“C’mon, let’s sit there!”
“I got pizzzza for lunch today. You? ”
“I got a burger.”
The two girls were chatting merrily as they sat cross-legged on the jute mats.
“Hi, Sarah! Hi, Ayesha! ” Farishtay hopped down on the mat.
The two girls looked at each other. There was a question in those eyes. They fidgeted. Ayesha apologetically, silently got up and Sarah followed her cousin, juggling her pink water bottle and lunch box carefully, eyes rooted to the ground.
They settled down away from Farishtay.
Different day. Same story. Different girls. Same school.
It was not the untouched egg sandwich that Farishtay swallowed.
She pushed back her shoulders straight and walked tall towards them.
This time, Sarah was the leader. She squinched.
There was an empty space a few feet away near the rowdy crowd. They didn’t seem to mind.
The nightingale on the tree that was a canopy for the children, did not stop singing.