contd. from Not a Dot (Part I)
The week starts and I submit my work and I try to fit in. One of my classmates has got this wonderful new hairdo with a knee length navy blue sleeveless dress. She also has these gorgeous high heeled red sandals. She really looks elegant and so classy. I eye her behind my sunglasses. Everyone is telling her, ‘Rita, you look so beautiful and different this morning’ but I don’t say anything to her. After my first class, I am standing near the door waiting for one of my friends when Rita walks to the door. ‘Everyone complemented me on my looks except you.’ I grin sheepishly. Is everyone trying to tell her that she has not looked beautiful on the previous days? I should say something but I am tired of following rules and norms just because they are the way things are done.
‘Did you change your hairdresser?’ I ask. ‘Don’t go back to the old one. The braid jobs she did for you were awful.’ That’s it. I just gave her a good tip. She narrows her eyes at me. Maybe it’s not good advice after all. Before she can say anything, there is a ping on my phone so I check it. I have an email from one of my teachers to see her. More people make for the door and Ms. Looking Elegant and Classy Today ends up brushing me lightly as she scrambles outside. I want to pretend that I did not feel her butt brush me. I look up and she is looking back at me with a twinkle in her eyes which leaves me wondering if I shouldn’t try charming her from her boyfriend too. Is this what I get for being frank? Maybe being a nonconformist is not so bad after all.
In the afternoon, I make my way lazily to the teacher’s office. She is the one who gave us that political-kind-like essay which I am sure I am going to fail. Another visitor is just leaving her office. I greet her and take up her invitation to take a seat. ‘I read your essay about five times,’ she says. ‘I am referring to the last assignment.’ What could it mean when your teacher has read your essay five times? She walks up to the office door which is open and closes it. Did I hear her locking the door too? She walks back to me and sits on her table so that she is close to me. I look into her large dark intense eyes. I swallow hard.