“Oops”! I dropped what I was holding. The hard paper file made no sound. I was relieved. But when I bent down to pick it up, the paper clip fell on the edge of a metal stand where a masterpiece marble sculpture danced on its flat top.”CLUNG”, it made a sound so perfectly, that it would definitely not be mistaken for the footsteps of any of the forty two decent girls of our high school, which made the teacher in-charge notice me. Her turn was like the reflex action one gives when we poke one with a pin on the arm. I noticed that one-it was so obvious, when I tried to hide myself behind the dancing marble statue. Then she wrote down in my almanac –my last warning, but wait! I never got a first one!
We moved on to the manuscript section of the archaeological museum. Seriously, it was insane! The manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian-and so on –languages also had a translation of that piece beneath it, kept in a frame with the name of the translator. And even more insane-our guide started explaining it to us. Naturally, all of us started to feel bored. I got attractive to the bullies. I ignored them when they came up at first. But then they started teasing me about my low-fashion, which was when I wore salwar-kameez to school on children’s day. “Have you used a ‘time machine’ or something to come to the future from like 1907?” the first one, who is supposed to be the main one, spoke on my face when the three copy cats of her giggled. The main one chuckled and pulled one end of my hair ribbons. That really freaked me out and then I lost control. I pulled out her bracelet and cut out the elastic thread and the beads fell down. They rolled on the ground along passage in the gap between the wooden planks and rested near the heel of our guide. I gasped at the thought that struck me- and for gasping out loud, it really happened! She stepped back her left foot, so that the beads would go under the hinder part of her heel, and all the weight on her body hit the floor- shaking it like a minor tremor.
She immediately looked at our group- or so did I think, until I turned sideways to see the four bullies gone. They sneaked out to their lines and acted innocent. I looked back at Mrs. Brown. Her eyes burnt like magma! The magma burnt on me. I raced towards her to help her out. When she stood up and dusted off herself, one of the bullied called saying, “Mrs. Brown, those are the beads form my bracelet, detached by Sandy purposely to take revenge on you for the warning slip!” I looked at her like ‘what the hell’-and her eyes were sparkling under the light of the dim archeological museum. Mrs. Brown saw innocence in the sparkling, I saw a fox. She immediately grabbed my elbow, with her magma eyes erupting into lava. She dragged me off the surface and threw me beside the gate-keeper. He was hitting against the wall with his stick-glanced at both of us-and went back to the hitting. Mrs. Brown furiously limped inside with her twisted ankle, and I sat down there, on the steps of the corridor.
So now it was just me, my backpack, a notebook, marble corridors, the wall, the gate-keeper and his stick. I sighed. I just made my educational trip, a complete mess! I took out my camera and took a brief look at all my wonderfully synchronized photography and felt really proud of it. Then I shot a picture of myself and all the marble behind me. Oh perfect! I shot a picture of the stick and the wall hit by it, but not the keeper. I didn’t like his eyebrows, they were so furious! Then I tried to capture all the scenery I could see in front of me. After I hit the flash, I heard sweeping. I looked around to spot a teenage girl almost of my age in daggers. She was sweeping the clean floor so busily-but then, she suddenly looked up at me. She smiled. I smiled back. She turned back to the floor and continued to sweep. I looked away-not noticing her anymore, to her opposite direction. After a while, I felt something move beside me. I looked aside to face it.”Oh!” I thought I shouted but it sounded like the squeak of a rat! The sweeper was beside me. She smiled once again. I once again smiled back. Now that she sat next to me, I observed-she was so beautiful! Her eyes were sea green with a turquoise shade, her eyebrows were thick and in a perfect curve. When she blinked, her eyelids closed on her eyes like an oyster covering its pearl to protect its tenderness. Her eyebrows looked like they were drawn and shaded impeccably with a pencil. Her lips were flawlessly pink, like they were brushed with glass paints on glass. Her brownish, semi curly hair let a few decent strands dance through her cheeks in the direction of the breeze.Anyone could tell that she was very intelligent, by the sharp nose.“Hello”, her lips shaped the word so perfectly that even a deaf person could make out what she was saying.“Oh, hi!” I tried to be cheerful, but I was lifeless before her.“I’m Tanya. And you?” she stretched her hand out to shake hands with me. How could such a beautiful and well-mannered girl possibly sweep the corridors?“I’m Sandy. How are you doing?” My question made that flawless smile on her face to vanish. I felt a slush of guilt run through my veins. I didn’t want to pluck a beautifully blooming flower. I tried to talk something else to distract her, but then she started. “You go to school?” she raised her eyebrows to emphasize her curiosity.“Yes.”“Are you here with your friends?”“Yea.”“Then why are you sitting here outside? Why don’t you go in and learn when you have the opportunity?” her English took me off the hook. Better than what I learnt in nine years!“I wish I could...” she continued, but something made her abruptly stop her sentence. She started again. “I really love going to school. It’s so great right?”“Yes of course!” I didn’t want to upset the flower again. I continued- “I got kicked out for not paying the attention I should.” I looked down to cover my embarrassment.“Um-hmm, so what do you have in your hands?” she looked like she understood me. She didn’t ask for any details. I opened my covered palms to see what I was holding.“Oh! This is my camera. I had just shot a few photos of the museum”, I said. Her lips curled back into a smile.“Oh, I wouldn’t be more grateful to you if you wouldn’t show me those pictures. I have always been dying to go inside. I am very interested in them.”“Alright, then” I started from the first picture, which was the hallway right after the entrance.“Wow! It is exactly how I imagined it would be. So wonderful!” she really seems happy, like she was seeing it in live. When I finished the slide show, it really seemed like I made her day. I felt really happy. The evening lights were on, and there was a this beautiful twilight sparkling the eyes of this beautiful girl. Now I just had to ask, “Do you go to school?” “No”, she took a short pause. My parents cannot afford so much to send me to school.Oh no! I really didn’t like it. She seemed to be so good at her speaking skills. She should really go for English.“Oh…I am sorry”. I really wished I could help her. “You have any brothers and sisters?” I asked her.“Yes I have a baby sister who is 8 months old. My house is nearby- across the 3rd lane. I do a little sweeping and cleaning here to add on some money for my sister’s milk. My mom sells freshly made bread rolls in the front of our house. Dad does tailoring. He is really good at it- trust me! Mom fell sick lately. So dad’s taking care of the family. It just so happens that tailoring and part-time sweeping couldn’t help all the milk and medicines, so I also took up cooking at Mr. Jenny’s house. He is our landlord. So he gives a little concession to the house tax.”Now I wished I could really help her. I pitied her- I still do! I opened my mouth to say something, but the noisy blabber of high school girls coming out of the museum interrupted me. I got up, waved her goodbye although I just didn’t want to leave her. I wish she would be my friend for the rest of my life.“Goodbye, friend!” WOW!! I just got so lucky- she called me friend!I wanted to ask for her address, but she got up and went back to her sweeping. I joined back the line. The girls commented on me once again, but I ignored them. I only looked at Tanya until she disappeared into to dust from the sweeping. She was just like a fading moon in the twilight. The watchman, who, bless him, stopped hitting the wall, looked at me as though I just committed a murder when I passed by him.
That day at home, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about this girl- a sweeper- who desperately wanted to go school- works up to her nerves to keep her family fed. A few weeks passed, but my curiosity did not. I made my decision. I had to go back to her- that would be the only way to keep me better. So, the next day, my dad dropped me at the museum. I told him that I had to look around it once again! I got down, and as soon as he was gone, I looked all around the corridors. Every corner of it, but I couldn’t find her. So I asked the watchman, and he put a face like ‘the world ended long ago’. He was no help at all! Then I had to think fast, and when I think fast, I get an idea really fast. I decided to go up to the third lane where Tanya said she and her family lived. I walked and walked, hoping I would go to the right place. I crossed two lanes, and there came the next one, only for me to find out that there was no next lane! Only two lanes and that’s it. I tried to re-check the map route I had in my mind. The museum was to the far end and, two lanes after, was this end where I was standing. I couldn’t go wrong! A woman carrying two children passed by me. I stopped her to ask if there ever existed a third lane from the archeological museum.“No.”“Okay. Thank you!” Now my heart was pounding hard on the inside. I sat there on the pavement and put all my points to make the situation clear. So there was this girl, who said she lived in the 3rd lane from the museum, but apparently, a 3rd lane did not exist! A gush of horror filled me up from head to toe. This cannot be happening. So she didn’t exist! Then who was she? I desperately needed her- I desperately needed a friend. Then that’s probably what it is! I needed a person who would understand me, motivate me, and always give me this energetic and overwhelming feeling and even if I lose that person, I will find my way to get back to them.