CHAPTER 10: Late Night Meetings And A Strange Encoun
There was a spring in her step, as Bondita walked back to her dormitory after the enlightening discussion with Shikshak Babu. He was so inspiring! So much like her own Sakha Babu!
That evening, Mimi and Bondita were approached by David.
“Err… I don’t know how to say this”, he started.
“People usually use their mouths to say something”, Mimi quietly commented.
David’s face flushed red. “Yeah. Right, so, uhh… using my mouth… err, I mean- I need help!”, he finally burst out.
“What kind of help?”, Bondita asked keenly.
“With my… homework”, he replied. “I have no one else to help me with it. So, would it be possible for you to, you know, help me?”.
“Yes, of course! I and Mimi haven’t completed our homework too! So we can do it together”, Bondita said, cheerfully.
David walked away after agreeing to meet them in the library. It was only then, that the fact that Mimi had predicted the same thing in the morning, registered upon Bondita’s mind. She gasped.
“Mimi! How did you know, that David was facing troubles in doing his homework?”, she asked in wonder.
“Did I? Maybe. Don’t know how I knew it. Just knew it. Sixth sense, I guess”, Mimi replied, grinning.
Tik.Tok. Tik. Tok… The ticking of the clock resounded throughout the room. Whoosh. A gentle breeze blew in through the window, lulling the lone occupant of the room, to sleep. Sampoorna sighed in her sleep.
But suddenly, THUD!…
Sampoorna woke up with a start. She flicked her bedroom light on. There was another crash. This one lower in sound, than the other. ‘The sound is coming from the kitchen’, she thought. She stepped out of her bedroom, and followed the source of noise.
On her way, she grabbed a cricket bat and proceeded forward cautiously, without making a sound. As soon as she reached the kitchen, she saw a figure, crouching down near the window.
Without a thought, she raised the bat and brought it down, smacking the figure as hard, as she could.
“Ouch! Damn!”, the man groaned loudly, in pain. Without a second thought, Sampoorna once again raised her bat, ready to smack him once again, when he made a gesture for her to stop, and said, “Wait! I can explain”, he said.
Sampoorna frowned. ‘Why does he sound so familiar?’.
“You can explain? So can I. You broke into my house, just now. You’re lucky my Maa-Baba and Pishi are not home. Or else, you would have been beaten black and blue, by now”, she said.
The man nodded his head and got up, rubbing his shoulder, where she had hit him.
As soon as Sampoorna turned on the light, Saurav Munshi’s scrunched up face came in front of her. She gasped out loud.
“Saurav! What are you doing here?! Oh God! I hit you so badly! Are you ok? First tell me, why on earth were you HERE, at this time of the night?”.
“Relax! Calm down Sampoorna. I’m okay. And as to how I ended up here… That’s quite a story. Well, I thought this was the safest place, because it was nearest, and also, you had told me, that you were home alone today. And thank God for that! Otherwise, the Roy Chowdhury mansion and my home, both are a bit far”, he said sighing.
“Oh. Okay. But what do you mean by safest place? And what exactly were you running away from?”, Sampoorna asked, motioning him to sit down and bringing a glass of water for him.
Saurav seated himself, and took the water gratefully. “You’re a gem, Sampoorna!”, he stated, smiling.
“Yes, well, whatever”, she brushed it away, though she was more than pleased with the compliment.
“So, actually, I was on my way home from work, when I stopped at a restaurant to grab some food. While waiting for my food to arrive, a young woman there, came to me and started chatting randomly!”, he said. I think she was trying to flirt”, he added thoughtfully.
Noticing Sampoorna’s pointed look, Saurav chuckled nervously. “Sampoorna, don’t you trust me? Do you really think that I would approach a random woman?”, he asked.
“Oh! No! Absolutely not! Why would I think that? So, err… What happened next?”, Sampoorna asked laughing awkwardly.
Raising his eyebrows, Saurav continued, “And then, guess what? The woman’s boyfriend came up to me, thinking that I approached his girlfriend! And he was a blo*dy Hercules! Added to that, he had some of his friends with him, who were more than eager to help him, in beating me to a pulp. And then, I just bolted out! I straight away ran from there and came to you. And Sampoorna, I am so sorry that I had to come here this way, breaking in through the window”, Saurav said, smiling sheepishly.
Sampoorna grinned. “It’s okay Saurav. I’m just glad you are fine and I am happy to know that I could help you in some way”.
“By the way, I intended to come to meet you today”, Saurav said.
“Actually I brought flowers for you. But… in all that ruckus, only this was left with me”, he replied, holding out a single blue rose for her. It was badly crushed, though.
“It’s beautiful and I’ll keep it with me, as long as I can”, Sampoorna firmly stated, taking the flower from his hand and delicately placing it on the table.
She was touched by this simple gesture of his. And he was elated to have met someone like Sampoorna who treated a crushed flower like a treasure, just because it came from him.
“So, how are you going to go home, now?”, she asked him, after a long pause.
“Guess, I’ll have to book a cab”, he sighed, taking out his phone.
‘Stupid lazy girl! Mimi called you! The other girls called you! But you just had to sleep! I’m a stupid blo*dy idiot! Help me Dugga Maa!’, Bondita mentally berated herself, as she ran through the corridors, trying to reach the class on time.
Had she not taken a short nap after breakfast, she wouldn’t have gotten so late.
She checked the time. Relief washed through her. She still had ten minutes. She could easily reach on time.
‘Maa always woke me up effortlessly with such ease!’, she thought to herself.
I just HAD to be late. And even if I was late, why did it just HAVE to be Bose Sir’s class now? It could have been Miss Ghosh’s class. She wouldn’t say anything. But no! It just had to—
Bondita, along with her bag, clattered to the ground. For a moment, she sat there, too stunned to move. She could have sworn, she felt someone push her.
“Watch where you’re going”, said a spiteful voice.
“I’m sorry”, Bondita mumbled.
She got up, to find a tall, thin-faced boy. He was a senior. She remembered his name to be something like Debjit Dutta.
“Don’t let that happen again”, he warned, a certain coldness in his tone. Bondita looked up to find him looking at her up and down, in a way that creeped her out.
“You are Bondita Das, aren’t you?”, he finally asked.
She looked up defiantly and replied, “Yes. I am Bondita Das. Why?”
“Nothing Bondita. Just asking. And for your information, I am Debjit Ashish Dutta”, he said, emphasising on his middle name.
Bondita looked at him, confused, but shrugged and simply said, “Ok” and continued on her way to class.
But, even though she was getting late, she couldn’t help standing for a while and contemplate over the incident for a while.
Why was that boy behaving with her so snidely? Why was he giving her those derogatory looks? Why was he emphasising on his middle name?
As a result, she was late to class. Bondita took a deep breath and pushed open the door. Immediately, she sought out the teacher, Mr. Bose and fervently apologized to him for being late.
But true to his uncompromising; bitter nature, he ignored her apologies, and bluntly asked her, “What’s the reason that compelled you to be late to class, Miss Das?”.
“Err… Sir, actually, I fell down and got a slight ankle sprain”, she replied. It was somewhat close to the truth anyway.
“Page 249, all questions. Answers must be submitted by tomorrow”, he said, and turned away gesturing her to come in.
Bondita faked a slight limp in her steps and entered the classroom.
“But sir, that page has almost 20 questions and all are long answer type questions! And sir, I am really sorry. And it’s not any excuse, sir. I really did fall down and it’s my ankle sprain. I got it a few days ago, and now once again”, she pleaded.
“Your ankle injury doesn’t excuse you for being late to class. I do. And I do not wish to excuse you. And I am well aware of the work that I am assigning. It must be submitted within tomorrow. Take your seat”, he said and gave her a look that said, ‘don’t you dare utter another word, and argue with me, now’.
Bondita sulkily walked to her seat beside Mimi and David and sat quietly.
A/N: Read and Review please.
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