“Who wrote such brilliant answers in the paper?” the Mathsteacher said sarcastically. She was checking our test paper. Everyone paused themselves and looked at each other to know her target for the day. I closed my eyes and started praying that it should not be my paper. Suddenly the teacher calls out the name, “Ishaan”. I stood up without waiting for a second. My hands shivered. “Who the hell taught you to solve sums in this way? If you don’t know you should ask me. The whole paper is your foolishness,” she said. I am afraid of her big eyes, so I looked down. As usual, everyone was laughing at me. I didn’t utter a word. “Why are you speechless? Say something,” she screamed and threw the paper to my desk. I took a breath and sat down.
“Hey, can you solve this sum for me, let me know how dumb you are?” someone from the back said. I can guess it easily without turning back. It was Abhishek. We both are responsible for each other’s punishments. It became a routine to disturb each other in every situation. “If you continue saying such stupid things, I will break your legs,” I said, holding my anger. He stood up suddenly. “Teacher, he threatens me,” he said. The teacher gave a sore look to me. “Teacher, he teased me,” I said. “Both of you get out of my class. You both are such worms who can destroy the whole class,” she said. I went out and stood near the corridor, and he followed me. We looked at each other. “Who teaches you maths?” he said sarcastically. I don’t know why he was very interested in provoking me into a fight. At that moment, I lost my temper and moved to hold his collar of the shirt, and the real fight began. We both hit each other.
The teacher who sent us out heard our noise and ran towards us. We both didn’t notice her big eyes and hands, but we stopped at a spur of a moment when she beat us with her long stick. “How dare you both fight near the class like the local dogs?” she screamed. “Teacher, he teased me first,” I said. “Teacher, he beat me first,” he said. Suddenly the bell rang, which means her period is over. I thanked God for saving me through the bell. She gave an angry look and moved to the staffroom. Abhishek walked towards the class. “Are you upset?” my friend Kailash said. “I always get scolding by teachers because of him. One day, I will take revenge for all the things he has done to me,” I said. “Hey, I have an idea. We can throw a stone to him in the PT period while he plays at the ground,” he said. “Stop saying nonsense. I will be out of this school if anyone sees me throwing a stone on him,” I said. Kailash was confident in his words. “No one will see us throwing the stone,” he said.
I was in the peak of anger that I agreed to his words. We went along with the other students to the playground. Abhishek was playing with his friends. Kailash and I walked behind the bush. I took a stone of the correct size. “We will throw the stone and run instantly,” Kailash said. I agreed with him without stepping back. I was not getting a proper focus as he was running here and there. While he was running his eyes ran near us. He stood for a moment, looking down. I thought maybe something has fallen from his hand. At that moment, I threw the stone towards his head and ran towards the class without seeing him crying.
I was sure that my target didn’t fail. We were waiting in the class to see his crying face. It was the last period we packed our bags. Suddenly a group of students came holding the unconscious Abhishek. Everyone was murmuring. “What happened?” Kailash asked someone. “While playing he fell unconsciously,” some of them said. “Hey, how can he become unconscious with the small stone?” Kailash whispered to my ears. I didn’t reply to him. Teachers and students from other classes gathered. My whole body started shivering. “He may have seen us standing near the bush,” I said with fear. Kailash was all about to cry. Everyone packed their bags and move out. He was still unconscious when we went out of the class. I reached home with the fear of tomorrow. My mother cheerfully asked me about the day, but I didn’t respond to her. “Ishaan, is everything ok?” mother said. “Yes mom,” I said,
thinking about Abhishek’s condition. She gave me milk and sweets, but I was not in a mood to eat. I thought of Kailash’s words, how can a person become unconscious with a small stone? It will become a police case if he had injured deeply. I decided not to go to school tomorrow. I was not able to sleep the whole night. The next day I woke up. “Get ready, child,” my mother said. “Mother I am not well. Can I take a leave today?” mother smiled at me. I felt so happy with her smile. I considered her smile as permission to take leave. “No, has this become your daily reason for taking a leave? Go and get ready fast,” she said in an angry tone. I wore my uniform slowly with lots of prayer in mind. The school bus came. I was looking for Kailash. I searched for him on the whole bus, but he was not there. The driver turned back and looked at me. “Kailash is not feeling well so he will be absent today,” the driver said. my heartbeat rate increased. I blamed myself in my mind. Why I gave ears to stupid Kailash? Why am I going to school today? How can he escape from this problem? I felt like stopping the bus and run somewhere else. By the time school reached. I walked slowly like an ant and reached the classroom. It was the same teacher’s class. Looking at my face, she started screaming for being late. I was not able to focus on anything which she said. I moved towards my seat without replying to her. While I sat on my bench, ignoring her scream, I noticed someone laughing at me. It was Abhishek. I paused for a moment and looked at him. It was the first time I felt happy when he laughed at me. “Are you ok?” I said with fear to know whether he caught me. “Yes, I am fine. I didn’t have the breakfast and skipped the lunch in the interval, so I fainted” he said. “What? Is that the reason?” I said to confirm it. My joy was uncontrollable. “Are you happy about it?” he said. “No,” I said. “Then why are you smiling?” he said. I smiled and took a breath. “By the way, what were you both doing near the bush yesterday?” he said. I looked at him searching for answers. “Planning to throw a stone on you?” I said. He laughed and said, “Stop joking”.