I have made a grievous fault. So let me correct that. In the end chapter 4, Jon mentions that Aindrila and he r almost 16. No, they are almost 14. They are 9th graders, freshmen I guess (?). Mel and Brit/Poo are seniors/ 12th graders. Sorry for the inconvenience. If you spot any other loop holes let me know!
Narration: Brittany Seal
"…and you know how dad feels about violence, so it makes your act worse. See, that poor innocent boy is scarred for life! So, he commented on your appearance. So, he was in the room. It is his room for god's sake! What do you mean by scratching off the skin god has gifted him with?!" I said dramatically, making the bath-robe-clad girl feel guilty. As if. She just stared back at me exasperatedly, still hovering over Jon, who cowered beneath her unsheathed claws.
"He. Shall. Die." Andy enunciated slowly, as if I was a fool.
"Uh-uh. I don't think so. Apologize. Now!" I stressed.
"To hell." She shot back, but she let him go.
"Oh well. By the way, Jon, you owe me." I said, strolling out of the room, followed closely by Mel and Jon.
"Whoa! She can be scary. I am super glad I am alive at all! I mean, have you seen those nails? Man, it can probably substitute for a chain saw!" Jon said, still dazed after his close call.
"That's what you get when you deliberately comment on a girl. Geez, won't you ever learn? Not all girls will swoon at your very footstep! Well, certainly not Aindrila. Do you comprehend my little piece of advice?" Mel said, frowning at her little brother.
"Well, I can't help it! Most girls are hunting for such compliments!" the poor boy defended.
"Not all girls were brought up in India, you fool. We Indians can get a bit defensive when such comments come up. The decent ones atleast." said my sister's voice from behind us.
We jumped, not expecting her just yet. A quick twirl let me see a tall girl in a pair of very short black shorts that were better suited for someone half her height. Someone like Mel. She had paired it up with a baby pink top that made her look like a sexy kitten. Of course, the words 'BOOTY CALL-interested?' made it even more so. No wonder the girl was glowering at us.
I still remember that day when she had attended her first day in 4th grade- and what a memory that was….
"Hello girl! I am a boy. Do you still play with Barbies?" said Praveen, Samanvitha's classmate.
"Whom are you calling a girl?!" Sammy growled, stepping forward. I struggled to control her, but even as a 4th grader, she easily over-powered the seventh-grader that I was. Damn.
"You!"Said the foolish boy cheerfully, digging his grave deeper.
"Why you son of a rotten onion! You stinking backside of a dying pig in a drain! Hope you suffer from the worst case of boils right on your bloated behind!" Sammy yelled, rolling up her sleeves. She flexed her muscles which would have put my classmates to shame. Sure enough, the boy went pale.
"Hey, cool down! I didn't mean any harm I swear! I think girls are fun and cool, I really do…"he blabbered, looking earnestly. By now, a huge crowd of students and teachers alike had gathered around.
As for my sister, she put on her calmest and even deadly face.
"You really think girls are cool?"she asked, to which the boy nodded for all his life was worth."Well then, it is settled. You can be a girl instead of me. Praveen, you said you were? Well, I'll call you Praneetha."
The crowd laughed hysterically, but my little girl didn't care. She just walked away, leaving the boy to be laughed at.
"Hello? Earth to Brit!" Mel laughed waving her hand in front of my eyes. I swiftly caught it, and smiled.
"Sorry, just took a trip down memory lane. Hey, Sam, remember Praneetha?" I said, looking at my sis over Mel's head.
"Oh yes! You know, that poor fool was called that till sixth class? We are good friends now. But honestly, he was more of a girl than me. I feel as if god put us in the wrong bodies just for kicks." She said laughing.
"Wait- Sam? How? I mean, you are Aindrila right?" Mel asked, confusedly.
"And that line of how Indian girls don't like comments like mine, I must say, you aren't Indian!...right?" Jon said, not far behind. As for me, I just saw our cover blown. Oh shit.
Narration: Samanvitha Samsthaap/Aindrila Seal
I never knew all those years of lying to teachers about bunking and doing mischief would come to use, but here I am, thanking my outstanding Art of Telling Tall-Tales on my first day in a new place.
"Actually it is sort of an inside joke. As kids, we had wanted Indian names so that we could blend in better with our classmates. We just told each other a name for shits and giggles. She chose Pooja-Poo for short-and I chose Samanvitha-Sam for short- which we occasionally call each other, as do our friends back in India. And as for that Indian thing, its just that being brought up there, I kind of got used to the culture there and I feel like one of them. That's it. So yeah, I am Aindrila, thank you very much." I said, watching my sister regain colour.
"Oh well. Anyway-"Mel began, when a man rushed into the room. He stopped still after seeing us, and smiled weakly.
"Oh, hey! Here you all are! You must be Aindrila. Sorry about your luggage dear. Worry not, I'll have it here by early tomorrow morning. I hope my son has been well-behaved, and hasn't frightened you away!" he said genially, but it was apparent he was thinking of something.
"Hello, sir. I am glad you could let me stay. Your place is nice, and your son is not much of a trouble." I said, smiling brightly.
"I am Robert Covey dear, call me Bob." He said, his eyes crinkling pleasantly at the corners as he smiled. He was quite young and was as tall as his bratty son. He had grey eyes that both his kids inherited, and he seemed to have given Mel her dark, chocolate-brown hair. I liked him well enough.
"You seem a bit…flustered Bob. What is this looming danger that is chasing you this time? Is your secretary acting all coy again?" Poo-sorry, Brit- asked, sitting on a couch, while Mel and Jon sat on the edge of the dining table. That is when I noticed we were in the dining hall.
"Melissa, Jonathan, your mom is coming home with her new husband. She says they need to talk urgently." He said, his eyes straying to the clock.
"What! When did she call you?" Mel asked while Jon fell off the table in shock.
"Quite a while ago, if I remember rightly."
"When will she be here?"Jon whispered in a voice dripping with horror.
"Kids, I am home!" Came the voice of a woman, followed by the dining hall door being thrown open.
"…now." Said Mr. Covey, staring at his ex-wife and his worst enemy. I don't believe I have seen someone this uncomfortable. Oh well.