COMING OF AGE – VIII

“Tanya, get up, you will be late for your college,” shouted her mom. Startled, she woke up and jumped out of bed. She couldn’t afford to miss her college today. She had to solve the mystery at any cost. She had to work her for her exams also. There was so much to be done.

Hurriedly, Tanya had a quick shower and got ready. Her parents were waiting for her at the breakfast table. “I need to rush,” screamed Tanya, trying to put her sandals while grabbing her backpack.

“Calm down, eat something and your dad will drop you.” Tanya’s mom said.

“No mom, you don’t understand”, cried Tanya.

“Yes I do”, said her mom. She made a parantha roll and handed it to Tanya with a paper napkin. “You can’t handle challenges with an empty stomach!”

Tanya looked at her mom, who was smiling at her.

“Now hurry up, let’s go”, her dad shouted.

Tanya ran towards the car, looked back at her mom and said, “I love you mom”.  She was thinking that no matter what, a mom is always there for you.

The car reached the college on time. Tanya thanked her dad and went inside the college with the burden of the commotion going inside her. She looked for Aditi at their usual meeting spot, but probably she was late today. She didn’t bother to give her a call to check. She decided to go and sit in her classroom instead. She had reached 10 minutes earlier than the usual time. The room was empty and looked haunted. She was scared, but stepped inside. Just then she heard an announcement that the lecture which was about to start in 5 minutes has been postponed for the next class. So, there won’t be any class today. Tired Tanya cursed herself for hurrying upto the college so that she couldn’t miss this lecture. She turned back to the corridor, but stopped before moving.

“It can’t be there so early.” She said to herself, thinking about the envelope. She decided to check once before leaving the classroom, making sure that no one was there watching her.  Slowly, she stepped towards the last bench and her heart skipped a beat. It was there!

Baffled, she instantly grabbed it and kept it in her backpack. Pretending to adjust the books, she opened the letter, without taking it out.

The library would be a better place!

Tanya agreed to the statement. If her secret admirer was right, if he really cared about her, he would not want her to be in any trouble. But, what if Aditi was correct…

Thinking about the jeopardy, she decided to take the stairs towards the library.

She checked for the pepper spray can inside her backpack. It was there. She didn’t want to take a chance at any cost. Her neurons were completely freaking her out, yet she was determined to go to the library. She stood outside, making sure it wasn’t vacant.  Yes! The librarian was there, with a couple of other students. She went inside and bumped into Rishi.

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

“Oh! Hi topper”, he said in a teasing voice.

“Huh! Whatever”, she replied.

“So, all set to beat me in these exams?” Rishi asked.

“Yeah, but I don’t have a weapon like you” Tanya replied amusingly.

“WEAPON!”  Rishi exclaimed.

“Oh, don’t act innocent. Aditi has told me everything what you guys are planning against me.” Tanya said.

“I am not getting you. What are you talking about? Which weapon? I haven’t even seen or met  Aditi, other than with you the other day. It’s true that I want to top, but I can never think of using any weapon or any unfair means.” Rishi tried to explain.

“Listen, I am least interested in your weapons and all. I am busy right now.  Do whatever you can. I am not scared.” Tanya said irritatingly as she was thinking about the envelope guy.

“That’s what I like about you- your confidence. Hope God keeps you away from all the devils around you.” Rishi said and left the library.

Tanya stood there, thinking about what Rishi had just said…

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