Regardless (Episode 4 -Gifted She)
Birthday. Everyone is always excited about their birthday. But I wasn’t. Sara was. But I wasn’t excited. What happens on that? Cut a cake, get wishes and many more. But where was the point to be excited about it? Maybe that’s why Sara called me "Dumb". A feelingless "Dumb". But once in my life, I thought that my birthday was worth it. Wanna know who made it like that? Well, my parents tried to make me excited about my birthday. But they couldn’t make me feel the joy of birthday. But I ain’t gonna lie, they tried their best. They threw parties, invited guests, gave me wonderful gifts and so on! But I just couldn’t feel the joy of birthday. Maybe I’m the one and only weird kid who couldn’t understand the joy of a birthday. Till one day. One day that I’ll never forget.
Well, after the "Dress As You Like" event, no other event was organized by the school. Normal classes were going on. We were on our usual study. Everyday was the same. Going to school, learning from our teachers, trying to get ourselves educated, connect with our friends and so on. But sitting by Sara was a bit different. Almost everything was different. After our last event, she was more open to me. Always talked with me, sat beside me, had tiffin with me. Sometimes my other friends would ask me what was going between the two of us. "Does she like you?", "Is she your best friends?", "Is she your sister?" Questions like this. But my answer was always the same,
"She is just a friend."
Even my close friends like Raisa, Arif would ask me,
"Aren't you giving her more time than us?"
"I ain't giving her more time. She is giving me more time." I replied.
One day we were doing some class activities. As usual, she and I were in a team. Suddenly, an announcement came for all of us. Another event! And it was "Junior Sports Event". Mainly sports in other schools were organized at the starting of the year. But our school was a bit different. Our school had two separate sports events. One was for the juniors like us and the other one was for the seniors. The sports day of the Senior's took place the starting of the year. But the sports day of the juniors usually took place at the end of the year, when the winter started. Just like that, our's was being arranged at the end of the year. So many sports categories were announced. I was really excited about the event. I was really excited about it, to be honest.
"Joining the event? " asked Sara.
"Yes. Why not! Aren't you?" I also asked her.
(Giggling at me) "Why not, silly?" she replied.
I was excited hearing that she would join too. Suddenly I remembered something. My birthday was a few days away. But it was during the event. The last day of the event to be precise. A thing that I learned is that, in our class, our teachers would tell us if someone's birthday was the next day, we needed to buy a gift for him or her. But as my birthday was during the event, I wouldn't have my gifts then. My brain said that it was a good thing. But my heart spoke the opposite. I always listened to my brain instead of my heart. As the class ended, Sara and I went to the registration booth to get ourselves into the event. We went their and gave our name in every game that we could find. After finishing that we were heading to the gate to exit our campus, Sara said,
"We need to win this one too."
"Do we have to win every event we participate in?" I replied.
(She looked at me) "Why are you saying that?" asked Sara.
"I mean, we should let our friends win too. They also have the right to win in these events. Or they will not find the joy of participating in these events if they figure that we are gonna win every event that we take part in," I replied.
(Sara thinking for a bit) "I guess you are right. We should let others win too. But we need to give our best in the event though," said Sara.
"We will try our best then," I replied.
Finishing our conversation, we reached the gate and as usual her car was waiting for her outside. She got onto her car and left.
The next day was the first day of the event. As usual, I went to school on time. Reaching school, I found Sara already there. Usually Sara never came before me. But that day, she did. She was talking to Raisa and Aynal. I couldn't figure what they were talking about. But they were talking about some serious as it looked like to me from a distance. As they saw me, they stopped talking. I went there to join them.
"Hey there everyone. Mind if I join?" I asked.
"Join in what?" asked Raisa.
"Whatever it was you we guys were talking about," I replied.
"Umm... We weren't talking about anything. We were just talking about something of our last groupwork. Right Sara?" said Raisa.
"Yeah! About our last group work," said Sara.
"Oh," I replied.
I felt that they were hiding something from me. But I didn't talk much about that. Suddenly there was an announcement that the events were going to start soon. So we accordingly took part in all the events and got ourselves selected for the knockout rounds. As the day ended, both Sara and I were tired.
"I think we are going to win," said Sara.
"Don't get excited already. We still have to pass the knockout rounds to reach the finals," I replied.
"Let's see if we can get to the finals then," Said Sara.
After saying that I walked her to the car and she left. As she left my view, suddenly Aynal same from the back and knocked me.
"So you guys passed all the games," he said.
"Yeah! What about you guys?" I asked.
"We got selected in a few." replied he.
"Tough competition huh?" I asked.
"Well, every competition is hard when you two take part in that,"
We laughed together after hearing that. Actually people make fun out the two of us that I just can't stop laughing. After that, I left the gate saying good-bye to Aynal as my father came to pick me up.
The next day was more interesting, the competition got harder. I found Sara busy talking with my other classmates about something. But when I asked them about that, they refused to tell me about what they were talking about. That was really annoying for sometime and was getting me angrier. What was so private that they couldn't tell me? Or.. Were they trying to keep me aside? But why would they keep me aside from there plan? What was the reason? Well, I thought many things but couldn't find an answer that could calm me. As we were at the end of the day, I found Sara talking with our class teacher. They talked for quite a long time. I was sitting a bit far and counted the duration of their chat. When they ended their conversation, I looked at my wrist watch. It was a full 7 minute talk. Sara walked away from the room, probably to get freshed up. In the meantime, I went to our class teacher.
"Oh! Hello, Rafat. How are you? I heard that you and Sara got selected for tomorrow's finals. You passed in all the games you two participated," said our class teacher.
"Yes, Sister. It was all because of your prayers," I replied.
"Dear, I pray for all of my students. The rest is up to Almighty. But Sara and you make a good team. I know you will do great in the competition," she added.
"Thanks. But can I ask a question?" I asked.
"Yes, dear. Why not?" she replied.
"What were you and Sara talking about? Sara was talking to almost all of my classmates about something. But no one is telling me what that is," I replied.
Sister laughed after hearing that. I couldn't find the reason why she laughed.
"Dear, some things are meant to be secret. But when it's time, you will know it."
What was going on? What was the matter exactly that even my class teacher was hiding too? Maybe I should wait till it was time. But I was getting impatient. I couldn't stop thinking about these.
"Rafat?" (I didn't reply.)
"Rafat!" (Another call)
"Huh?" I replied.
I noticed that it was Sara. She came back after getting cleaned up.
"What were you thinking? I called you so many times," she said.
"Umm. Nothing," I replied.
"Nothing?" she kept staring at me.
"What?" I asked.
"Umm.. Nothing. Let's go. We have a lot to do tomorrow," she said.
"Huh. Let's go," I replied.
After that we walked along the narrow road to the school gate. She was talking about so many things with me. I was listening to her silently. After that, I watched her leaving the campus just like everyday. But that day, I was really angry because she hid something from me. I didn't want her to hide anything from me. But she was. I didn't like that.
Next day the finals came, events started taking place. We were taking stand for our events and therefore participating in them. But we weren't getting any positions. Sara was getting mad about it. She wanted to win anyways. I could see that red angry face. Suddenly the "Balloon Fight" events called upon to be arranged and all the participants were preparing themselves for that.
(Looking at me angrily) "We are going to win this one!" she said.
(Uttering) "Ok..." I replied.
After that, we went to the preparation area. The balloons were tied on our legs. We were told to hold our arms from our backs. Sara held the hand from the back tightly. I felt that anger as she hold my hands. We went to our position for the start. The game started. We started to jump here and there to save our balloon. One by one, everyone's balloon got blown. When we were down to only two, it was me and Sara and on the opposite two students of the other section.
"Keep up with me," she said.
I was trying to keep up with her. Suddenly the opponent team came near us. I felt really afraid. All of a sudden, Sara jumped and I almost slipped. I somehow managed to stand. And Sara ended up blowing the balloon of the opponent. We won! Sara started jumping. She hugged me, so tight that I couldn't breath properly.
"Sara!" I tried speaking..
Sara pushed me away. I was literally out of breath. She was happy. At least I didn't have to see that angry face of her anymore. Later on, we went to the stage to collect our prize and after that we had a photoshoot. Sara and I were walking off the stage when suddenly Aynal and Raisa came. Raisa whispered something in Sara's ear. I couldn't hear what she said to Sara. Sara looked at me smiling. Right after then, Raisa and Aynal ran away.
"Time has come to know what you wanted to know." Sara said.
"What?" I asked.
"Close your eyes," Sara insisted.
"Why? What's going on?" I asked her.
"Just close your eyes," she said.
I closed my eyes and she covered my eyes ensuring that I couldn't see through any holes or something. She was walking me somewhere that I couldn't imagine.
After a few steps towards somewhere, she stopped.
"Keep your eyes closed till I ask you to open it," she said.
"Fine!" responded I.
She took her hands off my eyes. I leftvmy eyes were closed. After a while, she asked me to open my eyes. As I opened, I found her standing right in front of me looking straight into my eyes. She was holding a candle. I was frightened. Everything around me was dark. What was going on?
"You forgot to tell me something about today," she said.
"What?" I asked.
"That today is a special day for you. A very special day," she told me.
I was literally thinking about what was going on. I didn't even saw my surrounding yet.
"Happy Birthday Rafat," she wished me and walked away from me. The lights got turned on. What I saw then was remarkable.
All of my classmates were in front of me. I was my class room the whole time. My class teachers were there. Almost every classmate that I knew was there. They were in front of me and were cheering me up. They were greeting me happy birthday. Everyone was gifting me various stuff. Teachers gave me books, friends gave me things that were wrapped up. I was so much happy. I then looked at Sara who was standing beside me. She was with a smile. She was smiling more when I was happier. Teachers bought me a cake. I blew the candles on top and slice a piece and everyone took a bite. I also gave Sara a piece from the cake. We had lots of fun. After that, we came out of our classroom. Everyone said goodbye. I left. Sara was walking with me. As we came near the gate, She turned to me.
"Thanks Sara for everything," I said.
"All for a good friend. Oh! I forgot something. Here you go. Your gift," she handed me a big dairy. It wasn't wrapped. It was tied with a bow.
"Write everything here from now on. Return me the dairy when the dairy it will be finished. I will read it," she said.
That was the best gift that I ever got till now. That was the best day of my life till now. Plus that was the best friend that I had till now. But, was that gonna last forever? Only time could tell.