Sona had come on her bike.
“Ummm.. Sona, there are three of us.” I pointed out intelligently.
She ignored me as she put on her helmet. Behind me, Neeta cleared her throat and voiced my concerns, “Ummm, how are we going to go back?”
Sona glared at both of us, “Sit!” She ordered.
“Both of us???” I asked incredulously.
“I don’t have time for this.” Sona started her bike and started to ride away. I didn’t react, I knew Sona wouldn’t leave me and go. Unfortunately, Neeta did not share my confidence. She ran after Sona.. “Stop! Stop! I’m coming too!”
“Neeta!” I didn’t have the guts to disobey Sona alone. After much hesitation I cried, “I’m coming too.”
I tried to make our exit as inconspicuous as possible. I hadn’t dressed up classily to travel “tripps” on a bike. Thinking quick on my feet, I decided to let Neeta sit in the middle, so that I could have some distance from Sona. Of couse, after a while I began to question the smartness of my decision.
Sona made sure that she went over every pothole and every speed breaker. I was beginning to lose sensation in most of my body parts, maybe death would be less painful.
Even after we dropped off Neeta, I preferred to sit scrunched up at the far end of the bike. All I had to do was run back upstairs when Sona stopped and lock myself in my room. I would be safe until morning. Then mom would be around to save my ass. Yeah, that sounded like a good plan.
I prepared myself to jump off the bike as soon as Sona reached the basement. I took a deep breath as we approached the parking area and at the most opportune moment, jumped of the bike. It sort of felt like I had twisted my ankle, but I couldn’t stop now. Sona was already hurling abuses at me. I ran, as fast as my little legs could carry me. I turned around as I reached the house door and made a victory sign with my fingers. It was all over.. At least till tomorrow.
I pushed the door open and all my bravado went down the drain. Mum and dad were waiting in the living room and mum! Boy oh boy! She looked positively livid.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Sona came in behind me, almost crashing into me.
“You!” She started to scream at me when she realized we both weren’t the only ones in the room. She turned around slowly and gasped as she saw mum and dad, “Oh boy!” she muttered.
As it turned out, Sona too had sneaked out of the house. Dad had woken up in the middle of the night and found the main door opened and both his daughters missing. Panic had followed and dad had been close to calling the cops when mum had remembered the fresher’s party.
Sona and I got a lecture spanning two hours from how we had crossed all boundaries this time to how ungrateful we were to how we both were doing miserably in our academics. One thing I had learnt in my 17 years of life was that a mother’s lecture, knew no bounds. It could span any incident, any topic at any time.
After some time Sona and I stopped listening, while my mum kept screaming. My dad, just happy to see both daughters home safely had gone back to bed.
Sona interrupted my mum’s non stop barrage, “Can I just say something? This is all her fault!” Sona pointed at me accusingly..
“Me?!” I put on my innocent face, complete with the big eyes.
“You lied! About going! About some stupid message! How dare you?!” Sona had turned towards me and was spewing anger.
“I wouldn’t have to if you were even a little bit normal!” I retorted.
“Stop it! Stop it! I’ll do the screaming around here!” my mum interjected. “What kind of sisters are you? You are supposed to lookout for each other! Shame on you both!”
I scowled and looked away. I just wanted this night to get over.
Suddenly, a little smile appeared on my mum’s room. I really didn’t like the look of it. it was sinister in a way. I think it meant that she had thought of a punishment.
“Go to your room.” She ordered calmly, still smiling to herself. “Don’t think this discussion is over. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
Sona and I glanced at each other. The calm before the storm?