"His" name was Jamal Hardi. He was possibly everything I thought he'd have to be. He was innocent. Like a little boy. And she had already grown up from a little girl to a woman. I understood now, why she stayed with him after he hurt her, mainly because he couldn't have hurt her knowingly. I had heard the excuse before,
"She was a slut who forced him with blackmail." I never believed it, till I met him. Any woman could have this sweet and child-like little boy running in circles and taking cover under his blanket.
But there was a strange chemistry between them, their eyes had only each other, her hands never let go. He'd play lovingly with her hair and she's nuzzle up to his chest. It was like their entire world only consisted of the two of them. If a meteor shower occurred that very moment, they really wouldn’t care less. All that was needed was a heart around them and some flowers and you had a perfect little Valentine’s Day bouquet.
I watched them, and slowly realization dawned. I did not belong here. So I left with Mary, chatting away about absolutely nothing, got in a cab, and scanned my math paper. Flipping it around to put in my bag, I noticed something. There was a back page. A back page of sums. A back page of sums I did not know existed till then. So I hadn't even attempted them.
Panicking, I counted the marks in the brackets. 17...I had just thrown off 17 marks in a paper I can barely pass... It was like someone had hit the panic button.
"Madam..." The taxi driver was muttering, "Umm...madam...tum teek hai na?" he spoke in Hindi, asking me if I was alright.
"I couldn’t bother to answer him, I was too busy banging my head on the door, the rage the anger the pain building up against my own stupidity.
I burst into my room, and lay sobbing on my bed. How could I tell my mother that I was going to fail? That she finally had a daughter who actually failed in her family? That I had once again disappointed her. I couldn't bear to see her make that face, that face of shame and disgust. No, I didn't want to, and if not today, then tomorrow, she'd find out either way, but I couldn't see it, never, never again.
At this point, I felt numb. Nothing was worth it anymore. I decided to do it, before I lost the will to move anymore.
I slung my school belt over the fan, tied it tight. If I had a knife, I would have stabbed myself there and then, but I didn't, so I had to use the tools I had.
Standing up on the bed, I slowly lifted myself up to my tip toes, and pushed my head threw the loop I'd made. Tightening the knot, I looked down. Just a little fall, that’s all it took. I stumbled. But held back. "Knock knock"
Someone was knocking at the door. S%^t. There was one thing worse than seeing my mother’s face, it was her seeing my face at this moment. Pulling the belt loose, and slinging it off the fan, I slipped forward, and fell flat on my head. Nursing my bruise, I opened the bedroom door. It was my cook.
"Mummies on the phone." She said, handing me the cordless, "Vo tumse baath karna chahiye (She wants to speek to you.)"
"Hi sweaty!" Her voice rang true threw the phone. "How was your paper?"
"I missed 17 marks." I muttered out before anything else. Then spontaneously, like a timer had gone off, the tears began, and the sobs. There was dead silence on the other end, then a loud sigh.
"I see...so, not so well?" She asked.
"No..." I chocked out.
"Well...how did you mange that now?" She sounded almost bored.
"I...I didn't finish. I left it out...I couldn’t finish." That’s all I could say.
“After the choices…you still left 17 marks?”
“Choices?…” I asked.
“Xara, dear…read your paper. There are two sections…right? In one you choose your questions, out of five or six.” She sounded irritated.
I began scanning my paper, looking for that ray of hope. Sure enough on the second half of the paper, the half I didn’t complete-
“Section B- Choose 4 from the following 6 questions”
“Wait,” I could barely believe what I was reading, “I did four and a half questions…that means…I did extra?!”
My mom sighed, “Really, don’t you read your paper Xara? There’s food in the microwave, heat it up, I'll be back in a few hours, Ok?"
I was baffled. I could barely speak. I sat, reading the paper over and over again, in disbelief.
"And study!" She added. The phone went dead, I plopped it on the bed and sat. There was nothing left to say. Nothing to do. I hung my belt on the bedroom door, and proceeded to my bag to remove my little diary and write. I liked to write, stories of other places, of lives I wished I had or that which other people had, it was...comforting. So I wrote. I was bad at it, but it was more of a release than anything else. So I just continued.