"Great, then you know the house rules. I only made them because you girls are every thing to me. I only wish your mother was here to see what smart, sophisticated young ladies you have become. She'd be so proud." Shivani and Jodha hugged their father, touched by his words. "She would also want you to know about the rising rates of syphilis--" Before the old man could complete his sentence, his daughters stopped him."Bye dad!" Shivani and Jodha went to their rooms.
Chapter 2 ||My Life, My Choices.||
After going through her notes for the last time, Jodha closed her note-book. She glanced at the clock, it was 8:30, time for dinner.
"Hey love, hungry?" The old man looked at his eldest daughter walking down the stairs."Where's Shivani?" She asked, sitting beside her father. Before he could answer. Shivani entered the kitchen, busy with her phone. "Who are you texting?" Shivani looked at her father, irritated by his question. "Daddy! It's my new friend, Avian." Shivani muttered at her father. "Avian? It's a girl's or a boy's name?" Jodha grinned at her sister's frustrated face. "Daddy!! Does it matter?" The old man smiled at her and answered - "No, no! It doesn't matter." Jodha frowned listening that. "Unless it's a boy!" Shivani switched off her phone in irritation. Smiling at himself, their father started putting the finishing touches on dinner. "And you just stop smiling! you fought with Sofia." Shivani shouted at Jodha who just nodded at her answer. "You know what? Just stay away from her. You are just jealous of my popularity!" Shivani continued yelling at her. "Shut the f**k up! That girl sucks. She's a teenage Kim Jong-Il" She shouted back at her. "Speak English!" Shivani said, not understanding the thing her elder sister said. "Girls--" Their father tried to interrupt but Jodha spoke before him. "Are you kidding me! You don't know Kim Jong-Il? He was the dictator of North Korea!" Jodha screamed, shocked that her sister was unaware of this thing. "North Korea?! We are talking about our high school where I am going to be unpopular, just cause of my sister. My life isn't worth living!" Shivani said, making the situation a little dramatic. "Yea! Your life is worse. I mean you should sit inside some room, wearing a burka!" Jodha rolled her eyes. "English!!" Shivani again yelled, unaware of the meaning of the word. "Girls, quiet!" Their father yelled. They both glared at each other."Shivani! I know you are upset. But Jo's right. You are a little too obsessed with popularity. You are my princess, now come on smile!" Shivani pouted at her father but then grinned. "Okay! Have it!" He passed her a bowl of chicken rice. "May I be excused ? I don't need to carbo-load. I am not running a marathon tomorrow." Her father nodded, Shivani grabbed her dinner salad and headed to her room. Jodha turned to her father. "Dad! Thanks for agreeing with me!" Her father looked at her for a second and then answered - "I don't agree with you. Being popular in high school is not that bad. But popular kids are the one who do kissing and the bad stuff. And I am not ready to be a grandpa. Now pass the garlic bread." Jodha couldn't believe him. She passed him the bread and pushed herself back from the table.
After writing the first page of her first book. Jodha felt happy. She loved writing and now she was writing a book, all by herself. She smiled, satisfied by her work. She grabbed the loose pages and stapled them. Turning off the light, she was all ready to sleep. But her sister entered that time. "Welcome! How come you here?" Jodha asked her, turning on the lights."Just to tell you! That stay away from Sofia and the guy she likes, Jalal Khan." Shivani warned her. "Khan! I thing I have heard this name. Maybe at the guidance counsellor office." Jodha muttered to herself. "Oh please! Stay away from him. I don't want any other miseries for me." Jodha rolled her eyes, listening that. "I don't even want to come face to face to that Sofia and the guy she likes. It's better for me if I will stay away from them." Jodha again switched off the light. "I know! But the thing is you always trouble those people who are my friends." Shivani said, trying to seek Jodha's attention, who was ignoring her, really well. "Good Night!" Jodha covered her face, indicting Shivani to leave the place.
---Dining Table, Kitchen.---
"Daddy! Now it's too much. Every girl in my school is dating, except me!" Like every-day, Shivani grumbled for the same 'dating' stuff. "Love, your sister is also not dating, you are not alone!" Shivani frowned listening the same answer from her father. "Yea! I am always there for you!" Jodha's sarcastic comment increased her frustration. "But why can't I date? Don't you trust me, daddy?" Jodha rolled her eyes, it was nothing new to her. She looked at her father, he was searching something in his bag. After a second or so, he pulled out a small tape recorder, and with that, Jodha just turned her head. "Do you know what this is?" He looked at his younger daughter and then at the elder one. He hitted the 'play' button and shrieks of pain emanated from the tape recorder. "The sound of a teenage girl in labour." The daughters spoke in unison, which made their father to grin wider. "That's why you are not dating until graduation." Saying this, he kissed them and went inside taking the plates, humming to himself. "I can't believe this. My life is not worth living." Shivani muttered to herself. "Precious, don't say this. You can't date but you can do other stuff. You know?" Jodha looked at her father, who was trying his best to cheer his younger daughter."Okay! So can I become a cheer-leader?" Jodha looked at her sister, she knew that something was in her mind. "A cheer-leader?" Her father asked, to which Shivani quickly nodded. Sofia asked her for this, she was the top cheer-leader and Shivani didn't want to leave this opportunity. "Dad! You won't allow her. I mean that's totally a gross thing. Cheer-leaders are retarded dancers. I think you should not allow her." Both sisters glared each other. Looking at their father, who was in some deep thoughts, they waited for his answer. "I think you should go for it. But you won't talk to boys, no kissing, hugging, touching, okay?" Jodha turned to her father, totally against him. While her younger sister ran to her father, kissing him on his cheek. "Daddy! You are great! I love you so much." Hugging him again, she left the room. "Dad, that's totally unfair. I mean I thought you was with me?" Jodha turned to her father, who patted her shoulder. "Jo, she's your litter sister. She is a little hyper, mad, immature. We both want best for her. But she was demanding to date someone, so it was better to let her do this 'cheer-leading' stuff." Jodha rolled her eyes, listening that. "Dad! She was acting. She know you too well. Why can't you understand?" Her father looked at her, giving car keys to her. "I know you are little too worried about her. But you will be there with her. So I am not scared. I trust you. Now leave, you are late for school!" Jodha smiled hearing that, kissing her father's cheek. She left, waving at him.
---Bruntcliffe Meeting Room.---
Every member who was related to the sports committee was there in the room. From team-players to cheer-leaders, everyone was excited about this upcoming championship. They all were seated in their places, only one seat was left. Sofia looked around, worried. While her brother just rolled his eyes. Administrator of the sports committee glanced at his watch for the second time. "Shit..Am sorry! Apologies to all." And finally he came, panting. Maybe cause of running! First four buttons of his shirt were left unbuttoned, his sleeves rolled upwards, which made his look extra hot. He grabbed his seat beside Sofia and looked at others. "I think we should start. So as we all know that this time our school is selected for the basketball championship. So we need some changes in our team." James Barrett, the head of the sports committee spoke, having his eyes on Jalal. "James, there's no need of any kind of change." The 'shooting guard' of the basketball team protested. "Why are you scared? I am not going to replace you." They guy looked relieved hearing that. "James, then why the hell you called us here?" Their coach interrupted in between. "Sir, we lost the last tournament and losing it again will be such a disgrace to our school. We need changes in our team. And by this, I mean we need to change our captain." James looked at Jalal who was looking at their coach, and by his expressions he knew that he was shocked. "You can't do this James, Jalal is one of our best players. He is doing it since 2 years." Their coach protested. Sofia looked at Jalal who was working really hard in controlling his anger, she tuned to her brother, who was smirking at her. She knew he never liked him but this is totally nonsense. "I agree coach, he will still be in our team but not as the captain or the centre forward. If he wants he can be the small forward." Banging his fist on the table, Jalal stood up. "This is bullshit, James. And can I ask the reason behind this sudden change?" He asked while Sofia just tried to cool down his anger. "There are many reasons, angry man! Firstly your academic result, then your attitude, and of-course the greatest of all, you remember we lost last time. And if I am right you were the captain?" James said, which just fuelled his anger. "But James, that was the only tournament we lost, and moreover who will be the new captain?" A team-mate stood with Jalal, supporting him."You can be the new captain. If you want!" After hearing that, Jalal left the room. The other heads and members of the committee too agreed, after all who can go against the son of the School Board Superintendent.
After nearly 10 minutes, James finally spotted Jalal. "Hey brother! You should be glad you are still in the team." Jalal turned to him, lighting up a cigarette. "Just shut the f**k up! You also know that no one can take my place." James just smirked in return. "Maybe it's true. But you can't do anything. You should have thought this before hooking up with my sister." Laughing, Jalal looked at him. "I don't have anything for her, she's all behind me. Tell your sister to find another guy." Patting his cheek, Jalal left the place. "Ouch!" James stepped backwards, holding his hand as Jalal threw his burning cigarette at him.
A group of girls wearing various forms of workout tops were sitting on the lawn. Shivani was also seated amongst them. Sofia stood at the front. "You all did great. Give yourself a round of applause." The girls looked at each other and clapped. "But as you know that this is not for everyone. Some of you can't be the cheer-leaders." Sofia took a pause while the girls looked at each-other, nervously. "And this means! some, no lets be honest, most of you, can't be in the squad. I know this is something that is really bad. Some of you will regret this for all your life, I mean you all worked hard. But only those will be selected who worked harder. Tomorrow is really an important day for all of you, sitting there. Cause tomorrow you will get to know that if you are official cheer-leaders or not." Sofia looked at them, they looked nervous which made her smile. She picked up her purse - "By the way good luck!" She said, walking away. The girls too dispersed, completely and totally gutted. While Shivani ran after Sofia. "Oh my god! That speech was so inspiring." Sofia smiled at her. "Thanks! But no one cried!" She said, shaking her arms limply. "I mean I am just forcing them to face the truth. After all, you and I are winners." Sofia explained, winking at Shivani, indicating that she's making the squad. Shivani looked at her, ecstatic: She's a popular cheer-leader.
"Virgin alert." James muttered to his friends as soon as he spotted Shivani with his sister."She's a virgin?" James looked at his friends. "Are you doubting me. She only told me that her father never allowed her to date anyone." He grinned at his friends. "I think she is out of your reach, buddy." One of his friend spoke, he looked at him and his other friends also agreed. "No one's out of reach for me." James argued, confident. "You wanna put money on that?" His friends laughed at him. "I have money. This I'm going to do for fun." He smirked at them.
On the other side, Daniel and Ryan watched James' admiration towards Shivani. "Why this model is behind my love?" Ryan complained. "I doubt that. I mean half of the school is behind your love interest." Daniel said, while Ryan was busy admiring Shivani. "Man, just look at her." Daniel glanced at Shivani and then back at Ryan. "Is she always so...vapid?" Daniel asked, not impressed. Ryan glared at him - "How can you say that? She's totally --" Daniel interrupted him. "Conceited?" Ryan slapped his back, and again stared at Shivani."What you are talking about? There's more to her than you think. I mean look...look at the way she smiles. And look at her eyes, man! She's totally pure. I mean you are missing what's there." Daniel was still unconvinced. "No no no! Ryan. She's a little snotty girl wearing a planned sun dress to make guys like us realize that we can never touch her, and you know guys like..ergh..James can." Ryan looked at Daniel, totally irritated. "You are judging her." He protested, Daniel looked at him but before he could say anything. They noticed Jodha walking towards the cafeteria. Looking at each other, they decided to follow her.
Jodha glanced at her surroundings, the place was filled with students. Finally spotting a vacant place for herself, she sat there. She hated the way the rest of the students were staring at her. This was her second day in this school and people started judging her. She put her ear plugs in and ignored the rest. "What she's listening?" Daniel muttered to Ryan, "I am sure it's 'bad reputation'." He replied to which Daniel agreed. Maybe that song says a lot about Jodha. They waited there for almost 15 minutes but Jodha was just listening her music."She's going somewhere." Daniel muttered as soon as he spotted her leaving the place. "Why she came here...to listen music?" Ryan asked, confused by her weird behavior.
Of the five things she hated about this new school, biology class was number one. And adding to this, the professors just informed that they were going to share classes with the seniors. Soon the lab got filled with students and they made pairs for the experiments. Jodha looked satisfied and went to her seat. She wasn't paired with anyone and that was the best thing that happened to her, but as she looked at the table beside her. She spotted the same rider, paired with some scared guy. "Jalal Khan, just stop spoiling it." The professor said, as he was doing something with some lab equipments. She looked at him, remembering the thing Shivani told her. This was the same guy, whom Sofia likes. "Gross." Jodha muttered, how can anyone like him. He was in biology lab wearing a sports jersey. She looked at the wolf tattooed on his forearm, a little upwards was a skull. She turned her head as soon as the professor started speaking. "Locating the heart!" Jodha mumbled to herself. She never liked frogs, and now there was a dead frog in-front of her, and she had to locate it's heart. She wasn't scared of cutting or anything like that. But the problem was with frog. She hated them, since childhood. "Can't we start with worms, it will be easy?" Jodha asked the professor, interrupting his lecture. Everyone looked at her and then at the professor, who stared at her but then agreed. They all were given dissecting kits with scalpel-like knives that could be sharper and trays with a coating of wax at the bottom, and a package of pins, as in sewing classes. "First, I have to dissect the worm." Jodha read the steps, as she looked at the diagram of the inside of the worm. "What are you doing?" Everyone looked at Jalal, his partner was continuously stopping him. He dissected the worm horizontally, without any hesitation. But wait, without any lab gloves. Jodha again concentrated on her experiment. She pinned the worm at either end and made a slick vertical cut. The worm twisted as they do on fish-hooks. She pinned the worm's skin out to the sides. She could see it's worm heart, which wasn't in the shape of a heart. "It's disgusting." She spoke, the professor came to her. It was surprising to all that she completed her experiment that fast. "It' so fun." She heard Jalal saying that. He was wearing biker glasses instead of goggles as he tried to revive his frog. "You are doing a wrong experiment." Jodha said, she always had this habit of correcting everything. "And you are not minding your own business." He answered which pissed Jodha. "Don't talk to him, he's dangerous. I heard he sold his own liver." A nerdy girl whispered, jodha just rolled her eyes as her answer. "You can't live without a liver." Jodha snapped back, where the hell she was studying. She again looked at him, who then made his frog hump another frog, with full-on sound effects.
Shivani hopped inside James car, beside Sofia. She looked at her brother who was busy flirting with her new friend. "If you like her so much, then don't you think you should date her?" James looked at her sister, he knew that she was mad on him because of the Jalal thing. "I told you...I can't date!" Shivani told her, to which James held her hand. "Next week, there's a party. Will you come there with me as my date?" Shivani felt like she was on cloud nine. She became a popular cheer-leader, and adding to this, a model just asked her out. But the main problem was still there - her father. "I have a big fat favor to ask." Shivani looked at Sofia. "Erg! I don't respond to fat." She replied. "Okay, small skinny favor then?" Sofia nodded at this, to which Shivani continued - "Actually, I don't know if my daddy will agree or not. But if I failed to convince him, will you help me?" Sofia thought for a second and then agreed. They chatted for a good few minutes but after it, Sofia spotted Jodha in her car."Gosh! That girl is again here. I hate her." Shivani was horrified. She looked at Jodha and mimed - "Leave, now!"
But Jodha just smirked at her and rolled down the car window. "Shivani? What are you doing, Dad's going to kill us if we are not home soon." Shivani closed her eyes. James winked at Jodha to which she just rolled her eyes and cursed him. Shivani looked at a confused and disgusted Sofia. "She's just mad. By the way you look amazing in this light." Shivani muttered. Now, the damage was recovered, Sofia stared at herself in the mirror. Jodha looked at them and tapped gas, making the car jump forward. They all screamed, once they realized that they are okay, Sofia noticed that her new car was again damaged, but this time - just a scratch. "You evil bitch!" Sofia screamed at her, but Jodha just waved at her and drove away."See, I can explain...She's my sister but she's adopted, trust me!" Shivani lied to her. "But you looked really great when you screamed." Shivani praised to which Sofia again admired herself, looking at the mirror.
---Sharma's House, Wash-room.---
Jodha washed her face at the sink, but then Shivani entered. "If you are here for fighting and stuff then I am not free." Jodha said but to her surprise Shivani shook her head and smiled."See, I also want us to live like normal sisters. But the problem is you never supports me."Jodha stared her for a second. "Okay! I also don't support you." She continued to which Jodha rolled her eyes. "Why can't you just come to the point?" Jodha was losing her calm."Why can't you be nice to people? You know, everyone thinks that you are mean!" She moved towards Jodha and tried to twist her hair into a chignon. "I don't care what people thinks about me. Now go!" She whacked Shivani away. "Have you ever tried a new look? I mean you can look better." Jodha looked at her younger sister, definitely something is there in her mind. "I will smack the crap out of you if you don't get out of my way." Jodha patted her face dry with a towel and threw it at Shivani. "Wait..where you get the pearls?" Jodha asked as soon as the pearl bracelet caught her attention. "They are of mom." She replied, admiring them. "And you are what? Hiding them for 3 years?" Jodha looked upset, she was close to her mother. Her everything was special to her, and she knew that Shivani will lose them. "No, Daddy found them in a drawer last week." Shivani protested. "So you are just gonna start wearing them now?" Jodha asked, to which she nodded. "It's not like that she's coming back to claim them. And beside that, it looks good on me." Shivani said, touching them softly. "Trust me, they don't." Saying this, Jodha slammed the door on her face.
"Hey Dad!" Jodha waved at her father who was having a envelope in his hand, Shivani too waved at him. "It is from Heidelberg university." As soon as Jodha heard this, she snatched the envelop from her father and jumped on the couch. In a flurry of excitement, she tore it open and read the contents silently. "Gosh! Dad, I got in, I got in." She covered her face. She was so excited for this and now she was finally in. "That's great, honey! But isn't Heidelberg University in Germany?" Her father looked at her, she smiled widely and nodded. "But why you want to go there? I mean you are in high school now. You are not going there. London have great universities." Jodha looked at him, shocked. She knew that he's overprotective but it's about her future. "It's after my summative exams. Dad, you can't do this!" She argued, while Shivani was a silent spectator. "Are you punishing me because I am not letting you date? Or it is about that I want you to stay close to me?" She rolled her eyes, why can't anyone understand her. "Aren't you punishing me because mom left?" Now, Jodha couldn't control herself. She never wanted to say this, but he needs to understand her."Don't bring your mother in this. You know, that she always wanted you to live with me and your sister." Shivani looked at her father and then at her sister, the conversation was turning a lot extreme. "Fine, then stop making my decisions for me." Jodha was about to leave the place but her father's voice stopped her. "I am your father. That's my right." She looked at him and shook her head. "So my wishes doesn't matter?" She asked, placing her hand against her hip. "You are seventeen! You don't know what you want. And you will never know what you want until you are fifty. And if by chance you get it, you will be too old to use it." Shivani chuckled at that statement by her father, but Jodha's glare silenced her. "I want to go to Germany. I want to pursue my career. I want you to trust me and let me make my own decisions. And I want you to stop controlling my life cause you can't control yours." Her father turned to his elder daughter, he wanted her to look at the situation, maturely. But his phone disturbed the talk, "we will talk about this, later." He said before answering the call.
She closed her book. Frustration, anger and disappointment - This is what she was feeling. What was her mistake? She wanted to know herself, become something. She knew that her father wanted best for her, but he was pretty suffocating at times. She believed in her own abilities and potential. She knew that she will make it pretty clear for him that she planned on following her own agenda despite his restrictions. The only thing she wanted was to have control over her life. "I am focused in my life, I won't let him or anyone spoil my dreams."Jodha muttered to herself. One of her best qualities was - her strong will. She lived up to her expectations. She has three rules in her life. And it was clearly written on the first page of her diary.
First - Stay true to yourself.
Second - Do the thing you love and f**k the rest.
Third - Never fall in love.
She had it clear in her mind that she doesn't have to do things for someone else's reasons or happiness. She always fought to control her own destiny, she wasn't afraid to step on someone's toes while being true to herself, she knew what she wanted. If one of her wonderful plans failed, she could always come with another. She firmly believed that perfection came with practice.
'Never give up' - Her mother used to say, which suited her, because she was the one who determined her own future. Even if the path was sprinkled with the remains of her failures. At-least they were 'her' failures.
After great 15 minutes, Jodha again tried to think about her 'first book'. By this book, she wanted to inspire people. In short, this book was all about her life. She hadn't told anyone about her interest in writing, and she had it clear that she won't tell this to anyone until it's done. 'There's nothing wrong to live up to your expectations instead of others.' A smile spread across her lips, "Perfect line" She muttered, one more line for her 'book'.
Hey lovely people! I hope you all would have enjoyed this chapter. Thanks for liking the previous one. And Anushka, this one for your help.
Edited by aisha.....11110 - 28 May 2015 at 9:57am