Thursday arrived, the day , which I have been praying and wishing not to come. It is the day of parents meeting.

” Maa, Are you ready? ”. I shouted at her.

…yup….. will be there in a minute . she said .

In a minute she did come out from her room.

Then she asked me, how long will it take ?.

” I don know,… do you need to go somewhere else ? ”. I asked her.

yeah I got meeting . she replied.

what meeting ? . I asked her back.

nothing its just our Self-help groups . she said.

okay aunty Neelam will be there too , if it finished fast then you two can come together nah! . I said to her. she agreed.

Then we head to school.

At school , I am waiting for my turned to arrived with my mother near me. Our principal have taken the meeting in his chamber. So only five students are allowed at once to enter his chamber.

Already one meeting had done, it was the toppers session, so this includes Biraj, Shadna, Nimrita and other two guys. Second meeting is going on.

Next is ours. In my group there will be Armann, Mohit, Shruti, Pijush and me. We all are waiting for our turned to arrived.

Exactly after 30 minutes, our time arrived.

Armann enter first with his mother, then Shruti, Pijush , the other guy and I enter at last.

Principal was sitting on his chair, waiting for the next session. He told our parents to take a seat.

Firstly he greed our parents with gesture words and then….. he begins, I have hold this meeting just to let you know that, your sons and daughters marks are very poor, if this attitude goes on then… I afraid to tell you that, they will not clear the board exams .

Our parents are silent . I guess they are disappointed by the principals announcement.

By pointing at Armann, the Principal says again , you, Armann your unit test marks are very poor. Mrs. wary I sorry to tell you but your sons behavior towards his studies are degrading. His focus seems loose nowadays. Please check on him .

Then next is Shrutis, he remarked about her marks and remind her that she was good in her studies before but now, she going down,

Principal was right, actually Shruti was really good in her studies. She used to be in the top 10 in our class but now she is in average position. After her, its Pijush turn and then the other guy.

At last, my turned arrived, Lily principal said.

My night mare begins,

” Lilys mother I am really sorry to asked you this but , Do you know that your daughter drinks alcohol ? ”.

My ears burnt infact my whole body burnt. I looked at my mother and she is not looking at me. Indeed she was looking down. I feel so much guilty that my mother had to face such a dreadful questions.

Then he speak again,

I am sorry to tell you but I saw your daughter with her some guy in the last April near the wine shop. when I saw her then, I was dumbstruck . I couldn believed that she is my student .

My mother has still no reaction.

” Please , Mrs. narzary do check on her, guide her and tell her she is not in the right path . My eyes are blinking red , trying to contain myself, I am constantly looking at my mother . She looked at me only once.

When our principal first gave me that spoiled girl tag , I didn took it seriously. I thought , as long as I know my character and the truth it doesn matter to me and perhaps Principal will believe his own assumption no matter what I tell him. He talks about marks to the other students but in my case he didn even say a word about marks. This time he crossed all the limits. He hurt me by hurting my mother, he question her upbringing and this is something I can stand. It occur to me that he have only planned this meeting to humiliate me. I am burning inside and I can bear any longer.

Sir ….. I speak, but within a second my mother interrupted , Ofcoz sir, I will check on her .

I looked at her in disbelief and she glance at me for a second.

I was so grieved in my thoughts, I didn realised Armann, Shruti, Pijush and the other guy were looking at me . Now they knows the truth and my reputation is gone.

After the meeting , mother left , without saying a word . I stayed back, bcoz classes will resume again after interval .

All students are sitting and waiting in the classroom including me , its 10 minutes more to be a break.

Riya and Shruti are consoling me . I have told them the whole story and they were angry at principal too. Though I was not crying , sadness can be seen from my face. I was silent, my mood was off. Thats why they were more concerned .

Riya said to me, ” will you say something ”.

Shruti said too , don think about others, we know the truth, so don pressure yourself .

After listening to Shruti and Riya for 5 minutes , I speak, ” Stop guys, I am okay. I am just concerned about my mother ”.

Shruti said , ” She will understand too ”.

Our class starts back. After 2 class, we got lunch break. As usual Riya, Shruti and I went to canteen to have something. At the canteen I sense around that students especially from our class looking at me probably gossiping about me. It must not affect me, I remind myself.

As I begin to eat, Armann came sit with us, ” hey girls ” . he said. Riya and Shruti replied with Hi .

I ignored him. They start talking to each other. I just focus on my food. Suddenly Riya and Shruti went to the counter to order coffee. Armann said , ” Are you ignoring me or you
e really sad because of the principals remarked ? ”.

I still didn care to answer him. He is staring at me , waiting for me to say something. Then he said again, ” don worry Lizz, everybody will believed the truth ”.

Now my mind strike. How does he know the truth?. I looked up at him dropping my spoon.

” So, how did you know the truth? ”. I spit. He looked at me confusingly.

” Hmm… from Biraj ”. he said. I narrowed my eyebrows.

” When Pijush joke…. he paused , I mean when he told Biraj about the whole incident, Biraj told us the truth ”.

what truth? . I asked

that, you were with your brother during that April . He replied. I sighed , ” oh ”. Meantime Riya and Shruti came back . Shruti gave me a cold coffee. she said, ” here, its my tip for you, feel relaxed ”. I smile.

Armann said , and for me girls? .

Riya said , come on boy, infact you should treat us . Armann asked the reason

Shruti replied after long breathe, ” Because You are a boy ”. Riya and Shruti laughed. Armann frown and I just smile and look away, then there I saw him sitting, talking and laughing with his friends at the last table. My mind begin to question , the other day he was angry with me and today he defended me, what does he want to be, a friend or a enemy ?. I am totally confused by his behaviour. Biraj glance at my site, then I looked away immediately. Oh my god, I was staring at him, Please Lizz come to your sense , I said to myself.

As usual class started and got over.

On the way to home, walking and thinking what would my mother say, Somebody pulled my hand towards the side of the road and said , ” Lizz ”. There again, Mr. Biraj. I was so grieved with my thoughts and didn even realized that I was walking in the middle of the road. A car horn was banging which did not reached my ears.

He was standing behind me and holding one hand on my arm and the other left hand on my shoulder . I feel his broad chest behind my back. We wait for a car to passed. I step up and he let go of me.

I said , ” thanks ”.

Biraj just sighed in a low voice , ” yeah ”. We start walking together.

He said , ” so, ready for the excursion? ”.

I sighed , ” huh? ”. then he repeat again, ready for excursion? .

” yeah ”. I said. He nodded with half smile.

what time is the train at? I asked.

At 6 0clock . He replied

”Okay ” . I said.

Then I asked him another question , then at what time we will leave from here to catch up the train .

He said , Auh! we are supposed to decide that tommorow.

I said , ” Okay ”.

” I think , 4:30 will be the appropriate time ”. I spit again. He confusingly smile and said, ” okay, Lizz well decide that tommorow ”. I smile vaguely.

I scolded myself, shut up Lizz you are asking too much question. Damm… its really awkward to even walk with him and its getting even more awkward due to my nervousness.

” How are you Lizz? ”. He asked gently. I am surprised by his question.

” never been better ” I said with smile. He smiled too.

I stare at his smile. Though his face has change , he still has that smile which makes his eyes smaller .

Don worry, Lizz everybody will know the truth . He said

how , by telling each and everyone that I was with my brother ”. I asked . He seems confused.

” Earlier Armann told me, how you had defended me ”. I said to him

He defended himself, I was telling the truth .

I replied , ” I know, and thank you …..plus you don have to do that , I don care what people thinks of me ”.

I am focusing on road, but I can from the corner of my eye he was looking at me.

He said , Bye, Lizz . I looked up and see we have reached his house. I said , bye too. He went inside .

” Uffff….. sometimes its awkward, sometimes its friendly . We really are tangled up in complexity of situation ”.

I reached home. Mother was doing her household work.

Don know what to say , I asked her, what did you make for the lunch, mother?. Because I usually eat my lunch after school.

She replied , ” Rice and chicken curry ”.

I stomach always gets lured by chicken curry or any other meat curry. But this time, My focussed was on my mother, She doesn seem crossed, her mood seems normal. She didn even asked me any questions, but then I guess she knows the truth . Brother must have told her.

Thank God , Now I am relaxed.

Trying to undress my uniform , My mind swipe right into the moment where he pulled me. I scold myself, how can I not hear the horn, and how did he get managed to pulled me. Was he walking behind me? or he saw me from far away and came to save me. God This questions gonna kill me.

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