My first day of school

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The sweet almost forgotten taste of bubblegum candy, the noisy cluster before the morning assembly, the sleepy eyes and the stifled yawns followed by the shrill blast of the school bell is what comes to mind most when I think of the word school. Before u all get up and leave; this isn’t one of those weak knees, trembling from head to toes four year olds first day of school stories. Even thought we have all been through that and understand it, I must admit it kind of losses its melodrama after one has been to 10 different schools in the first two years.

All schools look the same, the same sounds, the same students, even the buildings merge into one another to become one. The hot and sticky summers of Delhi merging into the lush greenery of Jammu so that it all becomes a blur . One small kid becomes easily absorbed into the routine. One learns to become invisible ;after all its not that difficult ;an ordinary face covered with huge glasses with his mouth full of metal, struggling against his ever increasing weight is easily overlooked. Friends were never on my agenda . It wasn’t something I wasted sleep over. I had learned to become my own company with books my ever loyal companion.

I was lost and remained so till I reached class 8. There was nothing extraordinary in that day, yet it marks a turning point for me. A point of rediscovery and my first day of school in the truest sense. The bell for recess rang echoing down the empty hallways; followed by the rush of thousands of eager footsteps heading for the playground. I bumped out of the class stubbing my toe on someone’s desk with my thoughts on the cafeteria’s menu and my hands full of the history of Greek mythology. Reaching up absently to push up my glasses that continued to slip down my nose, I did not look as I crashed straight into someone.

Thick, straight brown hair, classic oval face and eyes the color of warm honey looked back at me. “I’m really sorry,”I stuttered fumbling to gather my books and now cracked glasses. With a sound of musical laughter she stood up, long elegant limbs and reached down to offer me a hand. “Its ok. It was probably my fault,” she said as I awkwardly got to my feet,”Im forever bumping into things. ” At the loss of what to say I nodded, managed a small smile and continued towards the cafeteria. To my complete surprise she joined, her eyes dancing with good humor.

“What grade are u in? She inquired as we queued up together for the cafeteria line. “Eighth,” I mumbled. ‘Oh1 me too,” she exclaimed,” I just started today . Its my first day. ” I just nodded so she went on “Oh silly me I forgot to introduce my self . I’m Amina;I just moved back from the states and I have a bad habit of rambling,” she finished smiling charmingly. I picked up my food not sure what to do, started to look for a place to sit. Locating an empty table I started to head towards it. Minutes later she joined me. “Sorry, I got left behind,”she said putting a tray next to mine,” so this is where we r eating? ” I could only stare .

Why was she here? What cud she possibly want from me? Then a thought occurred to me and I found my voice. “This isn’t funny; wherever the rest of your friends are hiding tell them to come out. I will not be the clown of your joke” I said surprised by the strength of my own voice. She just looked at me, varied emotions flashing in her expressive eyes; confusion, hurt, understanding and compassion. I wasn’t sure which I detested the most. Turning my back on her I opened my book and stared blindly at it. When she spoke her voice was soft” I have no friends here yet. I thought maybe we could be friends.

I’m sorry. ” Saying so she got up and left, leaving her tray behind. I felt a pang; a sharp pain of regret, disappointment and sorrow as I watched her go. Trying to shudder it of I bit into the burger I ate bought; tasting nothing. I tired to turn to my book but couldn’t. Then the sound of “would you like some of my Mac and cheese” had me turning around in astonishment. Amina was standing behind me holding out her lunch box. It was looking at her smiling face that I realized I was found. This was the first day of a new beginning. I smiled; a full smile I hadn’t smiled in so long “I love Mac and cheese”

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