MBA. New college. New Friends. Postgraduates are far mature and open. There's no silly competition. No cat fights. It was perfect for Rhea to start over.
Orientation day was alright. There were speeches by the professors. Rhea met a few people with a slight smile.
She noticed she was not the shy, happy, chirpy Rhea anymore. She was stronger, composed and quiet. More observant, less reactive.
Daily lectures were supposed to start from next day. Each student was handed a map and pamphlet containing everyday rules.
1. Formals to be wore from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays smart casual wear is expected.
2. Lectures will start from 9'o clock. 70% attendance is compulsory.
3. Participation in events is compulsory since it adds to your final credit. (Rhea sighed)
She walked towards her car, got in, broke down in the car. This time there was a mix of happy and sad tears.
Next day she was up at 7. She got ready and was in the lecture room by 8:30. There were about 4 to 5 students in the room. She entered and sat alone in a far corner. The room started filling up slowly. People who knew each other sat together. There was a chatter in the room that made her drowsy. Someone cleared their throat on a mic. She straightened.
"Settle down everyone", a middle-aged man said. He introduced himself as the Economics professor. He said, "I'll try to make the world's most boring subject a little entertaining", everyone laughed. Everyone introduced themselves. Rhea was not nervous this time. An hour flew by. The whole flew by. She met a few people but was distant. She had lunch in the ladies' washroom. She reached home and fell asleep.
There was a constant bang, bang, bang sound. She was running. He was hitting the walls with a hammer. He was walking after her. She kept running but he easily caught up with her. It got louder. BANG, BANG! BANG, BANG!
She woke up with a start. She looked around and made sure she was alone in the room. Her phone was ringing Ting, Ting! Ting, Ting!.
There were constant messages being received. She unlocked her phone. She had been added in a WhatsApp group by one of her classmates. Each student in her class was there. Everyone was chatting. Rhea muted the group.
It was dark outside. She started reading a book and didn't realize when she fell asleep.
She heard a knock on the main door. It was midnight. She took a knife in her hand and went to open the door.
She saw through the peep hole and saw Karishma and Kiran on the door. Am I dreaming? She wondered.
She opened the door. They jumped on her. Kiran squealed. Rhea broke down again. Happy and Sad tears again. Rohan and Arjun came up heaving their and the girls' bags. Arjun hugged Rhea so tight she had to catch her breath. They stayed with her for a week. They cooked together, dropped her off at college daily. They went trekking on Sunday.
Rhea trekked to the highest point and sat atop a hill. She thought she was going to be alright. She was going to make things alright. She alone had to be her solace and her family's too.
They reached home. She called her parents and apologized for the silent treatment she was giving them. She promised her mother she would call them daily.
She got ready on Monday morning and was looking for her books. She entered the guest room and found Kiran and Arjun engrossed in a deep kiss.
"What the -?
"Rhea! Hey!", Arjun shrieked.
"Hi", Rhea laughed and ran out.
Kiran came after her, "Come back this second, girl!"
"What?" Rhea shouted back. "It's ok. What's the huge deal? We all knew both of you are in love since college."
Karishma backed her up. "Yeah. We know. Why are you shouting?"
Arjun came out of the room, head hung low.
Rhea sighed, "Please stop overreacting. I have to leave or I'll miss class."
She hugged everyone and left. There was a pang of hurt mixed with happiness. She realized the world doesn't revolve around her. She had stopped conversing with her friends, asking them how they were.
Rhea called Kiran while on the way. She apologized and wished them well.
Anonymous and Shruti Thank you!!! I'll post longer chapters I promise.
Kiran's POV in the next chapter.