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The New Girl

by Aakhya

Risha looked out through the window of her room. The new girl was there sitting in her garden, playing with god knew who. She kept on staring at her. There was no doubt that she wanted to befriend her, but she didn't know how to. She had tried luring her into friendship but the girl had rudely rebuffed her. But, surprisingly Risha was not deterred.

But, she took it upon her as a challenge to befriend her. She thought for a minute before deciding to go out to her garden. She ventured out of her house and stealthily tiptoed into the backyard of the new girl's house. The garden was overgrown with weed. It seemed as if the yard had been neglected for long. She went and sat beside the girl without speaking a word. The girl too seemed ignorant of her arrival and kept on playing with her doll.

Risha tried to draw her attention, so she commented, 'You've got a nice doll there.'

The girl muttered something but didn't reply. Risha saw this as no less than an achievement. At least it was better than the cold shoulder she had given her earlier. She tried to venture further.

Risha spoke up, 'So, where have you come from?'

The girl looked at her straight in the eye and then replied flatly, 'Why do you care?'

Risha didn't say anything. After all she was just trying to make some conversation. The girl got lost in her own world again. She started playing with the doll.

Risha took the doll from her hand and started putting the long tresses of the doll straight. The girl stared at her again, but this time, it was out of curiosity. Risha put the doll on the ground between the two of them. She spoke slowly this time, as if almost speaking to a child. 'Will you be my friend?'

The girl thought for a second and then answered in another monosyllable, 'Why?'

Risha smiled and said,'Just like that.'

The girl nodded but kept mum. Risha heard her mother calling out to her. But, she didn't reply. After all she was with her new friend.

'Risha, where are you?' Her mother's voice came nearer.

She turned up to see her mother standing behind her. 'What are you doing in this backyard, all alone?' she asked.

Risha pointed to the girl and said, 'I'm with my new friend.'

'But, there is no one here!' her mother exclaimed impatiently.

Risha got up to follow her mother. When she turned back, she saw the girl smiling at her. She smiled back. She had finally found a friend.

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