I hate waking up in the morning and dressing up to go to school, recalling all the previous day’s work that I thought was not so important, but forced upon us all. My view of school was like, "Oh God! I wanted to grow up fast so there’d be no burden of studies all the time, which was almost killing me".
Then this Covid thing happened that forced us all to sit back home. Then I understood the value of school, as studying from home was kind of boring. Now things are different, so I would do anything to go back to school, sit in my classroom, play with my friends, and exchange views and stories about who had a crush on whom.
Then came February 12, 2021. Our results were already out in December 2020 and I was happy now I was in senior secondary. I was in the 11th standard of the school, so two more years in school and I was already dreaming about college life.
And what made it more pleasant was that we were allowed to go back to school after a long homestay during the pandemic.
I hated school dress, but I also found how difficult it was to choose what to wear on those two uniform-free days. I loved wearing casuals on those two days, and if it happened to be the birthday of one of our classmates; it was double fun.
We always looked for Williams, who almost always forgot to wear white on Wednesdays, and what was more fun, he came up with an exclusive excuse, every time. I so loved my whites because they made all of us look different. We certainly felt bored with wearing the same uniform for the entire week. And yes, running around the trees in the compound after morning assembly was another headache that none of us liked.
We always prayed for a substitute teacher because I usually skipped homework. You see, I was such a lazy person. But now I feel that most of us, irrespective of the homework factor, prayed for a strict teacher to stay home, so as to give way to a substitute teacher that was not as strict. But a free period was the best thing ever.
For me, pajama days were the best time to go to school because we got to know each other better and had lots of fun. Actually, I loved cracking jokes and some of my teachers knew that. Making excuses to step out of class was always fun.
One day, while I was on the field, suddenly I saw Diana, the captain of our school’s girls’ football team. She kicked my soccer ball out of the school premises, onto the street right behind our school grounds.
The walls of our school were high, and they forbade students to leave the premises. We climbed and sat on the wall so we could have a look at the ball, and waited for someone to pass by so we could ask him to return our ball.
We had to wait for a long time before we saw someone coming. He was a boy, maybe 15, and still a long way away. He saw the ball and went towards it. We felt he had no intention of giving us our ball back but was trying to run away. Diana immediately jumped off the wall, but by the time she could catch him, he had already disappeared with the ball.
That was the beginning of my friendship with Diana. Since then, this friend of mine and I have been partners in many mischievous acts, which made my school life memorable.
Meanwhile, I had many first-ever experiences as we made mistakes because there were many things we were doing, for the first time, be it our first crush, heartbreak with or without a relationship, first fight, or the first kiss.
All these experiences hold a special significance in our hearts as we grow up. Now I remember our first Valentine’s Day and how I waited for it so eagerly.
Eating lunch together during recess was something each one of us loved with our favorite classmates. I once took Diana’s lunchbox during class and gobbled all of it down and pretended as if I was listening to the teacher carefully by nodding and making serious facial expressions.
High school was, as an adult, a way to reminisce about the naivety of youth. I now feel that we could have done better than what we did. School is a nerve-wracking time, sometimes for no specific reason.
This is an age filled with awkward encounters and situations, lost loves, and even regrets. Today, I feel it’s no less a hotbed of emotion-filled time that will inevitably determine our future, better or worse.
I remember that Wednesday when Diana came in a milky white dress and her smell was like a fresh sweet flower right out of the garden. She came close to me and smiled, looking into my eyes.
"How am I looking?"
I smiled back and said, "Sweet"
She smiled and asked again, "And how do I smell?"
I again said, "Sweet"
She came closer and said, "Thanks to Jimmy Choo Signature, I love this smell, Happy Valentine's Day." I gave her a smile and looked around. There were too few people in the school playground as most students were celebrating the day either in the canteen or the library.
A school is a building dedicated to providing a learning space and environment for imparting education. It’s a building you spent most of your childhood in, a building that everyone remembers because they finally left it. That’s the same in my case too as I have left some wonderful memories on my school notes.
I still remember the day when Williams, of all the people, took a gun out and started shooting blindly immediately after the assembly. This was his 16th birthday and it took all of 16 seconds.
We saw 3 boys and two girls seriously injured and Willimas died. Yes, he shot himself down. He probably went crazy cuz Martha refused to accept his offer to be his girlfriend.
I was terribly upset, so I called my mom. "Hey mum, something terrible is going on at school, but I just want to tell you I love you and I love you a lot and am grateful to you for everything."
I was so nervous that I didn’t even listen to her answer but kept saying, "I love you very much".
My mother didn’t speak for a moment and then replied, "Don’t worry son, I love you too. Don’t worry, all will be fine. Is Diana with you? "
I looked at Diana. She was looking so terrified, watching everything with her eyes wide open. She was holding my right arm with both her hands, her fingernails almost digging deep into my arm.