I made a new friend in eighth grade and this girl talked even less than me. We sat next to each other, and barely said more than ten lines to each other throughout the day. Girls picked on me frequently, for I was frumpy and didn’t like going to parties. I was nerdy, ugly, and it was a common practice to treat book lovers and nerds worse than outcastes. People took pride in the fact that they hadn’t heard of any authors, and that they were incapable of reading a 200 page novella.
My marks were getting better: I was getting the fourth or fifth position in my class consistently. It was then that I realised that I didn’t like my one and only friend anymore. Actually, this happened to me more than four or five times: it was a recurring phenomenon. I would make a friend, become close, and then suddenly wake up one morning feeling an intense dislike towards her. It was intensified by the fact that there was a girl in school whom I knew from before. We had been learning how to dance Odissi (a cultural dance form of Orissa, a state in eastern India) together. She was snob, and took great pride in the fact that she studied in this great premier institution. Her pride was crushed when I, a commoner by her terms, gained admission here, and actually outperformed her. She was publicly derogatory towards me, and the bitterness inside me simply grew.
I was hopeless in judging people’s character, and managed to trust the wrong people, and suffered a lot because of the rumours they wove around for me. I took the wrong type of people under my wings, and they used me till I bled dry and later discarded me like a piece of used tissue paper.
I was broken, crushed and mistrusting, and it was then that I met Maya.