Shadow – a short story

Breeze. The recent downpour meant that no one wanted to miss out on the sports period. Guys were quick to leap out of the class as soon as the bell rang, the run from classroom to ground looked more like a prison escape. The girls went later, few were excited, few just wished to go out, classrooms are no less than 6-7 hours of jail. She didn’t want to, she was new, friendless. The sports teacher frowned at that idea, “I want the class empty, you are going out right now!” he pointed to the door speaking harshly with his army accent, everyone said that he was in Army before he had to quit and become a sports teacher, but whatever army gave him, remained embedded, the desire for discipline never faded. Not even the most daring guys would have argued infront of his 6″ built. She looked pale and weak, sadness came tattooed on her face it seemed.

She walked out, greeted by sun. It was rainy, but still summer. Aanchal looked at the sun with squinted eyes, covering them with her thin hands. She had no plans to join the girls playing volleyball. She thanked the heavens she took her pack of tissues along to deal with the severe cold recent weather change had gifted her. She looked for a place to spend those next 40 minutes, which she knew will seem like 40 hours. Shade. She found an old banyan tree, 2-3 broken benches were dumped in the vicinity. She took out her handkerchief and wiped off the dust from a portion large enough to accommodate her from one of those benches.

She sat, thinking about how life was so good at her last school, friends, teachers who knew her, even the uniform. She was surprised by the pat on her back “Hey!” that voice said sweetly. She turned around, and saw her smiling, she had never seen her, probably from a different class. “I am Shreya, would you mind if I sit here?”  She pointed to half of the bench still unoccupied. Shreya seemed friendly, two ponytails, a smile that could make guys crazy. She took out her kerchief and cleaned the other side of bench.

She felt she finally had a friend, it was her first proper interaction at this school, Shreya was chirpy, she felt comfortable with her. ” I am a very old student, this used to be my bench” Shreya gestured as if she wants to hug that bench. She looked like from a different world, like an angel. Angel, probably because Shreya came at a time when she was into gloom. Magic. She never imagined herself being so cheerful 10 minutes before. She continued hearing Shreya telling her about the school while She herself compared that old school with the current one, which was according to her, torturous. She noticed the only flaw to Shreya’s near-perfect appearance, a dark ‘V’ mark all over the width of her neck.

Ritu served the ball too wide and there, it went towards the woods. Samiksha had noticed the girl sitting alone, as soon as she had come. She knew how it is to be alone, her cousins had taught her that by ignoring her at almost every family function. She asked Ritu to get her along, while she was running to fetch the ball.

Shreya sneezed, ” Weather change to blame” Aanchal thought. She passed some tissue to Shreya.

Ritu picked up the ball and went towards her direction. Aanchal didn’t notice her coming, she was busy talking to her new found friend. Ritu changed her mind, and ran back with a face dripping fear.

Her pale face was enough to make Samiksha worry. “Why you look so frightened!?” She enquired.

“I saw a tissue hanging in air infront of that girl and she was laughing out lou..” She gasped for breath.

The tissue was still flying.

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