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Eight Years Earlier
Mom was wrong. It had been a week now, but I still couldn’t stop thinking of Kunj. Kunj… Kunj… Kunj. More so when Chinki told me that Kunj was not her boyfriend. “Oh… Twinkle. He is my brother.” Chinki laughed at me. “Your brother?” I asked her again. Checking if I heard her right. Sometimes her New Zealand accent was so hard to understand. Almost all vowels were pronounced as ‘i’. “Yeah. Kunj is my half brother. We have the same mother.”
‘OH!” My heart fluttered – elated, like suddenly a rainbow appeared up in the sky… and the gates of heaven opened and angels flew down singing triumphantly. Yes! Yes! Yes! I was overwhelmed with hope, chance and possibility. I’m falling for Tristan. He’s so beautiful. His eyes, his hair and his lips… I wish he’ll fall for me too.
I started daydreaming. Me and Kunj. Kunj and Me. We were in the park holding hands and sharing an ice cream cone… or we were in the movie house watching ‘The Notebook’ and I was crying. He would say ‘Stop crying my princess, it makes me sadder when you sad.” Then he wiped my tears with his fingers and hugged me so tightly. I imagined Kunj to be so sweet, caring and loving. He would rescue me, protect me and fight for me… Exactly like a knight in shining armor. I really liked him a lot.
After a week,Chinki was really devastated. She failed in our math quiz. “I can’t catch up in our Geometry class… and I’m afraid of our teacher, he’s a terror… huhuhu…” Chinki was crying like a small child. “I’m sure when my grandpa will find out, he’ll have me back in New Zealand immediately.”
“What? He can’t do that.”
“He will.” Chinki pouted her lips. “Just study harder, Chinki. You will do better in our next quiz.” I rubbed her back up and down. But, she cried harder – that everyone in the cafeteria was looking at us.
“Help me Twinkle. I don’t want to go back to New Zealand. My grandma hated me – she’s like Miss Minchin, so strict and scolding me all the time.”
“Really? My grandma is so nice… she’s adorable.”
“Mine is not. Maybe she would be nicer if I was really her granddaughter.”
“OH!” I was confused. But I didn’t want to dig her story about her grandmother… I was not a nosy person and I didn’t even like gossips. “You need a tutor. Don’t worry, I’ll call my mentor if she knows someone who is available.” I clasped her hand. “Stop crying now.” “I can’t.” I was puzzled. “What do you mean you can’t?”
“I don’t want any tutor. They will just scold me for being so slow.”
“Chinki… it’s their job to help you.” She stopped crying now and started wiping her tears. “Twinkle, can I ask you a favor?” My forehead creased. I was not really used in giving favors to my friends, usually it was the other way around. “What is it?”
“Can you teach me Geometry? You topped in our math class and when our teacher asked you to explain the answers, you did it so well that I understood.”
“But we don’t have any time. I have to go home immediately after class.”
“How about tomorrow in our house. It’s Saturday.” Chinki eyed me so eagerly. Her hands were clasped together, like she was begging. My heart lurched. Kunj. Oh gosh. I reaaaalllyyy wanted to go to their house… so badly. So I could see Kunj again. Oh… Kunk. Kunj. Kunj. My brain kept on saying his name. Maybe I could finally meet him.
Credit to: Liba Afaf