First Day Of School
Grace Wells-Greaves, Grade 7, Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School
Finalist in the 'Just Keep Writing 2019' competition
I breathe in great rasps of air as I gradually approach the door.
The sound of my own agitation is deafening. I attempt to restrain myself but like the other countless and frivolous attempts, I lay in an ocean of my tears. I must console myself. Is there a slight contingency that today, tomorrow and all other days will encompass love and acceptance? I analyse the situation, I can concur that due to the evidence provided, or lack thereof, I don’t know.
All I know is that I will strut confidently and self-assured into that classroom, embodying a true instinct of self-righteousness. Though will they be engulfed in resent towards me when they discover the tyrannical truth? I alert my gaze to signal sent upon to me from the teacher presiding in the classroom. I know it is time, and it’s inevitable. Though I envisaged myself to walk confident and content, I walk in bashful and reticent. Though I envisioned myself to embody self-righteousness, I embody introversion. I look upon my peers. Instantaneously the surrounding environment is impeded, and I lay alone with my thoughts. A million contemplations envelope my mind about how to phrase what is to be said. What must be said. A tap from the teacher obstructs my train of thought. I open my backpack. It gapes open and I rustle around for my notebook. The teacher alerts the students to focus on me. My hands tremble as I endeavour to make out what is to be said. My breath quivers. I briskly realise how frivolous this is and I begin to frantically inscribe sentences upon my notebook. I hold my notebook up for all to interpret. This will make me or break me.
As my peers gradually come to terms with the truth, I see varying reactions, some flabbergasted and astounded, some flummoxed and discombobulated. But I can infer that all gather to congregate to a common inquiry, ‘Why can’t she hear?’ As I approach the desk assigned to me, all their beady little eyes are disturbingly fixated on me. They turn to each other and begin to confer. It seems for a split second their attention may lay off me, but instead they turn to me and signal at my notebook, I pass it to them, what will they inscribe too. Innuendos, foul remarks, it has no relevance, I’m accustomed to it.
It’s passed to me, I read, I fortify myself for what is inscribed, ‘Do you want to be friends?’
I am flabbergasted. All my life I have contemplated what it takes to conform to a world that won’t hear you? Where finding acceptance feels impossible. How do I uncover myself? Is all that is to it a group of liberal minds? Have I truly found my calling? I feel acceptance despite my dissimilarity. I reply instantly with a meaningful nod. They bequeath upon me friendship in which they have also bequeathed upon me fulfillment.