The Rejection - Chapter 1
Vikrant stood at the metro station, waiting for his 9 AM metro to college. The crowd went bonkers around him as it was a rush hour. People would run and squish into the coming metros and others would scatter out of them like spilled beans.
The Monday morning blues and the commotion of the crowd felt all somber and chaotic at the station, but Vikrant was unbothered by it all. Nothing could come between him and the coding book that he had been religiously reading for a few days now.
He stood there with the thick book in his hands and his bagpack slung on his back. His huge glasses covered most part of his boney face and his combed-over-greasy hair added to his geeky vibe. He stood with a slouched posture, lost in his book.
Soon enough, the metro came and he carefully boarded it. For a moment, he looked around, at the people in the metro. He gave took a deep and calming breath. His commute to the college was the only time where he felt relaxed, aside from him being home.
In these 30 minutes, he never felt bothered by anyone around because the world just went on around him. He felt like a lost piece of this chaotic puzzle called the world. Everyone rushed for their routine, some went to schools, some to colleges, and some to work. The rush around him made him feel neglected and no one bothered to stop, take a look at him, and pass any lewd comments, like they did back in college. He smiled at his thought with his heart breaking a little at the thought of how people treated him in college.
“But not Kritika” he thought and he smiled to himself. The thought of Kritika tickled his chest and he felt butterflies rushing inside his stomach.
No matter how big of a diva Kritika was at the college, she had never made fun of him or had never joined her friends in laughing at him. Both of them had an old friendship that traced back to when they were kids.
Vikrant knew things changed when they grew up and Kritika didn’t like being associated with him as he was the dumbo of the class. But he knew, deep down, she didn’t judge him and it wasn’t a coincidence that they ended up in the same college, in the same class. Vikrant took it as a sign, for some reason.
As soon as Vikrant got settled on the first bench of his classroom, his eyes got fixated on the door. He watched people getting in as he pretended to read but Kritika was nowhere to be seen. As the clock ticked, he started to feel disappointed.
And then came the group of people that Kritika always hung out with, including Aashish. As Vikrant didn’t find Kritika with them, he gave out a cold sigh. Kritika didn’t come to college.
Whenever she bunked the classes, Vikrant felt sad as Kritika was the only reason that pushed him to get through college. Given the way people treated Vikrant, he felt that the place was a hell hole but Kritika’s presence around him just brightened up his day.
“Stop waiting. She won’t come today” Aashish stopped by and whispered into Vikrant’s ear before giving out a scoff and moving to the last bench. His friends giggled and chattered as they walked away. A wave of anger ran down Vikrant’s body. He closed his eyes and let go of it.
Of all the people in the class, he hated Aashish because he wouldn’t shut up about Vikrant having a crush on Kritika and making fun of it.
Vikrant could hear him laughing at the back but he tried to dodge the voices and then, something hit the back of his head. It startled Vikrant but it wasn’t anything new. Aashish had hit him with a ball of paper, followed by the laughter of the whole group.
Vikrant closed his eyes again, letting his feelings settle down. He couldn’t help but feel worse. His cheeks flushed red hot and his heart started to throb fast. He wanted to yell at them but he bit it back. All he could do was jump out of his seat, collect his stuff, and storm out of the classroom. He couldn’t hear anything anymore and the voices faded in the back. His eyes were bloodshot as he felt humiliated and disgusted with his own self.
“Why?” he whispered to himself. “Why?!”
A tear escaped his eye but he wiped it off as soon as it fell off. He boarded the metro back home and as soon as he found a seat, he plugged his earphones in.
“It's another lonely evening
And another lonely town
But I ain't too young to worry
And I ain't too old to cry…” the song started in his iPod that was on the verge of giving up on life, just like Vikrant himself. He looked at the device and gave out a sad smile, holding it closer to his chest he kept listening to the song.
“…And it's another red light nightmare
Another red light street
And I ain't too old to hurry
Cause I ain't too old to die
But I sure am hard to beat…”
Song: Ride on By ACDC