Tiny Tale of Teenage
by Arjoyita Roy
(Durgapur, West Bengal, India)
The first shower of monsoons reminded Natasha of the tales of teens. She had just bumped into sweet sixteen; she was so full of verve and vigor that anxiety did not mind taking over sanity and all three of them were entangled an eternal bond that lasted a lifetime. Late in the dusk when the shaded clouds engulfed the horizon, she stood by the cozy corner of the balcony and recalled what they did to her celebrated other half.
Every Sunday she now enjoyed the pleasure of leisure for her dutiful husband took good care of their little bundle of joy and let her enjoy the day in her own way with the tiny Corgi Juno. Her nimble fingers intertwined his shiny lustrous fur-coat and her lips curled up in a smile, she went inside the bedroom and opened an old photo album hovered in dust but somehow she managed to get hold of what she was looking for; she had recollected nostalgia from piles of dust. The photograph that captured their unpolished raw and innocent smile that was now lost in the pseudo glitz and glamour of beauty.
Time could not snatch away Aleesha’s aura wondered the nostalgic Natasha with the photograph still in her hand thought Natasha after scrutinizing with utmost honesty, Natasha was a doting observer and she always in thirst of discovering something out of the blue amidst the accustomed.
Back during their teenage Aleesha lived to the typical standards of beauty, she was in perfect shape; she was tall and her skin glowed like the dewdrop that sparkles in the bright sun. However, she was cold at heart and rude with people in her words. She enjoyed attention from her comrades, although mischievous but not harmful she was nothing short of a rich spoilt brat. Natasha on the contrary was a plump little girl who secretly envied Aleesha. She happened to the topper of the class; and thick boring spectacles always helped her to look for the needle in the haystack. Natasha secretly hoped for a miracle to turn out to be as pretty as Aleesha for she longed to be loved and desired by her masculine counterparts, but faced a hard blow from reality.
Arnav was an average student although his heart skipped a beat when he managed to catch a glimpse of Aleesha during morning assembly or during the common Fine Arts class. He never confessed his feelings for her; he secretly nurtured them and suppressed his desires in fear of rejection.
Aleesha was demented by the pseudo glitz and glamour of virtual media and she basked in charm of appreciation. Arnav had a keen eye on her and without wasting more time Arnav geared up the courage that his little heart could muster to text her over social-media and ask for her phone number. Arnav waited for her reply for he wanted to speak to her and he secretly hoped for a reply from Miss social butterfly. Lady luck smiled on Arnav as he soon received a reply to his message. However, destiny and destination were in a constant tug of war until they sorted out the matter for it was Natasha and not Aleesha who texted him back, and on the contrary Arnav was overwhelmed at the thought that he could win over Aleesha.
Aleesha on receiving the text thought of blatantly turning him down, but then she disclosed the matter to Natasha, Natasha wanted to take charge of the situation. Without wasting time, she selected a dress for Aleesha to try out as they were shopping in the weekend. As soon as Aleesha went to the trial, Natasha texted back Arnav from her cell phone, and successfully managed to convince him that it was Aleesha. Natasha had a melodious voice and had more to offer to the world than just appearance. Aleesha did not seem interested in the matter. However, Natasha enjoyed all the attention and duped Arnav. Aleesha did not poke her nose into the matter but admitted that she would never give her heart to a person with bleak prospects as she enjoyed a small chat with her best friend on their way back home when Natasha confessed her mischief. Time flied and a fortnight passed.
Arnav was a shy Catholic school student and decided not to confide the matter to his friends in the department of
Commerce unless he received a confirmation from Aleesha. Natasha was now well acquainted with him, with his likes and dislikes and she talked more about him to Aleesha. It was easy for him to pen down his feelings than to confess in person but he could no longer hold back his rapaciousness and requested her to catch up with him. Every Friday, during morning assembly, Arnav had his gaze fixed on Aleesha and Natasha had her eyes on Arnav, her cheeks turned scarlet but alas! She could not spill the beans.
It was “Good Friday” and being a devout Christian, Aleesha went to the Church to pray and later on joined Natasha in the evening. Beads of sweat made their way through her forehead when she met Aleesha and it did not take too long for Aleesha to find out who was it for. Aleesha wanted to put an end to it but Natasha wanted to go with the flow, Aleesha somehow managed to convince Natasha that veil-playing is not the solution and if she had developed a predilection for him then she must let him know. Insecurities loomed large and Natasha was utterly disappointed with Aleesha’s conduct for she feared that Arnav might turn her down.
The weekend passed, Monday Morning brought new hopes, and Arnav could not cop out his excitement, and decided to catch a glimpse of her during recess. Early that morning Natasha informed Aleesha that she would not be able to attend class, as she was sick, Aleesha could see through her tricks but at the same time, she wanted to give a wide berth to squabble and remained silent, the matter about the meeting Arnav escaped her mind.
Arnav on the other hand was on edge to meet her, he went upstairs to the Humanities department and looked for Aleesha. Aleesha was on her seat busy with the pending home-assignment she left incomplete for she was too busy looking after her pet Juno in the weekend. Ashima entered the classroom and informed Aleesha that someone from the Commerce Department was waiting for her outside the class. Aleesha frowned, she was torn apart between two mediating hemispheres; her best friend had ditched her. Had she been present in class she would have confessed to Arnav, but she was not present in the class and Aleesha met him and shared a casual handshake with him but before she could reveal the stark truth, the bell rang and recess was over. Arnav felt butterflies in his belly and Aleesha was a bit embarrassed, after school Arnav waited for her at the bus-stand but she did not turn up contrary to his expectation, and returned home with a heavy-heart.
Hours later, Natasha texted him and apologized to him for not turning up on time and she accounted it to be a phenomenon of fear of being caught in the act. Natasha cooked up a story with the aplomb of a professional that Aleesha’s father came to receive her that fine afternoon and hence she failed to show up as promised, and Arnav’s blind faith on Aleesha was restored all over again. Natasha hoodwinked his suspicion whenever he met Aleesha for there was a sharp contrast in the way she behaved and the way Aleesha was supposed to, Aleesha would barely talk and Natasha would make up for her misconduct over text messages.
Farewell was round the corner and Aleesha came to sleep over at Natasha’s home. None of them slept that night except for the little Rottweiler Juno, they had a conversation with Arnav, and Aleesha turned out to be Natasha’s mouthpiece for the romantic conversation. Without haste, Arnav confessed his feelings for Aleesha. However, destiny had to intrude to take Arnav to his destination and white wine played Cupid. Natasha successfully pilfered a bottle of white wine from her father’s mini bar, both the girls wanted to explore how intoxication seemed like. Aleesha was drenched out after a while and Natasha under the influence of alcohol geared up the courage to confess it all to Arnav over a phone call. As expected, melodrama followed the next day as their young blood boiled and temper brewed up. Arnav wanted to settle scores but with time things settled down for good. Nine years later Aleesha became the maid of honor to bear testimony to Arnav and Natasha’s alliance. ***