Debopriya favored him with a wide smile as they worked together on Bimlesh babu. It was almost the end of the semester, and they had both become at least partially desensitized to the gruesome display and offensive odors of the anatomy lab at Stephen’s. It was medical school tradition to name your cadaver, and he had allowed Debopriya to choose the name. She chose “Bimlesh” because of the cadaver’s slight build, which reminded her of her first-standard school assistant.
Arnab couldn’t believe that the semester was almost over. He had been paired with Debopriya as a laboratory partner during the first day of class, and still hadn’t asked her out. They worked together every day—talking, laughing—but he just couldn’t get up the nerve to cross that invisible barrier and take that next step. Her beauty was almost as spectacular as her intelligence and he supposed that he felt somewhat intimidated.
“I found it!” Debopriya exclaimed, “The recurrent laryngeal nerve! Here it is!”
“Good work,” he replied, “I can always count on you. Your knowledge of anatomy is incredible. How do you remember it all? I have to struggle to keep all this information in my head!”
“I love anatomy! I’m finally learning how the human body functions and what it looks like on the inside. It’s fascinating! That’s why I’m in med school in the first place.” She smiled again and Arnab felt his knees weaken.
“The final examination is in two weeks. I’ve still got a lot of studying to do, but you’re ready to take the test now,” Arnab said.
“Well, maybe we could study together sometime.”
Arnab stood with his jaw hanging open, but just for a moment, until he realized how foolish he must have looked.
“Ah, sure,” he said, trying to regain his composure, “How about tonight?”
“Actually, I was planning on coming here this evening to do some studying, after going out with some friends early in the evening. Want to meet me here in the lab? Ten or so? Maybe we could go out for a drink afterward.”
“Ten p.m.?” he asked. “I guess you do take this studying stuff pretty seriously, don’t you?”
“Okay,” Arnab replied, “I’ll be here.”