I was fourteen and at the top of the world and then, my mom decided to go back to India. I didn’t see the point then, when she announced that. I had two more years, after which, I’d be in college! And this decision did change my life, and the life of a couple of others, as expected.
The first day at school was… weird. They’d expected me, it seemed. “You’re Nessie, right?” Nessie, already! “We’ve been waiting for you. Welcome to India.” I was shocked and surprised and embarrassed at their over-friendliness. It was the last thing I’d wanted: to be the centre of their attraction. As I’d entered, every eye turned to look at me-that was fine, expected, but then, they’d started staring at me. I smiled at them, in general direction-towards the walls and the corners and then looked down and made my way to the last bench. Some of them chuckled. The girl I sat next to gave me a warm smile and I suddenly felt at home.
I’d never believed in fairytales: all that crap about how, in the end, somehow, everything is just wonderful! My dad, the night before he slept in heavenly peace, had told me that I was his princess and he’d watch over me-nothing would come in my way! I’d believed in him till two months after I’d turned fourteen. Till she walked into the class and the boys went, “Oooh”. And as if to its response, she smiled-very sweetly, so, and looked down and sat next to Anne. The guys and the girls were staring at her. I’d hated her-I was sure she was the demon sent from hell-sent to break the promise my guardian angel had made!
I’d asked Jay what he thought of her. He’d replied, ‘She’s hot, man! Every guy in the class- every guy-juniors, seniors and even certain teachers, included, want to be hers- and could do whatever for that!’ I felt sick at the pit of my stomach, when I heard that one. “And me?” I asked. He replied, to that: “You? You are our baby. The baby of every teacher. We all love you, and adore you. You are everyone’s baby sister” Oh, wow!
Every guy wanted to be hers and every guy wanted her as their sister. I’d seen how Keah had spread rumors about Nessie. Poor soul, she was new to the society, and she’s human. She’d confided in me how very sad she was-how shocked she was-that her life had given her everything she’d wanted, and more, with the price of dignity! And Ness had never done anything wrong. She’d treated us all, even though she held the second highest position at the students’ council, a position Keah had fought for, she’d been good to all. And we all knew she was doing well, better than Keah herself, who would have imposed duties on us all, while she chattered away. They’d all tolerated her; she was the one without a dad, whom she loved so dearly. But rumors of this magnitude? I don’t know why the tolerate her! Even now!
And then, as the years passed, Ness never dreamt wrong about her. And now, they are in the same college, the same class. Keah never stopped plotting against her, throughout school years. And now, when, when I went to Nessie’s house, I see Keah with her. All the time.
I wonder what happened to Keah. Had she lost her might? Or had she flipped over to the better side. Or was that just a peace before a storm?
I do not know. And I wouldn’t know until it’s happened. I do wish Keah has really changed. And I wish Ness the best of her luck! God protect her, and her innocence.