Two Weeks with the Mukherjee Boys
Chapter One: School's Out

A lot had changed in my life over this spring. For one, I my first public exam results came out. I didn't do too badly, but I didn't get an excellent result. I had done reasonably well. I was now a grade eleven student, studying Humanities with the combination of History, Sociology, Economics and Political Science, along with Environmental Education, English and Bengali. School, the place where I didn't have any friends till now, had become the best place in the world for me.

"Sara, let me copy your last answer," the dark haired boy sitting next to me whispered urgently.

"Iemon," I whispered back fiercely, "I thought you said you'd be studying from now on?"

"Come on, Sara!" he urged, "I am your brother after all. You stick by family in times of need."

"STEP-brother," I corrected him automatically.

Yes. That was the other major change in my life now. My father had gotten married to his high school sweetheart, after all these years of wonder and speculation and debate. Of course, it had taken both Iemon and me to literally step in one another's shoes in order to realize that are parents were in love with one another.

Iemon and his mother had made their temporary visit to Kolkata from Pondicherry permanent. Thanks to his wonderful results, Iemon was easily admitted into the school I went to. He had taken up Commerce, but we still had to put up with each other in English, EVE, Economics and Bengali classes.

We were in our English class now; with the teacher overseeing us like a hawk. Ugh. The classroom was a large white room, and had windows almost covering the wall through the left side of the wall. Rows of benches had been placed on either side, with an aisle in the middle for the teachers to walk through. At the right corner of the room was the cupboard, where our copies were stored, along with dusters and chalks and a stack of red pens. Right up front was the black board, with soft board on either side of it. The teacher had placed her chair at the entrance of the door, and the teacher's desk stood in front of the blackboard.

Iemon and I were sitting in the fourth bench on the left side of the room, talking in fierce whispers. A shadow loomed up in front of us, just as I was telling Iemon to quit bothering me and to work on his own.

"What is the problem here, Iemon and Sara?" she asked us, peering at us through her square-rimmed spectacles.

Our English teacher was a short woman, but she could be a real dragon when she wanted to. And she clearly wanted to be one right now.

"Nothing," I said, quickly. "I think Iemon missed a question."

My stepbrother smiled smoothly at her, "I kind of miswrote a word, ma'am."

She looked at him sternly, "And which word would that be, Iemon? You were supposed to change sentences! Could you do that with your brains alone?"

"Yes, ma'am," said Iemon at once, and began working on the exercise on his own.

I shook my head, and got back to my own copy. I was stuck with the fifth sentence. I just wished the class would get over. I checked my watch. It was three-twenty eight.

Two minutes more, I reminded myself.

The bell finally rang signaling the end of the day and for also for school. It was the holiday time again. School would be out for one month, and only resume in June. I was overjoyed. I closed my copy, and handed it to the female collecting our copies that day.

"School's out," I said happily to my stepbrother, who had given up his copy the moment the bell had rung.

"I know," he replied, "and soon we'd be off to Pondicherry! Woopieedoo!" he rolled his eyes and added, "You think you'll be able to handle two weeks with the Mukherjee boys?"

I sighed deeply and obviously, "I don't really know, Iemon."

The voices in the room were growing steadily louder, as people scrambled from their seats and rushed towards the door. Iemon and I got up together and shouldered our bags.

"Who's paying for the auto ride home today, step-sis?" he asked.

"You," I answered, "I paid the morning fare, remember?"

"Not really?" Iemon laughed at my face.

A tall boy came up to us from the end of the room, and stopped at the desk where Iemon and I were bickering.

"All set for the summer holidays, guys?" he asked us, breaking our argument.

"Elijah!" I squealed in joy, "You bet I am, aren't you?"

"Considering I'd still be stuck here, writing articles for 'Everything under Nineteen' with Swastika next to my desk every day, I really can't say I am." He said, letting out a deep sigh.

"Yeah, well" Iemon said, flashing me his evil grin, "At least you're not stuck in Pondicherry for two weeks with the Mukherjee boys!"

Elijah looked from Iemon's face to mine, utter confusion written all over his face. He couldn't grasp exactly what Iemon was saying. As we moved towards the door, and out of the classroom, I elucidated.

"Iemon's father invited us to spend two weeks with him in Pondicherry," I said, "I think he invited Iemon though. And he bullied him into inviting me."

Elijah laughed, "You say the funniest things, Sara."

"Ah no, step-sis," said Iemon in a mock hurt tone, "why would I even try to ruin my perfect holidays with my father by inviting you along?"

I sighed. Iemon was perhaps one of the most arrogant, obnoxious teenagers ever to walk on this earth. I had tried to make myself like him; but he made it a point to annoy me all the darn time.

"Okay, Iemon. Your dad invited me to go spend the summer at your beautiful house in Pondicherry!" I said, in a defeated tone.

"So desperate to get out of school are we?" a sinister female voice asked.

I looked around and saw Anita and her faithful band of followers' right in front of us. They were blocking our way.

"School's over, witch!" spat Iemon, "Move out of our way."

"And for that," Anita said in an even more menacing voice, "You're going to pay!"

Author's Note: I thought I'd give you guys a sneak peek into what's in store in January. :) Please note that Sattwick Barman's name has been changed to Elijah, as I'd mentioned in one of my prequel's chapters. :D Enjoy the read and I promise to get back to each and everyone of you, through RRs, PMs and reviews :D