Precisely after 2 minutes my dad was waiting outside the door tapping his foot impatiently. He was a stickler for time which is rather sad, considering he had to chauffeur three women around all the time.
“Dad, you know the way right?” Despite my dad’s repeated denials, he had a terrible sense of direction and apparently, it was something I had inherited from him. Left to ourselves, dad and I were perfectly capable of driving around in circles for hours without realizing we were lost.
With a flourish, my dad pulled out, I kid you not, a handmade map all the way from home till college. He had even gotten it laminated and marked important turns with a bright red marker.
And in blue one spot was circled which simply said Bartakke.
I groaned inwardly. Bartakke was the name of my dad’s old friend and I knew his daughter was of my age. What I didn’t know was that through some horrendous stroke of luck, she was going to be in my college AND in my class.
We were finally ready to make our way out of the house but not before my mum lectured me on how I was entering a whole new world and how I should be careful about my studies and how she wanted me to have fun but not too much fun..
My dad was pretty much, ready to blow a gasket by now. I couldn’t blame him really.
As my mum let me go, she turned to my sister, “Say something nice!” she instructed, “It’s her first day.”
My sister had by now transformed from the girl next door into some kind of rocker chick with a thick layer of kajal around her eyes and dark lipstick, dark jeans and some weird dark boots. The only thing missing was a couple of piercings and tattoos, but even though Sonam threatened my parents that she was going to do it eventually, I knew she wouldn’t dare. She was far too scared of needles.
“Don’t you dare tell anyone you’re my sister! I have a reputation to protect.” she warned me as she walked by.
I saw the look of shock and horror pass over my mum’s face fleetingly. I guess she was kind of hoping, rather praying, that this was a phase that Sonam was going through.
My dad on the other hand couldn’t understand why his beautiful daughter transformed into a vampire like creature every time she wanted to step out but he too knew better than try to stop her. We were both headstrong and the more someone forbade us to do something, the more attractive it became.
“I’m leaving now, with or without you!” My dad announced, after waiting at the door for fifteen minutes.
That was my cue and I practically ran out of the door before my mum could start on some other topic.And we were off, guided by the laminated map, off to the Bartakke’s.