“I can’t believe we are going to do this. It’s so stupid and risky, I don’t like this, Radha.”
The girl looked at the naysayer and rolled her eyes at the boy. She was a short girl, with chubby cheeks and light brown eyes. Those eyes sparkled with annoyance at the moment and the boy noticing that rolled his own dark eyes in return.
They had been talking about this for weeks, Radha thought to herself. They had planned and planned and talked even more. They had a solid plan and now that the time had come, he was being a chicken. She was so tempted to smack him but she didn’t. Her mum had told her that she needed to rein in her ‘violent tendencies’ or else it could be a problem for her in the future. As if she was just going to smack people around for no reason, she wasn’t that bad. She just wanted to smack people who were stupid, ok? Not even the ones with special needs, those she totally understood. She wasn’t a jerk, she was just…impatient with those who committed and didn’t follow through.
“I swear to god, Akash, if I have to hit you over the head to make it happen, I will. Do not test me.”
Akash scoffed, as if Radha hitting him would actually hurt him. It actually would but he wasn’t about to admit it. Like her, he was also a teenager and was just growing into his body, currently, he was skinny and his lean muscles were nothing against his friend’s very intentional hits. The thing was, he wanted to do the thing too! It was just that…there was something that didn’t feel right, some kind of premonition or some shit. His mother believed in shit like that and living with her for his entire life, he also believed in it. Unwillingly but there was no escape.
“What if we get caught though? What if our money runs out? Do you think we have enough to last us for seven days? I really doubt it, you know? Prices are so high nowadays.”
Radha opened her mouth to argue further but his point hit home. They had planned to travel to the nearest hill station, on their own. They had saved some money from their allowance and they might have taken some money from here and there. Here and there meant loose change that was left in the open at their homes. It wasn’t that their parents didn’t travel, it was just that they wanted to travel on their own, experience life. They had heard one of their teachers talk about how you learned a lot from travelling on your own. They had taken it a little too seriously, the teacher in question would be horrified to know.
“Ok, so we don’t go for a week. We could at least try to go for, like, four days or something? We could remove some places from our itinerary, I suppose. It was never set in stone, that’s what free people do, you know? Go where the wind takes them and all that.”
Akash laughed and shook his head. Running his hand through his hair, he muttered, “You know, we could just ask our parents. You never know, they might say yes?” He knew they wouldn’t. A boy and a girl, alone for five days? Especially teenagers, yeah, nobody was gonna believe that they were literally just friends. Sometimes he didn’t get people, and more than half times, people didn’t get him. Humans.
“Are you mad? Did you hit your head while coming here? Our parents love us, but they are not gonna let us go on an adventure on our own. They think we are still kids, you idiot. No, we have to do this by ourselves. Now, tell me are you still in or are you gonna disappoint me?” Radha asked with her voice low, each word almost bitten off in her hurry to make her point obvious.
He thought she was overreaching, they were kids, hell, they weren’t even legally adult, they had no business doing this at all. However there was a part of him that really liked the idea of just going to some hill station and staying there. Exploring the hidden gems there and just exploring himself. Who he was, what did he want in his future and that sort of shit. His brother used to trek all the time when he was Akash’s age and he had once mentioned that it was during those treks that he had found himself. His brother’s treks were okay though, their parents had given him the permission for that. This, on the other hand, felt wrong and tempting. To just leave everything behind for a few days and not think about the daily life was a little too tempting.
Radha’s impatient tapping brought him back to present and he sighed. He cleared his throat and asked, his voice a bit lower than usual. “Say, we ask them first and if they don’t allow it then we do it our way. That way, we could say that we did ask them first but they didn’t let us so of course we had to.”
Radha looked like she was getting ready to scream, thankfully, she didn’t. She just exhaled loudly, pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. “Don’t you think they would be suspicious if we ask them, they tell us no and we are just cool with that? We would just accept it, right? And then leave? And you think they wouldn’t suspecting anything? They are not overly bright, I grant you but they are not stupid either.”
His eyes widened in surprise, Radha generally didn’t insult people like this. He wondered what was going on in her mind but he knew better than to ask. She would tell him if needed. That was their way, they would tell each other things only if they couldn’t deal with it or solve the problem on their own. It had been this way forever. Well, for the last nine years at least.
He was just about to chide her for the remark on their parents’ intelligence when a voice said, “We are not overly bright, true but we are also not going to let you guys go. Call us stupid or whatever, Radha but you kinda foiled your plans there. If you were going to plot secretly, you should have at least tried to find a better place than our balcony. I mean, I have been watering our plants for the last five minutes and heard everything. Where’s your bright mind then?”
Both of them jumped and looked guilty. They were never going to be able to go now. Their plans to run away and explore the hill station went down the same drain that took the excess water from the plants.