I stood in the hallway with my bags and the tears streamed down my cheeks. I had got a scholarship to study in England which I so badly desired to start a new life and a new beginning. The deafening chatter that would have made me flinch on other days seemed to pass unnoticed today. I stood there gazing at room 576. I had almost been in that room for eight years.
The first day when I was led into this room, I remember gingerly opening my bags to extract couple of hand me down from a distant relative which I neatly labelled to avoid getting misplaced. I had no idea how stupid I would look in those ill fitting clothes until I walked into the class the next day. Sometime later in the day 'S' barged into the room. I was to share the room with him and he was what I was not and what I could never be.
At times 'S' was as cultured as one could be and other times as rotten as a sewer rat. He walled in with an entourage of helpers who did everything for him before they left. He didn't notice me as if I was invisible and he slept off in his shoes. That night I helped ease his expensive shoes and covered him with a blanket.
He was someone who defeated and belittled my principles. He was the smartest in the class and everybody wanted to be his friends; he enjoyed that attention while I avoided him. He never studied, almost never but still managed to scrape through exams. After holidays he would get me gifts which I always refused - it had become my habit to refuse anything he would offer me. I hated him for being 'rich'. He never showed off but he had it all which I could have only dreamt.
We housed together for two years before he was packed off to some rich expensive school in Europe. In those two years we hardly spoke and I never called him my friend. Today morning, I stumbled upon my scholarship papers in the Head Master’s office - my scholarship was sponsored by 'S'.