All of 15, she was a brilliant girl, who'd make her parents proud one day. She was synonymous with intelligence, perfection and excellence. No mathematical problem was ever too difficult for her; science was a piece of cake. She showed keen interest in social sciences too.Even though English bored her, she never let that show up on her score card. She had every signs of making it big; given her hunger to keep learning more.
Everyone knew she was brainy. She knew she was brainy. She knew she was the right mix of common sense and intelligence. That actually made up for the lack of physical beauty. She thought she was O.K. looking - not too good, neither too bad. No one ever noticed her skinny figure, or her unshaped eyebrows or even an occasional pimple on the nose. This girl exuded great confidence. Confidence to excel, confidence never to go wrong.
Then what went wrong today, she wondered. None of it was going as planned. How could the strip have changed its colour? She couldn't help but panic as she turned her attention once again to the damned thing in her hand. She had a burning sensation in her throat. She thought about what she had done. She had made sure nothing would go wrong. In fact she was careful... very careful knowing well in advance of the repercussions if anything failed.
Rewinding her mind, she wondered if she could do anything to make amends. Truth was, she did not have any time to undo the error. She stood trembling and sweating while realisation hit her that there was nothing she could do now. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed him nearby. What would he say to her when he comes to know about this? Worse, how would she face her parents? This was certainly not expected of a girl who was so "her". Her confidence level that usually rid the sky, came crumbling down with these thoughts.
He was within a hand's distance now and would soon be face to face with her. She almost swooned with fear and anxiety as he moved towards her with a smile.
"What's wrong?... You look as white as a ghost... or did you see one?" he attempted weak humour at that tensed moment. Her predicament became evident to him when he saw what she was holding between her shaky fingers.
He crinkled his nose and made some clucking noise, stamping disapproval. Disappointment was writ large on his face... or so she thought.
"You never once made mistakes in your science experiments!!! Then how come during this crucial exam time your blue litmus paper has turned red?"