by V.D. Tamien
"the supposed-to-be best part of my life"
I was really quiet when I entered the room… noisy people… new faces… uncomfortable environment. All eyes on me—well I’m the newbie alright. I sat quietly at the back row, hoping no one would look at me. I just stared at them, trying to know them with my limited judgment. Then he talked to me. His name is Ben. He was very kind, I’ll give you that, but little did I know what he really is. Little did I know that he would be the “black wizard” responsible for my doomed high school life.
For four years, I spent my every day with his “curse” casted on me. From time to time, he would be there to test my patience… to annoy me… to hurt my ears with his sharp words. My heart felt all the pain, but still, it whispered “forgive him.” Should my heart be fragile, I could have given up my education and worse my life, but I didn’t. I’m proud to say I endured all the pain.
One time in my first year of stay in high school, he sat beside me and spoke of things that really made me do what I did. “You’re so fat,” “you’re so dumb,” “you’re so weird,” things as such echoed in my ears. I stood up and tweaked his hair angrily. For the first time in my thirteen years of existence (that time in 2008), I did a horrible thing. The teacher was just in front and she saw what happened. That time, I was one of the school’s awardees for “Excellent Student” and I had a pin on my chest—he removed it and angrily said to me: “You don’t deserve this pin, twerp!” I was quiet and again, all eyes on me. He “surrendered” my pin to the teacher, but thankfully, the teacher understood me—she gave it back to me.
After that day, I told myself not to “mingle” with him again—never again! Never did I tell anyone at home about this. Nobody at home knew what had been happening to me then. I managed to wear a “mask” at home though my heart was crying deep inside. My third year adviser knew everything about it because I’ve been writing it down in my journal notebook in class, and she reads everyone’s daily. Well I told my mom about it right after I graduated. I actually felt a bit regretful of not telling my mom at once; I could have taken her wise advice. I don’t like seeing her sad because of this—you know, martyrs-are-blessed mentality.
In my second year of high school, things cooled down a bit. I seldom felt his inflicted curse, and boy I was relieved! Little by little, I gathered the pieces back and felt respected again. Then things got worse. On the third year, the “black wizard” multiplied; almost all the guys in class—well in our batch—joined Ben in pulling my sleeves down. My every day in school was just like those horror films—I’m the victim; Ben and the others are the ghosts. They literally became the ghosts of my high school life. I was afraid to see them; I made every possible move there is to avoid them, but ghosts are ghosts. I always see them laughing at me—be it inside or outside the classroom. I became more conscious of how I act for they might find something laughable again. To tell you, not doing a single thing all day would be better for me than being laughed at by people who don’t really know my entire story.
Sometime in September 2010, our class had a rather serious open forum. There I discovered why Ben treated me that way in the first place. He didn’t like the way I talked and acted. He didn’t like almost everything about me! He didn’t like me right from the start, yet he “befriended” me. How dare he? He didn’t like me? Oh c’mon, he didn’t understand me! Right after he and the others spilled what they felt about me, my adviser took her chance to speak. She defended me, telling them that what they did wronged me… in fact what they did ruined the supposed-to-be best part of my life—my high school life. I was in tears that day; I poured out all the hatred in my heart that’s been stored in there for so long. For the first time, I cried in front of my classmates. Ben and the gang said their deepest apologies to me. At first I was hesitant to mind them, especially Ben, but my heart whispered: “forgive them.”