True Calling

"Have you ever wondered why things don't go the way you want them to?" Zinia Rathore is a fourteen year old science prodigy, with a family of three to take care of. The talent competition is around the corner, and she's geared with her mind-blowing -you guessed it- science project. For participating, everyone is paired up. Neither they can swap nor back out. For Zinia, a newcomer partner seems well and good. Except, he's got the charms. And, the additional responsibility of being the class representative isn't helping, while her handsome firangi partner plays with the strings of her heart. Amidst the craziness and chaos, Zinia learns to live life and discovers her 'true calling'. Cover Credits - @seanarturo from Wattpad


2. Chapter One Point Five - Talent Search Competition


Talent Search Competition

2nd April 2014

The school is organising a Talent Search Competition for the students on 14th May and 15th May 2014.

Students willing to participate are requested to fill out their forms and return them to their respective class teachers. Information for the same will be given out by the class teachers.

Good luck.

Neil Anderson

The Principal


Talent Search Competition Form

Name: Zinia Rathore

Class:10th A


Likes: Science, Writing, Reading, Singing

Dislikes: Dancing, Sports

Why do you want to participate in this competition?: This competition is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our talents and it helps us to work towards strengthening and enhancing our potentials. I would love to be a part of this initiative taken by our school and do my best.

Applicant's signature: Zinia Rathore

Parent's signature:Karan Veer Rathore (FATHER)


Talent Search Competition Form

Name: Ayaan Woods

Class: 10th A

Age: 15

Likes: Dancing, Singing, Playing musical instruments

Dislikes: Science, Sports

Why do you want to participate in this competition?: I'm new so I think that it'll be a good chance for me to interact with others and know more about the heritage of our school. This is an amazing opportunity and I am looking forward to participating.

Applicant's signature: Ayaan Woods

Parent's signature: Anya Woods (MOTHER)


It was the physical class, second period. With the sports teacher's permission, Ayaan and Prachi left the school ground; freed from the physical torture. Prachi flipped her brown hair back as she showed Ayaan around the school, specifically giving emphasis on the areas where couples hung out together and where they had privacy.

They roamed the ground together. Sometimes, Prachi's hand would touch Ayaan's; sending sparks. They weren't sparks of love, but sparks of pure physical attraction. Ayaan enjoyed her company and he felt at home, admired and wanted. Yet there was something he couldn’t place his finger on, something that wasn't right.

Being with Prachi was definitely not on his bucket list.

He enjoyed the attention he was receiving by this young, pretty woman. Prachi was thrilled to see Ayaan's reactions. They passed the basketball court where they saw a few kids messing with a guy.

"Hey Prachi!" One of the kids called her and winked. Her face scrunched in disgust as she recognised it to be of her brother Sameer's, who was in class 8th D, the same as Zinia's brother. All of his gang were harassing.. on a closer look it seemed Zubin.

She smirked, Bullying was the only thing her brother majored in.

Ayaan clenched and unclenched his fists, and his veins popped out of his skin. He breathed in and counted to ten as he saw this group. It reminded him of the deep, dark past, which he wanted to forget.

"What are they doing?" he gritted his teeth while trying to hold back himself from bursting out.

Prachi sensed his anger and said, "They're playing, don't worry. It's a tradition in the juniors." She placed his hand on his chest to stop him, before staring deeply into his eyes. Ayaan was startled, all his anger vanished.

He huffed, "If you say so." Then he kicked a nearby pebble and they both steered off in the opposite direction.

He faced the front direction as he was lost in his thoughts. What he didn't notice was, Prachi turning around and giving her brother a thumbs-up before saying, 'Go for it.'

A while after roaming the ground, they entered the school building. She showed him the boring places- labs and classrooms and offices and staffroom. (Okay, bonus points to the staffroom. It had an air-conditioner. Bingo!)

As they reached the medical room, Ayaan saw the same guy who was 'not being bullied' by his classmates.

Ayaan said, "Prachi, I think that's enough for one day. I'll talk to you later." Prachi took it as her cue to leave. Ayaan entered the room and saw the nurse applying medicine to the guy's wounds. His nose was bleeding terribly and he was groaning in pain.

"It's just the first day and you've hurt yourself kiddo," the nurse said as the guy seethed and hissed in pain, tears welling down his eyes.

The nurse looked up and saw Ayaan staring at both of them.

"Yes?" she asked, her voice cold.

Ayaan shrugged, "Ma'am I just saw this guy here and I thought if I could help you in anyway." This made the nurse smile.

"Of course! Please call Zinia Rathore of Class 10th A and tell her that Zubin is in the medical room."

Ayaan froze for a second before returning back to normal again.

"S-Sure," his voice came out as a croak.

Zinia's brother Zubin was bullied and he didn't do anything about it. He was ashamed of himself for not saving the victim, even though he knew what it felt like to be bullied. He had a first-hand experience.

Guilt consumed him from inside as he dragged himself to the Science Lab, his feet heavy like stones. He was angry and he felt pathetic.

He asked the teacher inside the Science Lab for Zinia. Leaning against the wall, he stuffed his hands in his pockets. What felt like an eternity later, Zinia came out.

She saw him and scowled, "What?"

He stared at the fringe falling across her face which made her look.. nice and replied, "Your brother is in the medical room."

"You must have got the wrong person."

"Zoobin, right? What's with the peculiar Zee names? So hard to remember." 

Zinia snorted and an amused grin played on his lips.

"It's Z-U-Bin," she started walking and he followed her.

Ayaan could sense the tension in the atmosphere as Zinia's face foreshadowed anxiety and nervousness.

"How did you find the medical room anyways?"She broke the ice while setting her wild hair.

"Leave it, it looks nice. Prachi showed me around," he grinned and she looked at him incredulously, an smile on her angelic face.

To irritate him, she clipped the strands.

"Where's she now?"

"This class is almost over, so I asked her to leave. When we were at me medical room, the nurse was talking to some guy who kept muttering ZiniaZinia. He looked a lot like ya," he lied smoothly as his accent took over.

"Are you sure it wasn't Rohan?"

His voice reverberated in her mind as he laughed, making her smile.

"Nah, he didn't have those nerd glasses on."

They reached the medical room and Zinia peeped inside. True as it was, her little brother Zubin was sitting on the bed with cotton stuffed inside his nose. A swelling on his cheek which was entirely covered by an ice pack made him look like a gangster. His eyes were closed in meditation.

"Hey little bro," she waved and Zubin jumped up, startled.

"I'm thirteen," he spat back nastily before wincing in pain. "Oww!"

"Serves you right. What happened?" she folded her hands across her chest, embracing herself for excuses.

"Uhmm, I-I just feel down the stairs," he stuttered before lying down. Ayaan snorted and Zinia remembered his presence.

"Okay, but you are not going to escape with that. I'm going to call Dad," she replied before leaving for the reception.

Zubin nodded and closed his eyes.

Ayaan stopped Zinia just as they both walked out of the room.

"Do you really think he fell?" He inquired.

"Yup, what is there to think of?"

"Everything about that wound screams 'bullying'! You didn't notice that gash on his hand indicating struggle? You did, right?"

She looked down, and shook her head, "I guess it slipped out of my mind."

"Look up."

As her irises stared into his, Ayaan felt his stomach churn. This was the first time that they both really started noticing each other.

He had well-defined cheekbones and a firm jaw, and there was a small scar on his lower lip. She wanted to ask him about it but coyly bit her lip.

Her big eyes, one of the most striking features of her angelic face, were wide open. Still not his type, he thought, too feisty and bossy. He preferred a damsel in distress.

She tiptoed a few steps back, not used to this sudden proximity.

"Yes?" she spoke in a meek voice before coughing, "Yes?"

Memories flashed across Ayaan's mind and he scowled. With a cold expression and a reprimanding tone, he said, "You need to talk to your brother about this."

"I will, but he won't tell me."

Ayaan sighed and left her alone. He turned back just in time to watch her expression and see her unclipping her hair, letting a fringe fall on her face.

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