Anika woke up with her shirt drenched in sweat. As she tried to put bits and pieces of the nightmare together, she realized she had seen her crush Badrul's ex-girlfriend chasing her with a jharu in her hand. Heaving a deep sigh of relief and smiling to herself, she fumbled for the phone. However, her smile immediately faltered as she realized Badrul hadn't replied to her last text, even though it was sent two hours before when he was last seen online. Worse, he hadn't even seenzoned it. Was anything wrong? She quickly scrolled through the messages, making sure she hadn't said anything which might have ticked him off. The conversation seemed normal to her. Had he lost his interest in her then? Had he been talking to someone else and completely forgotten about her? With a heavy heart, she tossed her phone aside, contemplating all the reasons behind why he could have ignored her text.
As Anika realized that if she was going to wear makeup, she would end up being late to class, her day seemed to end even before it started. She knew how it would go for her if she went without makeup: they would question her if she was sick, if she was tired, or even worse, if she had been crying over her non-existent boyfriend.
Relieved that she had been able to make it in time, Anika noticed her friend waving at her and pointing to the empty seat next to her. “You look different,” her friend said, scrutinizing her face, “In a good way, of course. You look much younger.”
“Do I?” Anika asked, internally questioning the genuineness of her friend's compliment. She wondered if her dark circles made her look like the demon nun from Conjuring 2. “Are you sure I don't look too weird?”
“Chill,” her friend replied. “You look fine.”
Fine? But didn't that word have too many meanings already?
Badrul still hadn't seen her message, even though he was online. He was not even present in the class. Did he ditch the class knowingly in order to avoid seeing her? “No, this is a ridiculous reason,” she muttered to herself as she further pondered over what could have happened. She had even formulated a list of assumptions in her head, which included:
1. He hadn't noticed her message yet.
2. He was busy studying.
3. He was busy texting another girl.
4. He was ignoring her on purpose.
Even though she had been eating small amounts of food for the last two weeks, Anika felt like she still looked bloated while looking at herself in the mirror. At the same time, she reminded herself that exams were approaching and crash dieting would make her weak. She was going to fail organic chemistry. As the terrible thought of failing descended upon her, she remembered she had a pending assignment with its deadline in just two days. “Oh, so that is what Badrul must have been busy with,” she thought as she quickly took out a pen and paper and started scribbling on it.
Anika was doing her homework when her phone beeped, stealing her attention. She quickly unlocked the screen to see that her friend had sent her a meme. No wonder why her mother always said she had the attention span of a goldfish. Soon enough, she was induced into a juicy conversation, one that included gossip about the class queen bee.
“Should I wear the black dress or the red one tomorrow?” Anika thought as she stood in front of her wardrobe. She was very indecisive, something which always caused her to be late anywhere. Hence, she always chose her outfit a day before. “The black one will make me look slimmer. However, Mom said red enhances my skin colour.” It finally took her almost an hour to come to a decision.
As she lay down to sleep, she suddenly remembered an incident that had occurred two months ago. “Why don't you get sarcasm, Anika?” her best friend had asked, clearly over-exasperated. Did she actually not get sarcasm? Or was her best friend trying to make her feel down? But on the other hand, why would she do that? Was she jealous? Why would she be jealous? As her brains processed the haphazard array of questions, she felt drained of sleep.
Zarin Rayhana likes to spend her time by pondering over alternative theories about the universe instead of studying for school. Send her your theories at firstname.lastname@example.org