Great! Thank you all for your lovely comments and likes. I personally do like writing replies to every comment, but first I want to get this story somewhere. I definitely enjoy reading comments, questions and even criticisms because these are what drive me forward! Arjun, especially may seem a little out of character in this, but it is important as he is an Academy student and not a super cop yet!
As the minutes progressed further, the tension within her rose to the climax. It was bad enough being placed on the same team as that big, bad bully, but also that she faded in comparison to the two angelic looking girls who sat away from each other. The one with extremely large doe eyes had shoulder length glossy hair and a perfect hourglass figure. Maybe she is a model in secret,thought Riya despondently.
Turning to the other female in the room, she noted that the girl had a determined sheen in her brown eyes. Although she was just as pretty as her neighbor, the girl seemed to pay more attention to the guide book in front of her than to her surroundings. And that's exactly what I should be doing, Riya noted, quickly flicking through the guide book.
It wasn't long before the silence in the room became insufferable. The girl with the doe eyes and a gum in her mouth popped it loudly. No one reacted until she did it a few several times.
"What is the problem, Sakshi?"
Startled, Riya turned to look at the studious one with a mixture of confusion and admiration. If it was her, she would have definitely ignored it unless the girl questioned her directly. Riya never was a chatterbox or the one to ask questions directly. She wondered if this trait was going to be a drawback for her as a member of this team.
The girl stopped her popping momentarily. "You know what's the problem, Aisha. That punk is my problem, of course!" She flipped her hair behind her shoulder and grinned beautifully. "I need my prey soon to play my pranks on. You and I both know I don't like to be kept waited."
"Well, get used to it. 'That punk' is now our team mate. This is serious business, Sakshi."
Sakshi, in return snorted gracefully. "As if. He is hardly a team mate if he can't commit himself enough to arrive on time. I say we teach him a lesson."
"No thanks. It was tough enough for me to bag the second rank in these exams. I am not up for this any more, Sa'shi."
Riya knew that the conversation was closed as Aisha ducked her head down and began to intensely stare at the guide notes. It was clear that they both knew each other, but what shocked her even more was the different personalities they possessed. While Sakshi seemed more daring and like a consistent prankster, Aisha had a determined streak in her to strive forward and be fixated on her career only.
"Yo! Newbie!" Riya ducked her head and eyed Sakshi from under her uneven bangs. Before the Academy had started, Riya had been saving up money to get a decent haircut if not the best clothes, but somehow the money had disappeared from her piggy. Oh well, at least it wasn't too much.
She flickered her dull eyes to meet the enchanting, mischievous ones of her receiver. "...yes?"
"You're...Reeeyaaa, right?" The girl was smiling impishly as if she was planning something for her. Riya frowned at this and wondered if Sakshi would be her potential bully in the future. At least, she hoped not.
"I...yes." Keeping her conversation short was a skill that she picked on overtime as her father didn't like her talking too much. Since then, Riya had kept her conversations short to avoid any more taunts from her old man.
"Sa'shi, leave her alone," warned Aisha, suddenly. "I don't want another team mate down the pit if ones already there."
That was seemingly enough for Sakshi to angrily turn to her old best friend. Sometimes, Aisha could be a real prat, but her ability to understand the underlying tone in her voice never ceased to amaze her. Before she could open her mouth, a familiar voice hissed.
"Shut your trap before it costs you, ugly," he retorted at her while striding into the room confidently. Perching on the half cracked table, he watched as his other team mates entered and made themselves comfortable. It didn't escape his notice that the annoying girl had her mouth half open since the moment he called her ugly. He ignored her completely and gestured at his team mates to take the spotlight.
"I'm Sameer," said a fair, lean built man before throwing a hateful glance at his companion who was busy scrutinizing the three girls.
The one with the glasses didn't need an invitation to speak. He stepped further and grinned hopefully at Sakshi while introducing himself as 'Shreekant,' but also demanding that they call him by 'Shree'.
It was silent for a few seconds before the process was repeated with Aisha introducing herself first. She looked casual and rather interested in the guide book than on her team mates. Arjun, despite sharing a similar trait found that the girl was not yet in the position to ignore her team mates. For a successful team, you need to understand your team mates inside out. Clearly, this girl has no clue, Arjun concluded disgustingly.
The second girl who stammered called herself 'Riya'. Immediately, it sparked his interest because she was the highest achiever in all of the rookies. He had to admit that Riya seemed more fitting for the category of 'ugly', but there was no reason to call her that since she could barely even maintain eye contact with anyone. It's not like the other one wasn't ugly. Surely this one won't be in my business, but she lacks the spunk needed in this team. Arjun tensed as he inwardly planned a tough regime exercise for her to not only build some confidence, but also to tone up her small size which was obviously noticeable despite her big sweater.
The last one spoke with a nasal tone which was harsh to all their eyes as he watched Rathod and Shree cringe slightly. Sakshi or 'ugly plus annoying' as he would like to address her shot him a bold glare with immense hatred shining in her brown orbs, but with a tinge of something else he wasn't able to catch. This girl has no redeemable quality, apart from being annoying and self-centered. Maybe, I could place her with Rathod to test his patience and keep her out of my way. Or maybe with that goof, but I doubt that any work will be done that way. He distastefully noted the boy who was struck with love. Arjun swore he saw minuscule hearts in his eyes.
Slamming the door on his way out, he blissfully imagined how decent it would be to work alone. Clearly, fate was playing an ugly trick on him.
Grimacing at the pile of sheets on her paper, Riya sighed gloomily. It was bad enough for the Academy to be far, far away and her hike hadn't done her any good, but cause her more fatigue. And now she had to read these papers and memorize them before tomorrow's joint class with her team mates. No doubt that she would be embarrassed by one of her very own team mates.
Today, the introductions went far better for her than she expected. The bully did nothing more than scrutinize her and she didn't really feel concerned over this as he was eyeing all of them the very same way. Or so she hoped. Maintaining eye contact stirs up anger, noted Riya ducking her head under the faint light from the lamp and scanning the pages about negotiation skills.
She knew that this was probably her worst topic. The instructions clearly stated that they would have to practice their negotiation skills with a team mate in front of the class for 10% of their grade. Although, they were given the choice to pick, Riya knew that it didn't change things for her so greatly. She hadn't even had the chance to thank Aisha for stopping Sakshi's experimentation on her with her pranks. What if Aisha had taken offense at this?
With that last thought in mind, Riya headed off to bed with an empty stomach and an aura of gloominess. She decided that the best thing was to wake up early and brush up her facts about negotiation skills. After all, they were important in recognizing a criminal and getting him to confess.