The clock ticked 10:45 am and Zoe was sitting on the stairs. Suddenly she heard the hostel caretaker’s voice coming from the bay. She rushed with hope towards him and requested to knock at Rita’s room.
The caretaker knocked on the door seeing the servant Rita immediately opened the door and gave a dead look to Zoe, she said to the servant not to disturb on Sunday’s like this. After the servant settled down Zoe’s belongings he left.
Zoe’s situation was as if a lamb forced to enter into a tiger’s den. She was nervous and afraid of Rita. Rita asked her to settle down and she went to cook breakfast for herself.
The room was small and at the corner of the room, it had a damp ceiling. There were two iron single beds and 2 tables at both corners along with 2 chairs. On the left side of the room, a washroom was attached. A big iron rack was placed at the left corner where selves were equally been divided among the roommates. There was a room cooler fitted outside the room at the window, a small gas cylinder was placed at the corner near to the door which was owned by Rita.
She prepared tea for both and served Zoe with a few biscuits and mixtures and here the interaction began :
Rita: This is your first day so I made tea for you also that doesn’t mean that it will become a practice on a daily basis. You have to use and cook your own stuff though if you are very hungry and it’s midnight you cannot go outside to purchase any food for yourself then I will allow you to have some mixtures only a few just to control your hunger so that you don’t starve.
Zoe: I will keep in mind to fill my stock and not disturb you.
Zoe noted that she must never borrow anything from her.
Rita: I wake up late during Sundays and I generally go to bed early to make sure that you also build the habit to sleep early and not to disturb.
I am vegetarian but you can cook eggs in the gas after this month, I cook omelettes for my boyfriend as well but this is Savana ( a holy month in Hindus where people don’t eat non-vegetarian food) so after that, you can.
Zoe: My father has already asked for a new gas cylinder for me but it’s taking some time once it comes I won’t create trouble for you.
Rita: If you have any problem don’t share to anyone discuss only with me. If you ever tell to anyone then it won’t be good for you as I will get to know as no one will trust you, I am living in this hostel for 3 years and all the girls will turn against you.
If you borrow anything return immediately after your work is done, I don’t like to ask for my own stuff… Rita continued giving instructions and she was threatening her sweetly.
Rita is a mischievous and arrogant girl, many girls have complained against her earlier also when Rita was chosen as new roommate of Zoe the owner of the hostel called Rita and strictly instructed her not to trouble the kid and he has given words to Zoe’s father to take care of her. He also informed Rita how Paly refused to keep Zoe in her ki room to avoid interference in her private life by a family friend.
So Rita already knew that if other girls get to know her behaviour or the owner gets to know about, its consequences won’t be in her favour.
After the tea, Zoe arranged her room and kept all belongings to her place. Tomorrow, will be her first day of college she had no friends in the hostel nor she knew anyone in Gwalior she had very fewer friends in school but one of her school friend Sam was still in touch with her. They use to talk for and go to the same tuition classes. Sam called Zoe and both share their experiences about the new place.
Sam went to South India for his higher education.
Zoe was missing her room badly, it was her first time without parents, she was afraid of Rita which made her remind the instruction to sleep early. She quickly closed her eyes and tried to sleep without making any noise.
Will Zoe be able to survive and complete her studies? Will Rita bring troubles in Zoe’s life? How will Zoe manage to stay with Rita? Will Sam and Zoe become close friends?
You will get all your answers…stay with me till the end of the journey!!