heartbreaks. She wasn’t weak but she was fragile. And moreover she was so innocent that she would never know about what those perverts thought of her.
I looked around and saw all of my friends talking amongst themselves. I knew they didn’t hear a word ’cause if they did, those guys sitting at the last benches wouldn’t have been in the class. Piyush, Shiv, Manik and Udhay would have taught them a lesson.
I don’t understand why Piyush is so protective of Adi. Even though she had snapped at him ‘n’ number of times, he still cared for her. He always looked out for her. And with him, all of us did.
And he never let me flirt with her. He wouldn’t stop me from flirting with his girl, though. He had warned me earlier not to try to hurt Adi in any way.
Adi wouldn’t let me in & he wouldn’t let me be around her.
I sighed. Does it really matter? Me helping her out? Me trying to befriend her when she clearly despises my company?
This sucked. Those idiots needed to be taught a lesson.
I moved towards them. They passed me a smile. It disgusted me to the core to see them smiling. Wouldn’t a punch on the face add more charm to their personality?
Never mind though. I am not so gonna waste myself on these dickheads.
“You both listen…”, I said before they could greet me.
“Stay away from her. If I see you around her………… you know the consequences.”, it wasn’t just a warning on my side. It was a promise. I didn’t need Piyush or Shiv. I could handle them alone.
“Stay away from who ? Nerd ?….. Why? Are you interested in her too?”, the one with curled black hair asked smirking.
Well, this game could be played by two.
“What if I am?”, I asked leaning down on their table. It was a wonder that the teacher didn’t ask me to be seated. I wasn’t gonna sit though.
For a second, both of them were shocked, but they soon covered it up. Then throwing their hands up they said, “She is all yours bro… best of luck.”
My work was done here. Now I had to warn her. But how? I had to talk to her first. I saw her siting on the fourth bench. I headed towards her. Lord help me. I didn’t want to face Piyush’s wrath. But it wasn’t as if I was gonna ask her out? Was I ?
No way in hell.
Just as I was sitting beside her, the teacher shouted, “Get a seat. Mr….”
“Siddarth.” I completed for her. By now, all my friends were staring at me. They probably were wondering what I was doing here, standing near Adi.
Piyush would be throwing daggers at me. I internally cringed at the thought of him lecturing me again about not hurting Adi. Now, I wasn’t hurting her. I was just looking after her. And I myself didn’t know why?
Adi, who was oblivious to the recent happenings, was still bent over the desk. Was she that dumb? I thought as I sat down near her. Piyush was so going to kill me.
As soon as I sat down beside her, her head craned up. I gave her a small smile but those bastards at the last benches, whistled and the whole classed started murmuring. She was frowning still oblivious to the happenings. I gritted my teeth and decided to teach them a lesson practically. Maybe they didn’t understand my words.
I ignored them and looked at her thinking how to warn her. I expected her to tell me to get up. Or tell the teacher that I was disturbing her even though I wasn’t. I was just expecting a reaction out of her. But she did nothing like that. She seemed to be lost in her own thoughts. I was observing her closely knowing well that there would be no next time.
And then the worst happened. A tear came down her cheek. f**k. She was crying. She must be very sad and broken. She wiped her tear and thankfully there were no more tears.
I offered her my handkerchief but she just cocked her brow up. Maybe I shouldn’t have come here. Maybe I should apologise and leave her to herself.
“I am sorry.”, we both said simultaneously. I wondered what was going on today. She asked me to say first. And I used the cheesiest line ever, “Ladies first.”
“I am not a lady for crying out aloud…..”, she said and I smirked amused at her confession. But then, my ever charming smirk got lost somewhere deep in the ocean when she hit my arm playfully. I had to admit, she wasn’t weak. Physically. That is.
She apologised for snapping at me. She freaking apologised. Now I too felt bad seeing as how much I must have hurt her.
I wanted to say sorry. I wanted to help her. Warn her. I wanted to befriend her. There were so much things I wanted to do. So much I wanted to say but above all I wanted to shake her hard to put some sense in her head. I wanted to throttle her for shutting herself out from everyone.