Shreya put down her pen and looked down at her answer sheet with a sigh of relief. It was finally over. She had done pretty well. She had been very anxious and tense, and it all seemed silly now. After going through her paper twice, she looked at the clock. Thirty minutes to kill. She looked out of the window. The Sun baked the ground and she could see the dust rising lazily in the air.
She could feel a bubble of joy forming inside her which reached her lips bursting into a smile. Her exams were finally over, sixth grade was done… and it was also a Saturday. The vacations did not excite her as much as her Saturday routine.
Mom would be home. She would find something special from the internet to cook. Grandma and Mom would be in front of the gas stove, busy chopping and frying when she returned home with her Grandpa. The delicious smell would hit her right at the door, and she would rush straight into the kitchen. She loved to peek into the pan to see how the dish looked. Grandma would be yelling to first wash her hands, but she couldn’t help it. She loved to see how the dish looked, and whether it looked as delicious as it smelt.
Saturdays were relaxed. She and Grandpa spent long hours at the dining table. She ate and over-ate while Grandpa told her stories.
Mom was also more relaxed. Both would laze on the bed for hours. Mom was more patient on Saturdays. She loved to ask Mom about everything. Even though she knew some of the answers. And Mom actually knew that she already knew the answers. It felt good to hear the answers from Mom. It made her feel better. Mom knew everything. No… Mom said she did not know everything. But at least it seemed she knew so many, many things. She hated it when Mom said she did not know, or became short or impatient with her.
Mom let her watch movies on Saturdays. She sometimes even downloaded movies from the internet for her to watch. She would ask Mom to do that today. Princess Barbie, or maybe she would watch Coco again. She loved that movie very much. Maybe she would make one more page on Coco in her scrap book. The first one she made was not so colorful.
“I want to go out today”, she thought. “I will tell Mom that I want to stroll”. She won’t say no today.
Ice Cream…yes. Grandpa would get her Cornetto Chocolate Ice cream.
Shreya sighed. A sigh of relief and satisfaction. The exams were finally over.
Her whole Saturday routine and every day routine had all been in a disarray because of the exams. Mom was also so much more serious. That she caught a cold right before the exam did not help matters at all. No special snacks, no movies, no stroll. Grandpa always gave salt water to gargle, Grandma was always careful about fried and cold items. Mom was always checking on her sniffling, asking her to drink water, touching to check the temperature and then getting a confirmation from Grandma and Grandpa if it was alright…it was so very frustrating!!!
The only light moment was Mom and her jig at the end of every paper, marking the end of one more exam. Mom would also sit next to her when she studied, which she liked. But she did not like it when Mom asked her to read with focus, or looked at the clock. It irritated her. That’s when she called her Mom “Buffalo” in her mind. But Mom was a mind reader, it was like magic. Her head would be in the book or in the laptop, and she would say “And you are a baby buffalo”. It always amazed her. “How do you come to know??” she would always ask. Mom would just smile.
Ah! Yes… she loved to see her Mom smile too. Mom did not smile much. She was always serious. But she looked beautiful when she smiled.
Shreya felt she couldn’t contain the relief, excitement and happiness inside her. Her Saturdays were finally going to be normal. She could hug the whole world with joy. She felt so happy inside her. Back to Life.. Back to her favorite day!!!
When the bell rang, she could barely wait to hand over her paper, and rush out with her bag.
She had no time. She was busy. She had so many things to do… so many places to go. Her Saturday routine was back after all!!
Note: This was my entry for the short story contest of March for Life Of Writers. The topic was – Favorite Day. I didn’t win, but I loved the experience. Would love to get your feedback.