I saw Sonam waving her hand as she just stepped out of the bus. Next to her was Singay and they both walked towards us. The capital is been filled with heavy snowfall and the day was just a beautiful day.
"Hey, How are you?" she hugged me.
"Good, glad you both are here now." I took one of her bags from her hand and they followed me.
"Mom is waiting inside the car," I said
"I need to go to the hospital first," Singay said from behind.
"Yeah, they all are waiting for both of you at home." I turned around and smile.
A person who rarely smiles gives us more joy when we see them smiling and that was Singay.
"I think there is someone with Aunty," She said as we got nearer.
"Yeah, Pemba's mom came too." I smiled without looking back.
"Ohh…" she giggled.
Inside the vehicle, the two ladies were sharing their wisdom on different aspects of life's journey. since both of them have undergone hardship in their life.
"Fate plays an important part in our lives." Mom said
The final year in high school is one of the most memorable years in everyone's life. So was mine. Looking around in the class, I can see some students are serious in their studies and some lest bother like me. Most of them are in their own world. The book in front of me wide opened is was inviting me to read it, and shortly after a few minutes there will be a Dzongkha period and it is a test day.
"Hey! Lopen is coming with the test paper." Informed Tshawang, the guy who was the informer of every moves teachers make.
"Oh God, why Dzongkha is so hard?" Lawaneya said, making one of her saddest faces and banging her head on the desk.
"It's hard because we are not studying enough," Phajo answer avoiding eye contact and focus on her book. "It is only hard for us Nepali to learn Dzongkha." She hit back raising her head now and looking at Phajo.
"We are Lotsampa, not Nepali." I corrected Lava. Turning around her head towards me, and her big eyes said to me to "stop it."
The test time was 45 minutes and the bell rang. On usual days of class, the 45 minutes seems to feel like an hour but on the day of the test 45 minutes only seems to be like 15 minutes.
The bell was a reminder for all the students to pick up the sickles and go to the respective area to cut the huge grasses and clean the school campus.
Like every weekend on Saturday, Lava, Sonam, Karma, and me. We always make plans on how to spend it. Many a time we were in the cinema hall watching movies, other days in front of a laptop watching horror movie which I like and sometimes eyes glued on a long never-ending Korean drama. There are days when we are on the river-side for swimming. Among all the weekend activities I hate going to the river-side the most. Unlike other friends, I was the only one who didn't know how to swim.
"Let's go swimming," suggested Karma on the way back home. "No let us go and watch a movie," I suggested.
"It's hot these days, let's go swimming," Lava said with a smile.
The day was really hot and it was a good suggestion and I realized it when I dipped my legs in the cold water sitting on a huge rock by the river-side. The water current was slow and the sunshine was at its high. Karma, Lava, and Sonam were all inside the water enjoying the day out. There are other groups of girls and boys enjoying not so far away. It's not like I haven't tried swimming in past but the fear of drowning gives me nightmares. "Zaisha come in, trust me we'll help you," Sonam said and pulled me towards the water.
"Don't worry, I and Lava will stay by your side holding your arms." Karma said and took control of my arms and continued, "You only need to shake your legs and rest put your trust on us."
"Say All is well, like Amir Khan," Sonam suggested from behind. She is a Bollywood freak and knows every song and movie names.
"All is well won't save me from drowning." I thought
In my life, I haven't let the water level to cross above my knees. But now it has covered by the body. The suffocation was hard. I can hear my heartbeat in my ears.
"Oh my God, this is my last day. This is how I am going to die." I thought
The panic was in my eyes and I could not utter a single word, I wanted to get out of it. And the next thing I could remember was my head was underwater, I tried to fight back and move my legs and hands at the same time. The hold of karma and Lava was so tight on my arms that they also could not control me from being panic.
"Hold on Zaisha," someone said.
The river current was flowing slowly but for me it was rushing like a tsunami, covering me not letting my head out. The last thing I remember was my mom and my two brothers then total darkness.
"Hey, you ok." A sound I heard when I tried to open my eyes. But the bright light made me blank and my friends covered me around to block the direct sunlight.
"Am I dead?"
Oh God, the head hurts, and one of my ears is blocked. All my three best friends, with a worried face and some other girls and boys which I noticed before going into the water were staring down at me.
"I am not dead."
"Zaisha are you ok?" Sonam and Lava said at the same time taking me by their hands and lifting me. The next thing I said was a word that made everyone laugh "I will kill you both." "Take some water." A voice never heard before suggested and handed me a bottle of mineral water. Without looking at him and taking my seat on the sand.
I said, "The whole time when I was drowning, I had to drink water, oh! God." All my frustration in my tone. "Shh, you should thank him, he is the one who saved your life." Lava said.
I looked up, there he was walking away. The guilt took hold of my heart for being so rude to him. He was in a blue shirt and a half pant, without shoes or slippers on his foot. I didn't see the face. He was walking towards the group of guys which seems to be his friends. And here I was with my useless friends whom I trusted and risked my life. "How can you be so careless?" I shouted at them.
"You are the one who got panic and didn't move your legs," Karma said. "Moreover we thought we lost you."
"Can you walk?" Lava asked worriedly. "Let's go and change our clothes."
I nodded with agreement. "I think you should go and thank that guy who saved you, moreover you were so rude to him."
"I didn't know that he saved my life, moreover he was giving me water when all I was scared was of water."
"At least go and thank him." Lava suggested.
I dried myself and got on my fresh clothes. From far the boys were enjoying and I could see them drinking.
"I will just say thank you and come back," I thought
As I approached the group, there were as many as 10 boys each holding drinks at their hands at this hour. And from all of them, I didn't know whom to thank because they all were shirtless.
"Lava should have come with me." my mind said
"Oh! the drowning girl." Said one of them when I reached near them.
"Oh hello, who was the guy who saved me? I just want to thank him." I said with a smile.
"Oh Pemba, he just went out to get us some more drinks, if you want you can join us" suggested one.
"Oh, no thanks I got to go, anyway please say thank you to your friend." And the next thing I run towards my friends who were around 200 meters away.
"Did you said thank you?" Karma asked.
"Yeah" I lied
"Did you said sorry?" Sonam said.
"What? why should I say sorry?"I was confused.
"Because you were rude with him when he offered" and I cut her off and said, "Listen my darling, I said thank you that's all, now let's get going."
A week later in the classroom. Lava reminded me again of the incident that happened. "Zaisha the boy who pulled you out of the water was dammed hot."
Math class was going on and Lava was the least bothered by the teacher. My eyes told her to shut up.
After school on the way back home, Sonam suggested that we should all stay at her place tonight because her parents were away and we will have more fun time together.
"Hey girls, I have created a Facebook account, where you can meet, chat with a lot of new friends," Sonam said after the dinner. "Do you want to see?"
Excited all of us, stared at the laptop which only Sonam owned among our group. "We can install in our android phone also and can chat and upload our photos." She said scrolling her laptop.
The next thing we all were doing was downloading the app and Sonam was the one who was creating every account. That night for the first time we all four were in our world. The time was 2:45 am when Lawanya said: "Girls we need this facebook cause wherever we may be in life, whichever world we may be, we can always contact through this."
It was true. But slowly more than spending time together, we were stuck in our phones. Accepting friend requests was our daily routine, whether we know the sender or not but we were happily accepting it.