“I hate Anisha, mom.” Avika entered the house muttering under her breath, all her energy focused on grinding her teeth in disgust.
She threw her school bag on the couch and removed her shoes noisily. Her mother acted as a silent spectator to her outpouring array of emotions. She waited until Avika composed herself and sat alongside her at the table.
“Are you listening?”
“What went wrong with you and your best friend today? Wonder what infuriates you 4th graders so much so often,” she asked casually, concentrating on the newspaper in hand, “that you fight like cats and dogs?” she continued inaudibly.
“I’m not at fault. This term’s project deadline is fast approaching. She doesn’t care about it. Even when I drag her into a discussion, she seems uninterested. Wonder why we even teamed up in the first place,” she huffed and looked away, blinking back tears. “We’re not friends anymore. And, I’ve decided to make it all by myself and leave her name out during submission.”
Avika stood up pushing the chair and stomped to the backyard to find her dad to ask his help, all the way grumbling about how best friends transform into worst enemies.
It took her three days to gather materials for her project.
The backyard patio turned a mess, with Avika and her father right there in the middle. They were too busy measuring pieces of wood and arranging them, to even look up when Avika’s mother appeared at the doorway calling them for dinner.
“Coming, dear. I’m stuck with my determined daughter here,” her father replied and laughed at Avika’s expression.
“My treehouse has to look and feel perfect. I want my project to be selected for the Inter-school contest as well. Not a joke, dad!”
“I should be given most of the credits then.” Her father’s words were received with fiery glares.
On the submission day:
Two models of Treehouse stood perched on the table, one made with wood and the other using cardboard, precariously attached to a model of a tree, meticulously designed by Avika’s father. Two smiling girls stood behind the models, chatting animatedly, as their teacher called their names out as the top scorers in the project. Their team was also selected to represent their school in the Inter-school Creative-Minds contest.
The girls were on top of the world.
“Your model looks much better than mine, Anisha,” Avika held her friend’s hand and whispered her appreciation.
“Yours is the best. Mine looks like a carton while yours appear so real in wood,” Anisha retorted.
“Never mind. I’m happy we made it, buddy.”
“I’m such a procrastinator and I’m so sorry about it. I knew you were so furious. Thought I’d make it up to you by doing one all by myself. Anyway, friends?” Anisha extended her hand.
“No! Best friends!” Avika hugged her deadly-enemy-turned-best-friend tight. She could vividly imagine her mother rolling her eyes with an all-knowing smile and remark that it was their 122nd fight and reunion.
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