Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman – Part 4

Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman is a story series featured on revolving around protagonist Tanya. Make sure to read Parts 12, and 3 first!

Written by: Thagsana Rangarajan

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Tanya tossed and turned in her bed, muttering to herself, as she relived the nightmare over and over again in her head.

“Damn you, Claire! You will pay for this! I know it was you”, Tanya murmured in her sleep.

She abruptly awoke, and wiped away the drool that was running down the side of her cheek. It was now 12:30 am, and she’d been knocked out for 2 hours. Slowly, she sat up, planted her face in her hands, and began taking deep, slow breaths. That’s when she heard her voice:

“Tanya?” Claire called out, hesitantly.

Tanya’s eyes widened like a deer in headlights, but she kept her face planted firmly in her hands. There were three possible routes she could take with the awkward dilemma she was now in.

“I could ignore her until she takes the hint and slowly leaves the room,” Tanya speculated. “Or, I could plunge off this bed with enough momentum to kick her right in the head, effectively eliminating saree-sabotaging Claire Vijayanathan from this planet,” she thought.

Tanya was beginning to lean towards the second idea, but realized her hand-eye coordination was comparable to a drunken baboon.

“Or maybe, just maybe, I could pretend as if I’m completely okay with what happened that day, and act like I’m excited to see her again. I’ll become her best friend, and then execute my revenge when she least expects it. As the saying goes, keep your friends close, but your enemies closer,” Tanya thought.

“Tanya, is that you?” Claire called out, again. Her voice was more stern, and pronounced.

It was at that moment that Tanya put her third route into motion. She lifted her face up from her palms, and made eye contact with Claire, who was standing next to the bunk-bed with a plastic expression on her face.

“Wow, I never thought I’d see you again, Tanya! Can you believe we’re roommates?!  You look exactly the same as I remember. I mean, well, except the giant stain on your behind. Haha, remember that?! That was the funniest thing, wasn’t it? Do you remember that day, Tanya?” Claire scoffed.

Trying to hold back every ounce of anger running through her veins, Tanya smiled happily.

“Oh, of course I do! You’re a real joker, Claire! I always wondered, though, how did you manage to pull off a prank like that?” Tanya asked, in a phony cheerful tone.

“A magician never reveals her secrets! I mean, I do feel bad that I embarrassed you, but it’s a dog-eat-dog world, Tanya. And I don’t plan on losing any time soon,” Claire said, with a wink.

“Well, clearly, the better contestant won the competition that day,” Tanya said, as her left eye twitched.

“Thanks, hun! You were always such a sweet heart. Well, classes start tomorrow, we should get to bed. It’s almost 1 am,” Claire said, as she pulled out the familiar rose-shaped pendant from her hair, and placed it on her dresser.  She then climbed into her bed, which was lined up against the opposite wall of the room.

“Good point, I’m going to crash too. It looks like Eliza’s been passed out for a while,” Tanya replied.

Eliza’s loud snores could be heard from the bottom bunk.

Tanya climbed down the ladder that stood against the bunk bed, and shut off the room light. She then climbed back up, and toppled onto her bed, sinking deep into the foam mattress. “Well, at least the first day of class definitely won’t be as bad as meeting this rose-headed devil again,” Tanya thought, as she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

A little over 7 hours passed, when she awoke to the ringing of her Sony alarm clock. Tanya turned to her side, to see that it was now 8:20 am. Claire and Eliza’s beds were perfectly made, and the room was completely empty.

“NOOOOOOO!” Tanya screamed.

She lunged from her bed, bypassing the ladder for support, and changed out of her pyjamas at what felt like the speed of light. She tied her hair into a messy pony tail, and masked her body odour with a mango-scented perfume that her aunt had given her for her last birthday. She stuffed a few dozen mint tic-tacs into her mouth, threw her jacket and backpack on, and proceeded to sprint down the residence hall.

Being an Arts and Science Major, Tanya was enrolled in a wide variety of courses—Writing and Informal Logic, Calculus, Climate Change & Global Warming, and Biological Processes were a few on her course list this term. Breathing heavily, Tanya ran down the corridor of GBS (George Benjamin Science Building), and found room 145. She looked down at her phone, and saw that it was now 8:37 am. “Great, I’m late to my first class on my first day of University. There’s only like five billion people in there. What a way to be remembered,” Tanya sighed.

Tanya slowly opened the lecture hall door, and prayed that her professor wouldn’t make a scene. She tip-toed up the staircase in the center of the hall, and scanned the room for an empty seat. She didn’t make it very far, before she began attracting everyone’s attention.

“Welcome to your first lecture in Writing and Informal Logic, otherwise known as ENGLISH 1Q03. Today we will be cov—”, the professor paused mid-way as he began his lecture. Tanya slowly turned around, and was met by his fuming expression.

“Miss! Yes, you, standing like an ostrich over there. If you were present for the first few minutes of lecture, you would have been kindly informed of the fact that I have a strict policy against late students entering through the front door. Please make your way out now, and re-enter through the back door. Thank you!” He said loudly, embarrassing her in front of the entire class.

Tanya heard the room fall completely silent, and sweat began to trickle down her forehead.

“Yes, ma’am! I mean, Sir! SIR, YES SIR!” Tanya saluted, awkwardly.

She made her way down the steps, and out the front door. She later re-entered through the back entrance, and plopped down on a seat in the back row. A loud crack resonated throughout the hall, and she peered down to see that her wooden seat was now split in the center. A few students began to stare in her direction, and whispered amongst themselves.

“Could this day get any worse,” Tanya thought. Embarrassed, she laid her head down on the table and closed her eyes. But, it was then that she felt a tap on her shoulder.

To be continued…

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.



Thagsana Rangarajan is in her final year of a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at McMaster University. In her free time, she enjoys writing short stories and hopes to publish a novel in the future. 

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