Why I Am Here: Endings and Beginnings
The four of us, giggling in the dark. Earlier that evening, we had passed him as he was going to her house. Sasha waited until he was almost out of sight and turning to us, winked and said, “See you!” waiting expectantly. “N, T!!” I said, and we both sniggered. I never disappoint Sasha. Suman, always a little out of it, said, “What? What does that mean?” Naturally we didn’t explain. I mean, she’s the one who finished a math test early and asked the teacher if she could “shove off now, sir?” She never understood why everyone laughed.
Next to me, Suman is about to get up, but Chandana says, “Shh!” I don’t think she’s really heard anything, but she doesn’t like the way Sasha and I are pinching and giggling. A quiet one, Chandana. She thinks Sasha and I haven’t noticed that she sleeps with a pencil stuck between her breasts.
But for once, Chandana is right. The lights come on in her house. There they are. Our hearts stop beating, so we can hear everything. But there’s nothing to hear. We can see her head as she turns to talk to him, her chandelier earrings swaying in time. That, and her hands under her kurta, tying her nada. It hasn’t taken him time to slip on his t-shirt and he’s leaning against the door.
When he leaves, whistling softly so as not to disturb us, I think it is the most obscene sound I’ve ever heard. But somehow, not one of us can find a snigger.