Thursday, 5 December 2019

OS : Us Against The World

I looked at him from the corner of my eyes. He was staring at the paper in front of him wide-eyed; I could tell he was terrified. Just then he looked around him frantically, and his eyes met mine. I averted my gaze back to the examiner in front of me who was eyeing us all as if he would take us in for slicing up any minute, and then back at my own answer sheet.
Don't look, don't look, I screamed at myself in my head. You can't cheat for him again, I reminded myself. He had to do something by himself, and maybe this way he would learn! One failure is equal to ultimate success after all.
But when had I ever listened to myself. I only listened to him; his jokes, his demands, his orders, his pleas, his requests. It was all about him. It had been since we were 6 years old. And now, at 18, in our final year, it was still the same.
Sighing I looked up at him, and predictably, he had an adorable pout plastered on his face, his eyes dripping with insane cuteness and innocence. He vaguely reminded me of a food-deprived, depressed dog.

Rolling my eyes, I began moving my hand in distinguishable movements, and saw his eyes twinkle with glee. Staring from Question 1, I gestured him the answers to all the multiple-choice questions one by one, in our made up sign language. Normal number movements for the Question No., and curving and flexing gestures for either (a), (b) or (c).
To the naked eye of laymen, it was just a hand doing flexing exercises during a stressful exam. But obviously, for Armaan & me, it was a classic way of cheating. Our own way, our own secret.
And we had been keeping this secret from others since 1st grade; we were well-trained, an efficient team in Armaan's words. And every time I vowed to stop helping him, I would give in to his adorable face in the first exam that came our way, after which I would yell at him, he would promise to study the next time, and we would kiss and make up. It didn't help having him as my boyfriend. Especially a boyfriend you had since you were 8 years old. It had started out as a simple, innocent joke, 'Riddhima, you're my girlfriend!' at which we had both laughed whilst I sat on the porch swing and he pushed me from the back. We had no idea that that joke would culminate into reality forever.
But as he hurriedly jotted down the answers, I smiled inwardly. Be it cheating, but it was that cheating after all that had made us friends, best friends, and lovers. We could cheat all we want, because in the end, it was always us against the world.


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