For those who are traveling their lifelong journey and finding their destiny, assure yourself, you are not alone.
The gray airplane with the bright orange star printed on both sides landed on the busy runways of Peklo Pangories Airport. Minutes seemed like hours as the airplane’s door slid open and the passengers strolled along the line to get off from the plane. They had more destinations to carry on, more activities to do, and more people to meet. Some were excited while some were scared. Happy faces could not seem to outshine those who were sad. Some were bursting with energy, ready to go on but some were sick and tired from the journey they had performed, and the knowledge that there would be more waiting for them filled their heavy hearts with weariness.
Among them was a 15 year old girl. With thick jet-black hair ruling over her big head, her skin a shade of dry light chocolate, and her vivid facial features, this girl in beige blouse and shorts wore a heedful expression. As the air-steward bid thanks and goodbye to her, she flashed a forced smile but it later instantly faded. Then, her small right leg stepped off the aircraft and hovered above the stairs, the stairs leading to the central airport building.
There was a moment, a moment of hesitation and then, with a sigh, she stepped onto it. The remaining leg obediently followed its partner and it too landed.
There, she was on the land of Peklo Pangories and she knew that her life was never going to be the same.
Peklo Pangories: my new “home”
And as I sighed, I knew very well that I had good reasons to explain why I did so. After seeing the dome and its entrance arch in the air, which everyone else denied to witness, and the ominous feeling that had been accumulating inside me afterward, I could have done nothing else but to sigh.
Mum threw me a surprised look as if I had sighed so loud that the whole world heard it. Then she turned her face back to the van’s window and so did I. The landscape was changing quickly, from the deserted grass fields to buildings that looked like community centers to the tall apartments that stood strangely against the hollow sky. It was free of clouds and orange rays scattered throughout the blue backdrop. A flock of black birds flew across the sky with no particular destination. The sun was setting.
“Welcome to Peklo Pangories!!!” A humongous shiny red sign on the white metal plate stood above the entrance gate of the apartments for newcomers. Finally, the black van that we were riding entered the gate of a circular compound as the security guard waved his enormous hand towards the van. Then, rows and rows of neatly built apartments and cars appeared and our van parked between two other identical black vans. When the engine stopped, the doors swung opened and three people came out; I was the last one.
Beyond the rows of black vans were rows of white apartments. There were two fake plum trees at every entrance of every block. Every single space of ground was covered with colorful concrete; there was no trace of earth and the white apartments were decorated with red sentences “Welcome to Peklo Pangoires” and “Welcome newcomers”.
Briskly yet curiously, we walked to one of the blocks, three people came out and took our luggage, smiling. Then they ushered us into the lobby of the block 11. A young woman at the counter smiled also as she saw us coming.
I breathed in deeply and was about to introduce ourselves when she interrupted.
“Good evening! Good evening! Welcome to Peklo Pangories! We have prepared a room for you. Room number 706 on the 11th floor.” She said in a very sweet voice. Then she handed us the keys. The three luggage carriers moved towards the lift first. “Also, if you have any needs, feel free to call me. We will be always at your service.” The woman continues. “Again, we welcome you warmly to Peklo Pangories.”
I stared at her. Aren’t you going to ask who we are? Where we came from? How was our journey? You can’t possibly know everything about us, can you? She stared back at me.
“You may take your leave now.” she demanded.
Something was wrong. Her strikingly blossoming red lips, heavily blushed cheeks, and mesmerizing combination of eye-shadow shades. What was missing?
And as we went into the lift and just before the lift doors closed, I took another look at her. She was still there, smiling at us. She looked like a perfect picture. The lift was not near enough the counter to see the color of her eyes. Yet, I somehow saw them.
Of course they were black, but I thought I saw no light in them.
The First Day of hell: The Tour
It might be too early say but I am already having this feeling that I don’t belong here. I know, I need to be optimistic and make the best out of everything, but just look around me and this mentality is hard to maintain.
All my life, I have lived in a beautiful house on a slope built by my parents, where I spent my childhood crafting out story plots and acting them out in the underground cellar, the attic, and the gardens located in front and back yard. Now I am trapped inside a flat packed between countless others, and I feel choked, I can’t breathe. In the mornings, I used to wake up to the chippings of fighting sparrows on the lemon tree outside my bedroom window and the fall of warm and soft sunshine on my face. Now I find myself waking up in the darkness before an ugly sound of lifeless woman from an alarm clock “Thank you for waking up.” pierces though my ears.
“Pleases be reminded that you will be getting up, not just waking up, at six o’clock every morning.” That’s how I was woken up on my very first morning. “Newcomers will have to wake up at six at all time.” The voice said. “Since the newcomers have chosen their decision, the responsibilities will be theirs. Every single newcomer will have to wake up at six.” She continued, “For the newcomer’s first day, there will be a lot of things to be done.”
I tried to listen while rubbing my head which was throbbing in pain. “…the first task will be touring around the city as a newcomer, kindly reminded that not as a tourist. The second is to register the family at the Newcomer’s Welfare Office building. After that will be a visit to one Native family. For the first day, there would be all the tasks that will have to be accomplished. The van will be waiting for you downstairs by eight, which is about in an hour. Hope you have a very nice day. Thank you.”
Tasks. Native. Accomplished. None of them seemed to make sense. The day then started with the boring tour.
“This is basically the center of the city.” The tour guide van driver said. “As you can see, it is an astounding place with the latest technological features and the best architecture you can find.”
We were in the black van again but this time the car had parked besides an enormous building in the city center. The place was like an endless stadium that stretched out into the horizon. A dome stadium actually, for the enclosing roof shut out the sky entirely for the view. Surrounding the center area were colorful shops, uncountable and dazzling. The enormous building beside our van was the biggest of them all and it was decorated with the brightest and prettiest lights one could have even seen. Not only that, the whole stadium was lit with different infinite number of lights.
Yes, latest technologies or whatsoever, but sorry it failed to impress me. The absence of sky and natural surroundings gave me an even more intense choking feeling.
“It’s…it’s just like a living heaven!” mum commented with her mouth and eyes wide open. Mum, she can happily fit in anywhere.
“Yes indeed. People just lose their minds as soon as they stepped their feet into this city center. ” the van driver responded in his overly proud tone. “Especially the tourists, they just love it here. That’s why, our Peklo Pangories is infamous and of course, that’s why you came here, isn’t it. The Leading Party made this decision, you see, and with our ingenious…”
As much as I was interested in histories and politics, this time I couldn’t bring myself to listen. My enthusiasm was not with me and unusually, I sat without a word, looking out of the window. The streets were filled with people, all busy with their own tasks. Some walked along the sidewalk, stopping now and then to take pictures, some clumsily tottered with the heavy shopping bags in both of their hands, catching their small children who were wandering like hungry little ants with their hands pointing here and there in total astonishment, some just sat on the side benches, talking with their own group of people, some stood in front of the stores, welcoming their customers. The life out there seemed perfect. Every single one was happy.
Then, I spotted a black van like the one we were in near the next block. In the back of it, I saw three tiny figures, one was looking out of the window, to my surprise, looking straight at our van and precisely, at me. I straightened up, gazed back and realized that the face was that of a girl around my age. An excitement tingled in my stomach and I nudged my mum. She was talking to the driver. So, I turned to her and called her softly to look. She finally turned and whispered,
“KittyPi, I am talking!”.
“Look at the van across the street!” I whispered with energy. She looked out, her eyes darted here and there, and shook her head.
“What van, I don’t see any.”
Why? I looked out again. The black van was gone.
Sigh, it’s 11:27 pm, lights would be out in three minutes. I still have a long day tomorrow, I will write more about my grueling first day next time.
On well, how grueling can it get, whatever it is, I am sure new live awaits for me out there and my job is to go and conquer it! Till then!
The First Day of hell: The Enlistment
I can’t believe I am still alive. I breathe disappointment, I eat in despair, and I never knew I could become this sad in my life.
It’s a mixture of frustration and disgust. This is only the beginning but I am unhappy already. This is not what I aimed to achieve. This is not what I envisioned.
This is not me.
On the first day, after the city tour. We were brought to the registeration office where, where for the first time in my life, I tasted the bit of prejudice and discrimination. Yes, I learned about them in school. I have written papers on them. Yet, this time was when it was thrown right at my face.
Ouch…I don’t need to say it hurts.
The first thing I saw as I stepped into the building of the Newcomer’s Welfare Office building was uncountable queues and queues of people at countless counters.
We looked at our queue numbers again which read “5025 at counter 135” and didn’t know which way to go.
“Sir,” the security man standing at the entrance came to us, “may I see your number.” He was at least polite. “Ok, sir, you have to go to the waiting room first. When the screen flashes your number in the waiting room, you can come and queue here. Waiting room is that way.” He pointed us to the right walkway.
As we walked into the waiting room, I couldn’t help but sigh again. It seemed like sighing had become a very regular thing like breathing. I knew it was bad, that it will make you age faster but I couldn’t mind. When there are too many things jamming up inside your head, you don’t mind things anymore.
I sat on the bench and looked around. The waiting room was crammed with people of all sort: oldies dozing and slipping off from the chairs, parents screaming at the bawling children to stop playing and crying, couples, young and old, making out in the public, some furious people staring at others as if they were going to eat them up… My head was still feeling dizzy and I couldn’t find energy to talk with mum and dad. They were whispering the arrangements they need to make here. They would have to find new job. I sadly looked at them.
Back home, they didn’t need to find any jobs. We had business, a family one that had been passed down generation to generation. But mum and dad are highly educated too. I assure you that they are very smart and that made things to be a lot more successful. We owned houses, industrial zones. We had cars. We had servants. We had everything you can wish for. Then, I realized.
Look at these people too. There were different lots of them. Different hairs, skin tones, looks, the way they speak, styles. But there sure was one thing in common; they had stories of their own. They too had their own lives, some might have been like mine, and some might have been the kind they wanted to forget about. I wondered why they too gave up their lives and came here like we did. They might have been happy back in their homes, what made them leave those comfortable lives. I knew my own reason and I wondered what was theirs’.
Right then, our queue number flashed on the screen with a short siren. We stood up and went to queue up. Boredom was killing me. I thought it was taking forever and when we finally reached the counter, I was already half-asleep.
My father was called up first and it was kind of strange that they call one by one. It was like investigating for some crime and I snarled at them at a moment for so for that. They were treating us like a race below them. I just felt that way.
After my dad, mum was called and dad told me that he was getting a job in the Newcomers’ Engineering Office and that it was very well paid. He seemed to be pleased by that. Soon, mum also came back. It was my turn.
“What is your first name?” was the first question from the fat woman behind that counter. I was not even seated yet.
“KittyPi” I said nonchalantly. I waited for her to grimace in confusion and to ask again. She didn’t.
“How do you spell it?”
“Capital K-i-t-t-y-capital P-i. I know Pi looks like pi from maths but it is spelled that way even though it is pronounced like a short light ‘peep’ with open lips.” I explained.
“Excuse me, I just asked for the spellings, nothing else.” She snapped. I startled. “How old are you now exactly?”
“I have been 15 for nearly 7 months.” I waited. She did not even look up and went on writing down many things even though she had only asked me three questions.
“You are enrolled into No. 91 Newcomers’ High School. But you will start only in coming January. So, for the time being, you can take part in voluntary school activities. Now, sign this agreement to rules and regulations of the school and the country.” Then, she handed me a set of five pages long document.
“But wait…don’t I have to take any entrance exam?… Aren’t you taking down my academic history? Won’t you…”
“Sigh there quick! Then take it along with you and read. All the rules are there. Quick! Sigh it! We don’t have the whole day for you!” she demanded with an angry face.
“But I need to read before I sigh!”
“Sigh or leave the country and go back where you come from.” She said in a flat tone. My face hung in confusion and I looked for mum and dad. I saw them staring at me. They seemed to hear the woman. I turned back, and sighed, biting my lips.
“Sigh here too. This is the copy you are taking.” I did so, wishing that I could tear that document up and throw it at that bloody woman’s face. “Here’s your card. If you lose it, it’s banishment.” She handed me a plastic card.
“What do you mean by banishment?” My eyes widened.
“Next!” She yelled and a young couple approached the counter. “Only one at a time!” and she went on.
“Come, honey. It’s already evening. We need to go to the Native house.” Mum kindly called. Still gripping the card tightly, I followed them out of the building and back into the van.
It sure was evening and the sun was setting, just the way it was when I first reached here. And I looked up into the sky again and saw the same cloud-free orange sky. I also saw the black birds again and I felt that both those birds and I were heading to a place, where none of us should be going.
The trip to native house was nothing better. I better stop here for the day so that I can sleep for at least some hours.
There are so many things on my mind, I need time to sort them out. Maybe with lucid thoughts, I can view the whole situation better.
Never can they get my saneness.
The First Glimpse of Hope
So many things have happend and I don’t know where to start off with!
Maybe I’ll tell you about this!
Yesterday I was browsing newspaper at the library, (yes, although I hate this country, I LOVE the libraries! They are so AWESOME! Books never fail to make me feel elated!), and bam, I found an advertisement, or was it an announcement, I don’t know.
I saw the title, the picture of the black and white school and I felt the thud of my heart. I knew exactly which school it was.
It was none other than the No. 1 Girls School of Peklo Pangories, Relite Girls School. Yes, the most prestigious school in Peklo Pangories, the school that the eldest daughter of the native family that we had to meet, went.
Under the title, it says that today is the Direct Admission Test day, report to school at 7:30 am.
It was funny but at the instant, I looked at my watch, and saw that it was 7:00 am. So many things ran through my mind, and I stood up.
Then I stopped. What am I going to do?
My parents were still at home and it would take about half an hour to go home. And yes, documents, I am going to take the test, I need my school records, my passport, the Identity Card, what else. My speed of my blood flow was making my skin burn amidst the cold-temperature bred by air-conditioner. I ran out of the building, and to the nearest phone booth.
“Mum! It’s me! Today is the admission test day for Relite Girls School! I saw it in the newspaper! I am going to take the test! Can you come to the school with all my documents? Do you know the place? It’s right in the center of downtown hills. I am going straight from here. We need to report at 7:30!”
“Whoa whoa, wait wait, are you sure…you can take the test? I mean, erm, you haven’t prepared?”
“Nevermind! Whatever I truly learnt before is in my head! You need to leave now mum. See you there at the entrance! Bye!”
The next moment, I was running, running to the bus-stop. For once, since I arrived, I felt myself alive. Yes, I am living and burning on adrenaline.
The grass was wet when I entered the school. The school was black and white all right, some students were playing baseball on the field and my senses darted back and forth, hungry for the sights, sounds and touch.
“Hi my name is KittyPi, and I am here for the entrance test.” I declared to the receptionist.
“Okay, sure. Let me see your Identity Card please.” She drew out and prepared a new set of documents.
I took from my mum and passed it to her. She took without looking and starting writing down. Then, she glanced at the card, wrote and stopped.
She looked at the card.
“You are not a native.”
“Yes, I know that?”
“This school is for natives.”
“This test is for natives.”
What the! That’s utter rubbish!
“You mean newcomers cannot attend the school?”
“Or even take the test?”
“But…but you should at least let me take since I am here!”
“I am sorry. This is never happened before. Not in the history.”
“Then let’s break the trend. You should start something new under you!”
“I am not ordered to do that and I am new here.”
“Come on!” I realized I need to change the technique. “I mean please, please let me take. We should try at least shouldn’t we?”
“Sometimes we don’t need to.”
Nothing, nothing came to my mind. Then, “Miss, please, please let me take it. You just fill in the details and I just go in and take the test. It’s…It’s as simple as that. You don’t need to do anything. I am sure nobody told you to stop a newcomer from taking the test since it never happened before. Let’s just try it once. You never know unless you do it.”
She stared at me, she looked really unsure. Curtain of order was withdrawn from her face. “I don’t know.” She muttered. “I am a newcomer too. I get this job after some many years. I am not allowed to take any risk. It’s a steady job. It’s a good job.”
I was forcing her through pleas, confusing her and I could see droplets of sweat starting to form on her forehead.
She gritted her teeth. She shook her head.
“OH MY! I don’t know why I am doing this. Here, take the number card. Just go in and take the test.”
Stunned, it took a minute before I jumped! Next thing I knew, I was running again. This time, I was following the signs that say “Exam Hall this way.” Then I saw the various doors to a large building. I pushed the door open, jumped inside.
In front of me was a small sea of girls, wearing what I thought was identical uniforms. Black and white. They were seated in the neat rows of individual desks and tables, turning around and talking to each other. I looked at my card, saw my seat number. I guessed my row and found my seat and sat down, not making a sound. The gigantic clock at the front of the hall says 7:45 am, the board beside that said, starting time 08:00 .
Relieved, I let out a long breath! SHOOT! My pencil case! What am I going to write with! Then I saw this white pencil and pen on the desk in front of me. I glanced at others. They had the same too!
“I am going to get into the school! I studied the whole year with the tutors from this school!” I heard the girl in tight ponytail in front of me muttered to another on her left.
“Me too! They cost a fortune, really. My mum said I better get in.”
“Ladies! We are about to start with the test. I am the chief examiner for today. You are going to take four papers. First, the IQ test. Followed by Science paper, Maths paper and English paper. You are allowed to use the pencil for IQ test only, where you will shade in the right answers into the answer sheet. For the remaining of the papers, use pen only.”
I was trying to absorb in as much as I can. I couldn’t help staring at the ceilings, the walls, the girls around me as well! Everything seemed like magic! My heart was jumping until I could hear every beat.
IQ test was seriously fun! Solving all the problems containing geometrical shapes kept my pencil flying across the answer sheet.
Maths was a bit tough though there were two problems that I couldn’t do and although I gave the answer, I knew there were wrong.
English was fun again. I wrote an essay on how I control my destiny.
After checking my essay for one last time, the time was up and I put down my pen. I was jumping up and down inside and wanted to know what others would say! Like machines in the factory, the tutors picked the papers from each desk. I held up mine and pass it to the tutor.
“Whoever did the question 5 is a gone case! Haha, I did question 1, listed out all the rules we should impose on newcomers.”
I turned my head with a snap and looked at the speaker. The same girl in front of me. I did question no. 5.
“Yea! I don’t know why they put that question in the first place! Well, I don’t care because I also did question 1 and I planned in before! One of the questions spotted by my tutor!”
“…and we will announce the list of students who get into our school in the newspaper.” The chief examiner was saying. “So stay put. Thank you for taking the test today.”
My mum asked the usual question, how was the paper. There weren’t any other parents around.
Well yea, that was basically what happened. I learnt that mum had to pay hundred dollars for the exam too! (What on earth! Just for the test?) I don’t know how well I did but I knew I did my best! I know not knowing how to do two quesitons for Maths was a shock! But I gave it all and that’s all that matters.
The results are not out yet. I am dying to know. Just imagine, getting into Relite Girls School. The top school for natives. I, the newcomer, getting in! I managed to take the test! I took the step no one ever took before! I am like me! I am me!
Toodles for now! Wish me all the best! I am going to get in because I am myself!
At this very instinct of my life,
I have been measured. I have been weighed.
For the first time in my life,
I HAVE FAILED.
No, it’s still not sinking in. It’s not true. It can’t be true. How can I believe this?
I HAVE BEEN REJECTED AND UNSUCCESSFUL TO ATTEND RELITE GIRLS SCHOOL.
Does it sound true to you? Not to me, no. I am still hallucinating. In my head, in my imagination, I saw the list of students under the name of successful applicants. I thought I ran home. My mum pressed the number on the phone. She talked, I couldn’t. She listened, I couldn’t. She shook her head, she didn’t look at me and I stood there doing nothing. I thought I saw those frames of images. They ran through again and again, till I cannot comprehend.
How do you feel when you heart is numb? How do you breathe when your heart is jammed up in your throat? I don’t know. I really don’t know.
What does this all mean? Do you know?
I have been told that I am not somebody who would be eligible enough to be considered as the best in this country. Am I? Am I not? What happened to all my awards? Whatever happened to being top student, model student? You mean my straight A s have been fake all along? I am not of worth at all?
I have been snapped into ha lf.
I have been weighed and measured as an idiot who just think too highly of herself but got crushed into minute pieces of shattered dust. I have been laughed at, sulkily and surlily.
In the near future, I can already see the look of disgust, sniffs, sniggers, snorts, and gossips from the community. I will be referred as the stupid, embarrassing, shameless, and rotten loser among them and will be kicked from all 360 degrees.
My dreams and the path leading to the dreams had vanished. There will be more struggle, more difficulties waiting to throw themselves at my face.
WHY? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? IF I WERE TO BLAME, I COULD BLAME ON EVERYTHING! I COULD NOT STUDY! I WAS NOT PREPARED! I COULD NOT GIVE PERFECT ANSWERS LIKE THOSE MORONS WHO BLINDLY PRACTICED THEIR BUTTS OFF TO TAKE THIS BLOODY TEST! THIS IS UNFAIR! YOU SHOULD HAVE GIVEN ME AT LEAST A CHANCE FOR INTERVIEW. THERE I COULD HAVE THROW THE FACT THAT I AM WORTH OF YOUR BLOODY SCHOOL AT YOUR FACE! NO, IT’S NOT THAT I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU, YOUR BLOODY SCHOOL DOES NOT DESERVE TO HAVE SOMEONE LIKE ME. YEA, I AM A THINKER, YOU GUYS ARE SNOBBISH, BLIND AND BLOODY BRATS! I AM NOT A NATIVE, WHY AM I A NEWCOMER! BLOODY HELL, THIS IS ALL BLOODY HELL!
Sigh, but blaming and finding excuses, are they true after all?
I AM JUST STUPID, LAZY, AND IRRESPONSIBLE.
I HAVE BEEN WEIGHED, MEASURED AND GOT REJECTED!
I CAN NEVER NEVER NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF,
Snapped by the punch,
sinking at heart,
I thought I heard someone,
or perhaps myself say,
“You had been measured,
you had been weighed, and
you had been classed as
you were unfit.
Shame on you. Let the fate curse you,
for you desired a rank,
where your standard’s a lack.
Know yourself, embarrass yourself, and
lock yourself in the chamber of failure.
Take the laughs, gossips, and sniffs.
Also the kicks from every side of your miff.
Look at the catastrophe that you had brought,
failing your patrons, community, and thoughts.
From the corner of their eyes, the pain you will gain,
which will shove you completely deranged.
With the echos of failure piercing through your ear,
dive into the darkest hole in cosmos,
and cry in there,
you morose loser.”
No, I am not dead yet if you were wondering.
But yes, I haven’t told my story for a long time. Partly it was because I was busy and partly because I was scared.
Why was I busy? So what happened after I got rejected? Well, it was impossible but I jumped on another chance.
Two days after the results were out, I found out that the no. 2 girls school of this country was holding a similar school entrance test. You do not know how my head nearly exploded. Should I try? What if they reject me again? Maybe they already have my name on the black list or something? Maybe I shouldn’t take any more risk.
I punched myself in the face. KittyPi wake up! Look at yourself, who are you, ask yourself! Are you a bloody coward who is afraid of failure? Are you going to sit down and accept everything thrown at you? Are you SCARED?
Next strings of events flashed off in split seconds. I was there, taking the test, solving each question with immense interest, writing every line with every part of me. I wrote an essay and I wrote about how I was rejected from Relite Girls School.
Next thing I knew, I was sitting in the crystalized office of Changcer Girls School, staring at the Vice-Principal with a letter in my hands saying “Congratulations! You have been successfully posted to Changcer Girls School.” which I received a day before.
“We were not supposed to do this.” She declared quietly. “I happened to read your essay and I had to accept you. We need young leaders with brains and passion even if it costs. It’s time we stop following the authority.” The secretary near the desk shook her hanging head in disapproval while typing. “I trust you. Give us all you have.” She held my shoulders. “Now, will you excuse me, I have some talks to do with the Ministry of Education, of course concerning you!” She smiled. One of the prettiest smiles I have ever seen.
I did not believe and it took awhile for it to sink in; that I have been accepted to Peklo Pangories No. 2 girls school, Changcer Girls School.
It was too good to be true! Yes, I couldn’t believe! And I was scared that it was only a dream in my current life of nightmare! I thought I was going downstairs to the darkest hole in earth. Now, I don’t know whether this is a glimpse of light in the darkness, whether it is real or I am just hallucinating, I don’t know.
But what I know I am climbing back, step by step. It’s a hard and long climb, I know.
But I am still fighting.
Where is the Love? 25 December…
I have been observing.
Yes, that’s what I have been doing. All these while, apart from preparing for school, I have been moving around the place and exploring, observing.
I have bought textbooks which I have read, notebooks, foolscap papers with school crest, stationary and new school bag, and it makes me excited all over the place again! I am going back to school. Although the eerie feeling hangs over, I am still jumping up and down. School never fails to excite me!
I miss my friends for I have none here. I miss my best friends even more these days for Christmas is here and New Year is around the corner. I used to celebrate this time for purpose no other than to share and spread the love. There is no love here.
I am not kidding. Do you know how much shocked I was when I went downtown and saw a mob of people killing each other for Christmas sale? They were buying all the for presents, I thought, but they were buying presents because they want to get presents. At least that’s the impression they gave me.
I observed that when I went for Christmas Party for Newcomers yesterday, on Christmas Eve. We were supposed to buy at least 20 dollars worth of presents and so my family did. We bought branded shower gel and lotions, teddy bear and wrapped them until really nice so that I did not feel like giving them away. Then it was the present exchange time at the party and we stood in circle, passing the presents from right to left according to a song. At the end, we got our own presents and I looked up to see who got our presents, a young girl, hugging the teddy bear and a young couple, smiling at our present. In the moment, I realized I was smiling! It was such a beautiful thing to see others happy because what of you gave them!
Then we unwrapped our presents, smiling. A box of cheap milk chocolates appeared in my hands, and a box of unnaturally bright sweets in my dad’s. My mum got herself a bulky looking towel, whose threads started coming out before we reached our apartment. I looked around the room once more and found that other presents were along the same line. Ouch, I do not want to comment. How do you feel when you feel cheated?
I felt even more cheated when that night, I was as usual living on my high spirits and participating all the activities with all my might. Leading my random group for stage games, trying to make friends when they were busy gobbling up the free food, it made me wonder what had become of them. Majority had been living in Peklo Pangories for a couple of years. No wonder.
Well, I managed to talk to a group of teens around my age.
“Hello! I am KittyPi! Nice to you meet you all!”
“Hey!” “Hello!” “Are you new here? Haven’t seen you around?”
“Yes, I came over around 2 months ago.”
“Ohhh, where did you come from?”
“Oh, Moa Mubar, erm, interesting place.”, a drop in level of friendliness. “So which school are you going to, maybe it’s the same with some of us.
“I am going to Changcer Girls School.” They stopped.
So did I.
I did not remember anything vivid after that, other than the hidden grimace in their faces, some questions like “How did you manage to slip into Changcer?” and some lifeless disjointed conversation.
Before I was accepted into a community, I felt left out.
It’s Christmas but it’s just 25th December here. It’s just another date on their calendar where they indulge themselves in worthless comfort and sins.
It’s Christmas but there is no love.
…to be continued