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  • Chapter One
    There is always a reason, worthy or not, is dependable. My class four teacher sent me an add request on a social networking site. I hate her, as strong as the word hate is - with all its might. After a day, I log in, to find a sickly message splayed to be read, stating Hi… Dear. Typed by her now, fat tiny fingers. She must have used to lick pickle out of the jar, or must have used that extension of her body to scratch her ringed neck. The message was sweet, affirming that the Lilith wouldn’t let go, I accepted the request.
    I can recall my school days very distinctly. Well, not really. All I remember is the feeling of malaise associated with it. There was always a discomfort. In those sticky wooden benches where you were made to sit close enough to inhale the next child’s uneasiness and exhale yours onto them.
    Morning qualms brought by that universal alarm tone. It wasn’t really a great way to start one’s day. For grown up children like me, who had to deal with all the school work and it’s paraphernalia, it was depressing. I rarely remember a human voice waking me up for school time, there was hardly anyone around. I must have been eleven years old when I insisted on getting an alarm clock. As I was brought to the school counselor for reaching school late each time. She then insisted to fetch help from a timer.

    "I want an alarm clock", that’s all I said to my aunt. As a child I always skipped the details in order to avoid drama. I was reasonably intuitive. "My school counselor has asked me to get an alarm clock in order to reach school on time." There was only one way it could have lead to: "what do you mean? said my mom. "Let me come to the school and talk to them, unnecessary expenditures, that’s it." Next I would see one of the family members supplicating in front of the counselor. As I would watch the entire scene standing at the door, kicking my shoes and staring back through my eye brow’s at the counselor’s so called personal assistant. They would always come out and yell, without giving out any details of the conversation happened inside. They always yelled, it made me feel guilty. "Why didn’t you tell us, that you were late for more than three times", "It sure doesn’t look good to come all the way just to hear your silly mistakes!" I had a childhood of being lost in translation. "I want an alarm clock." I lifted my chin and saw each of them from right to left and left to right again. They all were showing the same time, just with different milieu. Like how time is the same for us, yet different , to each his own. I picked the most perfect one. It wasn’t pink in color, it never had any cartoons on in it. I asked stridently for a radium glowing numerical clock with a loud tone. I don’t think they had a glowing one, but it sure was loud, so loud I can still hear it. Sound travels slow, thirteen years later I still can hear it. It was a sophisticated one, round just like in sketches, had a white base and big black hands just like the Big Ben. Numbers were so clear that even my grandfather could gauge. May be I imagined myself old and out of sight one day, and bought it to keep it forever. White and orange at the back, mellow orange, you could place that clock near the governor’s lamp shade and it would just do fine. I was proud of my choices.

    Chapter two

    I am proud of all my choices until the very initial stage of my relationship with them, I presume they all are suave, until they open up. Just like this alarm clock, it’s persistent tone went on to crawl inside my skin, ticked beneath the layers of my dreams, at times even body locked me. The soreness of the tone lingered and wafted in the room, twanged into ears and shoveled the heart. I woke up, before the alarm went off, that’s how I managed to reach school on time. Until the time where boys surfaced in life with silly puerile glances or love letters where in I didn’t sleep at all, or I woke up too early thinking of them.
    I also remember quite prominently, the footling entries and the exists of the school building. How each entry and the exit defined our standards. Entry to the stage’s green room was always for superior children, who fared well in being famous. I, as you now know never saw the entry to the stage or it’s green room. Entry to the school’s main gate comes to be quite often. In fact I always rushed past it, dodging and adjusting my bag on my shoulders, plaits flying, hands swaying. I could hear myself breathing, I was always alone, always the one to arrive late. My school’s entrance had a beautiful facade of yellow chrysanthemums, it was the only beautiful structure in the entire building. I always looked up before I entered the gate.

    Needless details like the deep round plunge on the wooden desk , or the long valley shaped indent on the desks for pencils and pens. The smell of the washroom and how filthy it always was. The chocolate colored tiles, of perfect 10 by 10 size, and how they always turned dark red as soon as sun light caressed. The drama of school teachers, the languor of our bodies, the sickness of dumb class mates and the great saga of being misunderstood. I noticed that the higher society of school consisting of the principal, school owners, high school teachers were quite friendly with me, then at the base things, were always in trouble and bickering. I don’t remember learning anything before class ten, It was all mugging up with crummy teachers scratching their flabby tummies, sweating and always facing the black board. They were a bunch of insensitive left alone singles. I felt sorry for them, I still do. One of the belongings I remember are the surnames of my classmates. Such an important detail of a person whom you will never probably see again in your life time. I even remember the middle names of few, it’s such a nauseating detail, these people were never close to me. Some of them left school mid way, some of them are married and some of them are just names along with one wee detail tagged, their surnames. What can I possibly do with such a significant detail and such a lousy forceful relationship. People like me can go tracking them down, and then what? Some might add me on face book or some might talk to me while hushing their babies, some may not even recognize me. It will never ever turn out into a relationship worth of remembering surnames hauling them throughout your childhood, adolescence and a period of youth. Countless people just lay it off thinking they are just surnames, that’s what probably you dear reader are thinking too. I have considered that option, but after the split second of engaging the thought, I think that’s exactly what people do and some of those so called people study not too far, yet far enough to opt for teaching, like the teachers back in school. Now all they do, day in and out is to deal with names and surnames.
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