God. I am so nervous. Really. Like, I have never been this nervous before in my life.
Control yourself, Pia. This can't be that bad. She took a deep breath as she neared the gates, desperately trying to calm herself down. First day in college is a big deal. And it's an even bigger deal if you are far away from the people you know, all alone, hoping it would turn out well, excited to meet new people, make new friends, but at the same time, fearing what might come, and if you are ready for it.
She shook her head. Her mind was jumbled with thoughts. Am I gonna gel in? Are people gonna accept me? Will I make any new friends? What if I don't? What if people bully me? What if they treat me badly?
She inhaled sharply in frustration. There she goes, again. So much for optimism?
First things first, she needs to get in, and register herself in the principal's office.
She opened the gates and took a step inside. She was frozen by the view. A rusted old fence cornering a large field, a concrete old and stable building, a proud display banner - 'Welcome to Mount College'.
Tears sprang up in her eyes. How this all felt like a dream. Who had thought that she would be able to achieve all this on her own? A scholarship in such a valuable college. It really felt like a dream. She blinked her tears back and walked inside.
She looked at the crowd of students around her. So many boys and girls her age chatting and roaming about, exchanging notes, making plans, flirting around. She smiled. Soon enough, she'd be a part of it. She'd forget her old life, she'd forget what had happened to her, and she'd be a part of this happy normal crowd.
She took the stairs two at a time, and took a left, as she had read in the map. She took another right, and there she was, standing in front of the head teacher's office.
She knocked, but the door was already open, and it made a creak as loud as a gunshot.
His head jerked up and he turned around. And she momentarily froze. His icy blue eyes met her gaze, and they seemed to hold her at that moment, making her forget everything around her. His eyebrows were knitted together in annoyance, and his mouth was set into a frown. And his eyes ' they looked dead.
He nodded politely, and she snapped out of it.
''Yes?'' The principal asked.
''I am sorry, did I-?'' She glanced sideways at him and bit her lip, ''Did I disturb you two?''
''Oh, no. No, it's okay.'' He smiled. ''I am Mr. Saxena, the principal of this college. And you are?''
''Pia. Pia Jaiswal.'' She said, her eyes time and again moving towards the guy standing to her right.
''The scholarship kid?'' He read through a file, closed it and smiled warmly at her. ''Welcome to Mount College.''
''Thank you, sir.'' She nodded politely. ''Sir, can you do me a favour and tell me where the hostel is? I have had a really long journey, and I think I need some rest.''
''Oh, sure. And you can start the college from tomorrow, that's no problem.'' Mr. Saxena walked up to the window, and pointed somewhere beyond the fence to the east side. ''You see, behind that fence, there is this short path that will take you to the hostel. It's a five minute walk through the jungle. That is, if you want to take the other way, but it will take-''
''No, sir. The jungle just works fine for me, thank you.'' She smiled and took a leave. Before leaving, though, she stopped and looked at him. He was looking at her with a rather unsettling sight, his expression half curious, half pleased, and half afraid. She looked away, nodded her thanks to the principal and walked out of the room.
''Misha, am I your personal driver or something?'' Mr. Dobriyal complained as he straightened his suit in the mirror. ''I have a very important meeting, and I have to keep all of them waiting just because-''
''Because you have to drop your pyaari si innocent daughter to her college, dad.'' Misha complained. ''Who is more important to you? Your colleagues or me?''
Arnab opens his mouth to speak, but Misha cuts him short.
''Oh, don't bother answering, dad. I know you'd pick your colleagues. Birdie ke liye toh red carpet bichaate hain. Mere saath aise treat karte hain jaise mujhe kisi dustbin se uthaake laaye hain.'' She snorted.
''Arre, Misha, aisa kuch nahi hai.'' Arnab sighed. ''Vaise, I was supposed to be angry with you, wasn't I? I mean, last night-''
''It was a party, dad.'' Misha said for the umpteenth time. ''We are humans, we had a party, party had alcohol, and we got drunk. It's only natural.'' She said, trying to convince him.
''And what about the not-so-pleasant hangovers?'' He smirked. ''Trust me, Misha. Been there, done that.''
''Really, dad?'' Misha turned around to face him. ''You got drunk? And then, what naughty stuff did ya do with mum, hmm?''
''Misha, you are too much.'' Arnab rolled his eyes and grunted.
''I am, ain't I?" Misha grinned. ''Anyway, papa, I don't want to go to this Mount-whatever college. Please, papa.''
''Why not?'' Arnab looked at her. ''It's the best college in Dehradun.''
''And that's the problem.'' Misha snapped. ''The best college means the worst studies. And the worst studies means-''
Arnab grinned crookedly, and she punched him in the elbow. ''You can't do this to me, dad. I'm telling you, agar aapne mujhe is college mein daala, toh kahin books ke neeche dabi hui aapko meri dead body milegi!''
''Misha, it's not that bad. Trust me. Even I have graduated from this college. You'll make a lot of new friends.''
''Friends? Please. Oh, mera makeup kaisa lag raha hai. I just brought the Gucci bag. You know these shoes, these are designers. Blah blah blah.'' She imitated a girlish voice and whined. ''I'll suffocate.''
''Oh, you know that's not true.'' Arnab added. ''You have your friend there. What's her name? Yeah, Ruhi.''
''Exactly, dad. My one and only friend in the college is a bimbo. Nahiii.'' She rolled her eyes dramatically.
''That's it, Misha. You are attending this college. No ifs, no buts. Agar aisa hi chalta raha, toh you won't say yes to any of the colleges in this country.''
''Fine.'' She grumbled. 'We will do it your way. But on one condition.''
''Stop the car.''
''What?'' His dad pulled the brakes. She opened the door.
''Where are you going, Misha?'' He called out loudly, she turned around and grinned.
''I want to walk on my own from here, dad.''
She raised her hand. ''That's my condition. I don't want to ruin my chances of making any un-bimbo-ish friends by becoming a daddy's princess who lets her daddy drop her to college on her very first day.'' She shrugged.
Arnab rolled his eyes and settled back. ''Fine. I'm late for the meeting, anyway. But, are you sure you will manage? You have still got a good 20 minutes' walk.''
''I know. And chill. Walking is a good exercise. I will lose some weight unlike that moti sister of mine.'' She laughed.
''No jokes about Panchi.'' Arnab mock-frowned and hit the keys. ''Okay, beta. See you tonight.''
''Bye, dad.'' She smiled and waved him off.
When he left, she kicked a stone and started walking.
''I want to walk alone. I want to walk alone. Completely stupid - that's what I am.'' She walked straight, talking to herself. ''Mera ye muh kabhi kabhi 1000 miles per second ki speed se chalta hai. Jo bolna nahi hota, vo bhi bol deta hai. Ab go ahead, walk alone.'' She reached the end of the road, and looked at the road stretching on two different ways - left and right. ''Mount college kis taraf padta hai?'' She scratched her head.
Topic started by Akankshaa.
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