You could fry eggs on the pavement, was Bianca’s first thought as she stepped outside into the scorching Delhi summer heat. She picked up one of the many heavy brown boxes on the asphalt and trudged back to the door. Sweat poured down her harms and back, drenching her cotton shirt. She could have paid an arm and a leg for a tall glass of ice cold lemonade. And then she remembered that she wouldn’t have to. Her family had come in to so much money, that her limbs would be safe for a long, long time. Thank God for lottos.
“Are those the books?” Peter asked her when she stepped into the kitchen.
“Yeah. Mine, probably.” She nodded at the label on top of the box with her initials written in bold.
“Ok. Keep it on the kitchen counter, we’ll shift the boxes up to your room later.” After a pause, “Actually, you know what, keep it in your room. Don’t want to risk Jeanette unleashing her wrath.” He said in mock horror.
Bianca chuckled, and dumped the heavy box. On her way back outside, she saw her mother behind the kitchen counter. She was holding a glass. Her tall glass of ice cold lemonade. Hallelujah.
“Bianca? You have your forms, yes? We have to fill them in for your admission tomorrow.” She asked.
Bianca sighed. “Yes, Ma.”
“And your report cards? We have to submit that also.”
“Yeah, I have them too.”
“What about your certificates?”
“MA! We’ve been over this a million times. I have all the papers and certificates and forms. Yes, and recommendation letters, in case they need it. So just please let me drink my lemonade in peace.”
“All right, all right! Just promise me one thing.” Her mother told Bianca.
Bianca looked at her warily.
“In your last school you gave a lot of trouble to the teachers and school staff. Hell, the only reason you didn’t get kicked out is because they didn’t want to lose a student with your kind of grades. So just please, please, promise me that you’ll behave this time. It’s a fresh start for, you, and I expect you to use it to your full advantage.”
Bianca sighed again. “Ma. Lemonade. Peace. Please.
Her mother just shook her head.
“JEANETTE! HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOES ANYWHERE? I CAN’T FIND THEM!” Peter called out form another room.
“Useless men.” Jeanette muttered. “I’ll look, I’ll look.”
Bianca gulped down the last of her lemonade. Back to the heavy lifting.
An hour of box-moving later, Bianca grabbed another glass of lemonade and flopped down on her bed. It was a nice bedroom, she thought, looking around. Still empty except the large oak bed and matching desk. The walls were white, the way Bianca intended to keep it. She closed her eyes, and took a calming breath. Then another. And another. Soon, she was fast asleep.
Bianca woke up eith a start and looked around. It was dark. She must have been asleep for quite a while, then. The clock on her desk said 8:17.
The sound came again. Bianca peered out of the window, where the sound was coming from. Someone was throwing pebbles at her window? Already? Even for her, that was a little fast. Then she saw a girl waving at her, from the house right next to her. The girl slid up her window, looking at her expectantly, and Bianca noticed that she had complete visual access to her neighbor’s entire bedroom.
Oh no, Bianca thought alarmed. She can see my room too! And she wants me to talk to her.
She gathered up her courage, slid up the window and gave her a weak smile. “Hi.”
“Hey! Sorry about the rocks. It’s kind of hard to get someone’s attention when they’re sleeping.” She giggled. The neighbor was chirpy. Excessively so.
“Huh.” Bianca cleared her throat uncomfortably. WEIRDO ALERT!! Her inside voice screamed. “It’s all right.”
“Oh, silly me! I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Niharika. Your new neighbor! Yayy!”
Oh joy. “Hi…I’m…uhm…Bianca.”
“OOOOH Bianca… Nice name! I had an aunt named Bianca, slightly mad. She’s dead now. But that doesn’t mean you are. Mad. Or dead. Both, actually. God, I hope not! Anywayy… so where’d you move in from?”
“OHMIGOSH!! I LOVE SMALL TOWNS! They’re so… small, no? And cute. No supermarkets, just cute little shops. So last year, we went to this- “Bianca zoned out. God she was annoying. And almost in tears… What the fuck?!
|Mila Kunis||as Bianca D'Silva|