MARVEL BUDDIES - A Short Story - Tea Tales

Protagonists: Aisha and Kabir            Original Author: MB        Revised by: Devanshi Maloo

You know when you see someone for the first time and think nothing of them? Even after the second or the third time, it’s all good. And then one day, you just look back and can’t figure out how he became such an important part of your life – your best friend. How could I have ever imagined how much he’d eventually mean to me from that one first look? Love stories usually begin with one first look, first interaction, and love at first sight. But this is not a love story. This is the story of two completely messed up people, with an even more messed up friendship. And it begins, as most stories do, while they were still in school.

Part One: The Beginning
It was just another day at school – my new school. 10th to 11th grade was a huge jump, and I was nervous, yet excited. Always ready to make new friends, I jumped on the bandwagon of introductions and got to know everybody. I didn’t pay any extra attention to Kabir, until one fateful accounts class.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of studying accounts, you know how journal entries can be a pain in the ass. For me, the worst part was sketching the lines. I HATED drawing lines. I had my scale out on the table that day, my attention wandering as the teacher continued to lecture us on things I really didn’t care about. Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t realise that the boy sitting in front of me was making a really annoying noise with his pen. You know what I’m talking about – that click-clack-clickety thing we all do when we’re bored. The girl behind me, clearly irritated, asked me to tell him to stop. Indifferent, I asked him to stop. Weirdly enough, after a few minutes, I found myself playing with my ruler, which I didn’t realise was making quite a racket. The ‘pen boy’ turns back to look at me, with the most absurd smirk on his face, that clearly meant “Wow, hypocritical much? I thought you just told me to stop making that noise and now you’re doing it?” I started stuttering, trying to explain to him that it wasn’t me that the sound bothered, but just then the bell rang and the entire class erupted into conversations, and started moving around – as if they were in a plane that had just landed. I got up to leave, eager to get away from my embarrassing encounter with the new dude, when he asked me to pass a book. I did. He didn’t respond. Being the straightforward girl that I am, I said: “Thank you toh bol.” He reluctantly did, and as I was about to leave, he said “Ek aur kaam karde, fir se thank you bol dunga.” So I awkwardly stood there as he adjusted the books in his bag, then left for the next class.I wasn’t awestruck; he didn’t turn back to look at me, and definitely, no violins played in the background.

The start of my friendship with Kabir was silent, and our first interaction a misunderstanding. How was I suppose to know that this one simple, small, silly, and meaningless conversation would be repeated to every single person that we knew – the story of the start of our friendship? We both eventually came to hate that girl, but Kabir and Aisha still secretly thank her for being annoying and complaining. 

Part Two: 11th Grade
After the beginning and before the end, or just before something intense happens, there’s usually just a montage of days, events, happenings, and conversations, and the slow portrayal of an evolving friendship. The first few months of 11th grade went by in a blur, with dance practices for an upcoming school event, getting used to studying new subjects, and slowly forming our friend circle. Even though the other sections will deny it, everybody knew that the B section of 11th grade was the most happening, and exciting, and was filled with the best people. It had to be – it had Kabir and Aisha!

Just a few weeks into the start of the month, my overeager self wanted to make plans to go out with my newfound friends to a movie! Plans were made, dates scheduled, and transport arranged. The best part about that day was not the movie, but playing the silliest arcade games with my even sillier friends.

Out of everybody, Kabir definitely stood out – the class clown, and the ‘funny one’ in our group. Even though we weren’t as close in the beginning, he was just as dear to me as the rest of them. As time evolved, with increasingly fun after-school outings, one eventful comic con, school-sanctioned trips to water parks, and lunchtimes with the gang, we slowly grew closer. He was very different from anybody I had ever met. He was hilarious, rude, straightforward, and wasn’t at all weird about hitting a girl like the other guys. I would know – I was his main target!

He was confident in his own skin at a time where all of us were still starting to figure ourselves out, and I was automatically drawn to him (or, more accurately, his sense of humour). Which is why nobody was surprised to see what came next!