As I walk to our next class, Jay hobbles next to me, bumping into my side as the student body rushes down hallways to beat the sound of the late bell. With each accidental brush, I’m wondering how my life turned this unpredictable corner today. A day ago, I was top choice for Freshman Choice Award #4: “Most Likely to Eat Anything and Get Straight A’s While Chewing.” Because when you’re Indian, you don’t have a choice about the latter, and you’ve eaten enough strange things by the time you turn five that the first part isn’t too farfetched either.
Where were we? Ah, yes… the bubblegum episode. If you missed Parts One or Two of this Novel in Progress, Bit by Bit, Soap Story thingy I’m trying, hop on back and catch up. Then Hop forward and read today’s episode.
The next morning, mom tells me she’s working from home. As a project manager for Wells Fargo, she likes to boss her employees around, but she also loves them enough to do it via emails once or twice a week. When she camps out in her makeshift office, really a corner in my parents’ bedroom with the least amount of clutter. But since she’s home, skipping is out of the question. Unless I pretend to go to school and go elsewhere, but that never works since the first place the school calls is always the house.
Nothing like New York city in the fall. I try to focus on the changing leaves on my walk along Central Park and decide to detour by Belvedere’s castle in order to arrive at school ten minutes late. Just need the hallways to be empty so I can enter under the radar. And then I’ll jet a few minutes early to make my Potter with-the-cape exit.
Buzzed into the front door, Mr. Jones, the school Dean of Discipline, aptly nicknamed Dean Dread or Dean Dead depending on who you ask, greets me. He is not smiling. “You’re late. And Ms. Meena. If your locker’s not cleaned up by the time the first lunch bell sounds, detentions for an entire week.” Continue reading