My So-Called Bollywood Life(10)

By: Nisha Sharma


 “Well, scandal, especially between film-club presidents, needs some discussion time.”

Winnie rolled her eyes. “Even Rebecca Peterson stopped me today.”

“Isn’t she the one who always put out your Bunsen burner in Gen Chem because of her mouth breathing?”

“That’s the one.”

“Apparently, she tells people that it’s helpful when she plays the sax. I bet her mouth blows up like a blowfish when she sucks in air and holds her breath, sort of like Miles Davis. Was it Miles Davis who played the sax? I should text my mom. She’ll know.”

“Focus, Bridge.”

“Yeah, okay. What did she say?”

“She asked what was going on. I told her it was all true and that Jenny ‘Dick-in’ even tattooed Raj’s name on her body in Sanskrit characters, the same way that Chase Evans tattooed Rebecca’s name over his heart.”

Bridget grinned and shoved Winnie’s shoulder. “Poor Chase! Sax-y Rebecca is going to be all over him now.”

“I felt bad, but honestly, what am I supposed to say? That I asked for a break first? I doubt people want to hear about my head trip. Like, I’m not sure if I’m mad about the way the breakup happened or about no longer having a boyfriend. I’m definitely hurting because I’m not going to have my soul mate prophecy like my parents, but was it stupid of me to believe in star charts in the first place? And Raj’s fan club is going to tar and feather me if I admit that Raj isn’t the same guy that I started dating years ago, and that I’m not sure I even like the person he is now. I feel none of that big blockbuster, drama-style grief, either. It’s all confusing. I’m in the middle of an ocean, like Tom Hanks’s volleyball.”

 “Speaking of Raj, have you talked to him?”

“No!” Winnie said, slamming her locker door. They started walking toward the auditorium. “Can you believe it? I’ve known him since I was six freaking years old and I saw him every day for three of the past eleven years. Because of his new schedule, it’s as if we don’t even go to the same school. Do you think he’s angry I took my stuff? He should at least say something to me about it, right? Or at least about the bracelet he bought me.”

“I doubt he’ll mention it. He always let you do the confronting. At least you don’t have to worry about film club, since you and Ms. Jackson have already set the calendar. She’ll have your back about the festival, too. All you have to do is think about how you’re going to look when everyone sees you together onstage.”

They were halfway to their destination when Winnie saw a familiar face. Henry Donald Richardson V, his shoulders hunched, his skinny arms held tight to his side, kicked his locker before opening it. Winnie noticed that his Tardis T-shirt had seen better days, and his black painted nails matched the exact shade of his black shoulder-length hair.

 “Hi, Henry,” Bridget called out. “Looking good.”

He fumbled with his bag and dropped it. “Hi.” He flushed when Bridget wiggled her fingers at him.

Winnie shot Bridget a questioning look before she asked Henry, “Heading to the meeting?”

“Nope. Raj can suck a mother ship. I’m leaving film club.”

“What?” Winnie choked out. “Why? We need you and your techies!”

“Not according to Raj. Dude said he’d handle all the tech stuff himself along with his new mathlete freaks because I told him he was acting like a prick these days.”

“No!” Winnie and Bridget said in unison.

“He’s not one of us anymore. I refuse to put up with his crap any longer. You probably know how that feels more than anyone, Winnie. I gotta get home. It’s good seeing you.”

“Hey, if you ever want in, please call me! You and the AV tech-sperts are always welcome.”

Henry walked backward, his arms spread wide. “You guys should get going. If the meeting is about to start, you don’t want Raj to change the film club into one of the science clubs, too.”

Winnie watched him leave. “Holy baby Shah Rukh Khan. This is really happening.”

Bridget gripped Winnie’s upper arms and shook. “Keep it together, Mehta. You were doing so well.”