my heart beats for nothing
It ends with the rain.
Pouring droplets, beautiful in their ephemeral state of being, cloud their vision; two students trudge up the grimy hill, dirt coating polished Mary Jane shoes, leather fraying at the edges. They are of House Honor, the most valorous house of St. Joseph’s Matriculation Higher Secondary School, though an unbiased view is yet to be ascertained. Maroon collared shirts and white pleated skirts are a murky color, something of a mix of splashing mud from running to catch the bus, the only means of transportation, and the downpour from the monsoon season.
The tallest of the girls, Ashika, stands hesitantly outside the polished ...view middle of the document...
“I am sorry, and I wait to receive my punishment. I am sorry for disrupting the class.”
Professor Palvali approaches her, stern mask. “You are not forgiven. Go to the Headmaster’s office, where your grandmother will be notified of your errors.”
Ashika’s eyes widen, though she makes no move to protest the situation, knowing that saying anything else would only worsen the situation she’s found herself in. She quickly exits, pacing down the hallways, nails chewed to the flesh as anxiety beats upon her heart, a heart that does not beat for anything but consistency. “You may go in,” the secretary drawls.
Another student exits, concern etched onto his face and upon entering, Ashika clenches her fists, standing before the crumbling desk. “You are a scholarship student, Ashika. You cannot afford to make mistakes. I understand that your parents have passed away recently, but that is no excuse for your behavior—and this is not the first time either. Your grandmother has, for lack of better terms, excused you in the past, but your erratic behavior must be dealt with. Two weeks ago, you were late to your Moral Sciences class, and you received an eighty-four percentage upon your placement exams. I cannot stress this enough: you are a scholarship student, and your grades are nowhere near where they need to be.”
“Please, sir, I can fix my grades, I can study harder, I can be who I need to be—”
“I have notified your grandmother and she will come to retrieve you in an hour.”
The headmaster bangs the gavel upon the wooden desk. “Next,” he calls out, and another student opens the door, and she is sent outside into the hallway, and Ashika sees her future circle down the drain.
Take a moment in time—any moment.
It can be a moment that you remember so clearly and precisely because it fills you up with unexplainable emotions, mostly a sense of nostalgia, or a life-changing moment, something that forces you to change your prospect and outlook upon the world—for Ashika Venkatasen, it is of the latter that she faces upon a Monday morning.
The day of the week is of no significance, yet it only adds to her rather depressed state of being—for, she is to be leaving the only home she has ever known to live with relatives in the States, and the whole concept is quite daunting in its reality.
“Make sure you get best grades, don’t do pot, don’t talk to boys except for Arjun—that boy’s too good for you, I don’t know how you even ended up with him, and if you have reformed yourself, strengthened your character, you may return in nine months’ time,” Bapuji reminds. “Now, go take the flight—you’re already late enough as it is.”
"Turn towards the West and do your prayers every morning—no, the other West," Bapugi continues. "And on the plane," Her grandmother pulls out a heavy looking textbook; it's in English, and the task ahead already looks daunting enough. "You can read this instead of wasting your time with that Bollywood nonsense. You will be flying alone but...