It was only when Manish, the class representative, scolded the junta I noticed that I missed a really great joke. I hardly gave a damn about jokes these days now that adolescence has taken its toll at me. I was suddenly very interested in beautiful girls. And from last one month since the oral quiz competition we contested and won for our Sapphire house I was more attracted towards Smruti. She was a total Miss Universe material with her little overweight figure and prominent features of an adolescent lady. But the one thing that truly bounced me off was her shoulder length hair, which I imagine she only opened when I was looking at her. She knew that open hair of a female is my greatest turn on. This has become my daily routine to spend the entire lunch break strolling in and out of our classroom and standing in the corridor staring Smruti who used to stay inside the classroom with her friends. I never could understand why girls spent the entire breaks inside the classrooms. May be they were avoiding the wild creatures called boys who were always socializing in the corridors or on the playgrounds. I was fixedly staring Smruti and the spiral locks of her black brown hair, when she suddenly caught me looking at her. I quickly managed to come to my senses and then when I was trying to distract myself I heard Manish telling the others to stay calm. After a split second when I felt that she might not be looking in my direction anymore I raised my head and tried to find her. This time when I separated her amidst the other beautiful faces I found her looking at me. At first I thought I should look away but my muscles refused to do so as my heart controlled all my muscles and even though my brain thought differently I was looking at her more intently. We were in this trance for 2-3 minutes when she smiled and finally decided to look away. I too removed my eyes off her only to find Sam looking at me menacingly. He is surely a bastard and he might have accurately guessed what was going on moments ago. I can be sure of this after what happened 3 days later.
It was a Tuesday. The local newspaper predicted a clear winter sky. I was quite unsure whether I should go to the school or not since our half-yearly exams were to commence the very next day. I decided to catch the school bus since I was moderately prepared for the exams and I was not interested in outperforming others. The strength of the class was very low the reason being obvious. Those who attended the school among boys were the ones who were adhering to the plan of enjoying the year. Our class teacher thought it is wastage of time to teach such a less number and decided to give us a free period. Later the free period turned out to be a free day when other teachers decided the same. Since we were not having any classes and none of the crowd present was interested in studying for the next day’s exam, we zeroed down to playing the game of truth and dare. The game is fairly simple. The players sit around and have to choose whether they will answer a question truthfully or do a daring act as their turn comes. The rest of the players decide the question to be answered or the act to be performed. We were 6 people in the room, although the strength was more but others decided not to have fun in the classroom when there were playgrounds in the school. The group consisted of me, Manish, Sam, PK, Soni and Smruti. We started playing and were having a great time when my turn came. I chose to perform a daring act since I knew the question to be answered will be a twisted version asking you to name your latest love interest. Sam decided the act for me and explained that I have to stand on the dais of the room and announce the name of the girl I loved. I simply refused to do that since she was one of the players. I did not want to embarrass her. But Sam was a bastard and he was aware of the truth. Then he said that he could exempt me of the embarrassment of telling the truth in front of the girls and instead just share it with the boys, to which both the girls refused. Even I was not ready for that. I told him it could be anything but this. However he seemed to be determined of hearing the name from me so that he finally said, “OK daa, Tell her name in my ears and I wont tell it to anyone”. All the others refused to it but I gave up and agreed to this not so dangerous request. I went close to his ears and whispered, “Her name is Smruti.”
Just in the next moment the bastard shouted on top of his voice, “What are you saying daa, its Smruti?”
I was so embarrassed but could still manage to catch a glimpse of Smruti who was surely not very happy of what happened. Others took it in turns to look at Smruti and then me. I looked at Sam who was apparently so pleased of making a proposal on my behalf that he never really understood why I paid him back in mild bruises and body pain.