Sharath’s eyes were searching for Amritha all over the classroom. The place where she usually sat was empty. But he was very sure that she would come. After all it was her birthday and she never missed college on her birthday.
Soon the lectures began. Professor Ajay continued with his previous day’s pending notes and the process was boring as usual. Students were pretending to listen and scribble the so-called notes knowingly they would never read it in their entire life. They preferred learning from books available in the college library than from his confusing notes.
Finally, the wait was over. Amritha arrived late to class by ten minutes. “May I come in, Sir”, she asked. But the Professor did not mind her. He continued with his notes. This made Sharath mad. How can he be so senseless? Everyone knows why Amritha reaches late most of the days. She comes by train and Indian railway timings are always unpredictable.
She waited outside for almost 15 minutes. Sharath was feeling very bad for her. It is then, an office staff came with a circular. While he entered, Mr.Ajay also gestured Amritha to come inside. She settled down in her place without any complaints on her face.
Half the day went by not-so interesting lectures and now it was time for lunch break. Sharath noticed that no one in the class wished Amritha a ‘Happy Birthday’ all these hours. He was surprised as well as confused by his classmates’ odd behavior. Theirs was a super friendly batch and whenever it was someone’s birthday, they all spent their pocket money to arrange for a cake cutting ceremony during lunch break. But, that day no one even discussed Amritha’s birthday. Why so? Did she do anything wrong?
He turned to his friend Vijay and asked, “What is wrong with everyone here, why are they behaving oddly today? I didn’t attend college for a few days, and I see a lot has changed. Why is no one wishing Amritha on her birthday or planning to arrange for a cake? We do it for everyone’s birthday right? I even have a special gift for her in my bag. But it feels odd to approach her just like that you know.”What is wrong with everyone here, why are they behaving oddly today? I didn't attend college for a few days, and I see a lot has changed. Click To Tweet
Vijay gave him a perplexed look. He didn’t know what to say. “…Sh..Sharath, relax dear. Actually, Amritha herself told us not to arrange for her birthday celebration because she is little unwell today. She is planning to leave college before the next session starts.”
Sharath looked convinced but worried. His eyes searched for her all around. He wanted to ask about her health, but she was not seen anywhere now. Vijay interpreted, “See, I told you, she already left.”
Vijay was relieved to see his words working on Sharath, but he was not sure how long it may last. He immediately texted Sujatha, Sharath’s mother.
“Hello Aunty, I think Sharath needs some more rest. He is still imagining things. It’s been a year we lost our friend Amritha in that unfortunate train accident. I can’t even think of losing another friend.”
Interested in reading good short stories? I have some recommendations for you before you leave;