Part 1 of 2. Part 2 coming up soon(ish). ^_^

Brinda-sensei was having a wonderful day.
The train wasn't crowded, she had finished grading all her tests and Reesha had come bearing good news (more like charged down the hallways screaming it at the top of her lungs). Her favourite developers had a new game lined up for launch and there was much rejoicing in the staff room.
“I have been waiting for this one for so long.” Gauri said breathlessly as she flopped down in her chair, two glasses of Coke in hand, one of which she offered to her colleague. The school rules did not permit parties, celebrations or happiness of any sort, but the female teachers had made a concession for the occassion and purchased a bottle of fizzy from the newly installed vending machines. Everyone only got a sip, but hey, it was the thought that counted.
Brinda sipped her drink as she listened to her fellow teacher ramble on about everything and nothing, nodding politely whenever needed, but presently the conversation turned to keys. Apparently you could get drunk on Coke if you tried hard enough.
“I keep losing mine!” she whined and Brinda patted her sympathetically on the shoulder. “I hate having to sneaking into my own office every other day!”
The teacher's offices were on the topmost floor, windows facing the empty sports fields with state-of-the-art locks attached to the doors and meancing looking security officers on patrol to deter any ideas of breaking in to steal question papers or school secrets. They were accorded to the senior staff and Gauri had had hers only for a week. It was a closet compared to the Principal's office but it overlooked the swimming pools and Brinda had liked it immensely. There was still time for her to get one but the Creative Writing teacher had offered to speed up the process if she helped with the 'Get Pushkar-sensei fired' plan. But the Assistant Home Economics Teacher had declined the offer.
“Do you have a spare?” Brinda asked thoughtfully, a germ of an idea forming in her mind.
Gauri nodded enthusiastically, showing the two keys she had tied around her neck with a bit of string. “I was given three” she explained. “I lost two but found one of them in my shoe. Haven't managed to locate the other one yet.”
“Maybe I could hold on to one of those for you.” the taller woman offered.
Gauri gave her a doubtful look. “I wouldn't want to impose” she said slowly but before her friend could assure her that it was no imposition at all, she flashed her a quick grin, deposited one of the keys in her hand and squeezed her in a tight hug. “Thanks ever so much! I wouldn't know what to do without you! Anyway, I've got to go. Also, Darren said he wanted to see you.” Saying this, she scampered off to parts unknown leaving Brinda to frown at the tiny, innocous-looking object in her hands.
She sighed as she slipped it in her wallet resolving to speak to Gauri about the specifics of their arrangement soon. She had a grumpy clerk (or administrative assistant, as he styled himself) to meet and had a feeling that he would not like to be kept waiting.




December 2013

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