Shaena – Chapter 1

[1]

The dust on the ground raked up, and amidst the dust, I could only make out that she was coming towards our classroom. I was sitting on the first bench, because I considered that prestigious, until later I discovered what the back benches had in store for me. She came inside, and I saw her for the first time. It didn’t feel awesome, in fact, I felt nothing. She took the seat beside me, probably because she felt too lazy to walk through the class looking for other empty benches. She wore a hairband, and a thousand clips on her hair, which kept them intact for the rest of her life. If I’d start counting them, it’d take me an hour probably.

Classes started. And whilst I religiously listened to the teacher, took down notes, and chewed the end of my pen to eternity, my eyes continuously kept cornering towards her. She hadn’t her notebooks out as yet, all she had on her desk was a sheet of paper, on which she drew flowers, bigger flowers, and big loose petals. And then she put her signature on every possible inch left on the sheet. That was how I got to know her name. Shaena. But that was not a momentous occasion for me. I hardly cared who she was and how her friends called her. I did not care whether she sat beside me or not. In fact, I did not care who sat beside me, as long as both of us minded our own business. And she was quite likely to this fact. A brief smile when she sat down first, and then we got busy with our work, I taking down notes, and she, sketching on the sheet of paper. The bell rang for recess, and when we returned she was sitting two benches behind me.

Shaena. A soft-spoken girl, I hardly ever got to listen to her voice in the first few days. Seldom she would interact with other students. She came, she sat, she left. It was only in the Biology lab that we both shared the same desk. This time it was not coincidental, we were seated roll number wise, and ours were consecutive. I frequently asked her doubts, just to hear her speak. But all she said was ‘Yes’, ‘No’, and seldom ‘I don’t know’. And after a while, I stopped boring her with my unnecessary doubts, of which I had none.

Next Chapter

How the Essay Spoke

Mr. Susanne then handed over the sheet to me. Stapled were two sheets of paper, A4 size, single ruled, with notes written in blue ink, cursive, beautiful. It seemed that whoever had written the essay had planned well before writing. Neatly written, without many scratches, the write-up would surely get a ten on ten if assessed on handwriting. I started reading it, knowing not why I was doing so, but knew that Mr. Susanne had asked me to, and so I ought to. Mr. Susanne was a teacher in the primary section of Edinburgh School, the most famous school in our town. He was an English teacher, however, frequently he also solved a bit of mathematics for his son, had he any doubt in them. Tall and lean, one could have hardly guessed he was in his late-fifties if not informed earlier. I then took out my spectacles from the pocket on the right hand side of my shirt. I was wearing a formal shirt today; it had been gifted by one of my old friends last month on my anniversary, and I hadn’t got a chance to wear it all these days. So when I opened my wardrobe today, I first glanced as usual through the whole wardrobe and, coming across this, I decided to wear it, and was consequently complimented by Susanne for doing so.

I was in the personal cabin of Susanne now. Although most teachers were allotted chairs in the staff room, Susanne had been allotted a separate cabin. There could be possibly two reasons for this. The more probable one would be his long stay at the school, for I remember he used to teach in the school even in the times when I studied there. Back to the essay, Susanne had said to keep in mind that it was a fictitious one, it started off,

“An Accident”

“Accidents are things that happen by mistake, of course, and that is why they are accidents, not deliberate attempts to harm people. They may occur with anyone, anywhere, anytime and the person involved may be slightly injured or seriously, and if fatal, it can also lead to death. However, the people involved in the accident are to be blamed too, for it may cause the life of a person too. Being an eye-witness to an accident is bad enough, however, being a part of an accident is worse than that. I narrate to you an account of what happened to me last year.

It was the season of festivals. The various festivals along with their pompous celebrations had instilled into everyone an urge of fun-making. In such a situation, people cannot stop but commit mistakes. In some other cases, people get overdrunk and run into accidents. Such a case happened that day, and I do not know whether fortunately or unfortunately, but I was involved in it. Not that I was drunk, not that I was driving fast, but only that I was crossing a busy street. Even then, I was very cautious, because, being here in this city for so long, I have learnt that people hardly care about the traffic rules, and that they could well run into anyone if the signals showed red. Moreover, there was a faith, because I was holding my father’s hand, and if I forgot to tell you, my father was with me all this while, and also my mother, because we were out together as a family.

Just as I was crossing the road, suddenly a car, I can bleakly remember, but it was a Volkswagen, although I don’t intend to blame the name of the company, because the entire fault was of the driver’s, rushed through the street, and even before I could realize, it ran into me and then I do not know what happened, because when my eyes opened, I was on bed number 5 in the children’s ward in the local hospital. I looked desperately for my right leg, but couldn’t see it. I had become lame, however, I could still see, smell, taste, feel and hear. All my senses were perfect, and I looked around and saw my parents sitting beside at the table. My father smiled wryly at the fact that I had finally opened my eyes, but no one could stop my mother from crying loudly, as if it were hers and not my leg that had disappeared.

Now, I am absolutely fine just like any other friend of mine, except that I need to use a pair of crutches, which hardly makes any difference to me.”

The essay ended there. It was written finely, and I admired at the imagination of the boy who had written it. He would grow up to be a great poet, or author, or script-writer may be, I thought. I turned around at Susanne to request to meet the boy, and it was then that I saw tears in his eyes, he was weeping, softly though, so that no one would hear. I asked him what happened, as I could see no reason to cry at such a beautiful piece of writing. He then said, “This was written yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon, after the school ended, while he, the boy who you want to meet, was returning home, a car ran into him. The right leg was cut from the body, and the boy passed away on the spot.”