There was a spring in my step as I walked into school. I was beaming with a smile that I know, stretched from ear to ear. I could hear the noise of the many children around me but I felt as though I was alone.
I walk up the many steps into my class and sit in my bench. There is a window close to where I sit. This window looks out to a huge garden that has different kinds of trees. Trees that are forever green or trees which flower every now and then and many other kinds.. When a gusty wind blows, it is a beautiful sight to see the flowers falling to meet the ground in a hurry. When they meet the ground, they all just seem to settle down comfortably, just like me and my BIG tree. The moment I think of my BIG tree, I smile to myself. My little secret!!
I did not know that the teacher had walked in and had started taking the class, until I hear my name being called loudly. I look at her puzzled. I knew she asked me something but I did not know what she asked. I could not stop my smile from showing up on my face, as I thought of where I would do after school.
I was excited and nothing that was being done in the class really registered. I tried concentrating but I just could not. My teacher called out to me again. This time, I knew what she was asking but I could not answer because I I could not. Something seemed to to have locked my mind and also my lips. The entire class was looking at me and I could hear some sniggers and feel some sympathetic glances. But I really did not bother today. I just stood looking at the teacher who told me say that I was staring at her. I could not tell her that that I was not able to take my eye off her as my mind was locked. I can’t also tell this to any classmate. I did not have anyone in the class who I could term as a close friend. I had a few who I talk to but I was not sure why they talk to me.
All through the different classes, my mind was only dreaming about where I would go after school. I was dreaming about swinging in the tree, not very fast but not very slow either. I was dreaming of being in the monastery, of walking around there, talking to people, giggling at something. I knew I would be given a sweet today. I always get one when I go there, when my father is out of town.
I hear my name being called again. “Why don’t these teachers understand that I am not in a mood to listen or answer anything they want me to answer? I just want to keep dreaming.” Fortunately for me, I answer something that was asked and my teacher was happy with my answer. She looks away from me and leaves me to my dreaming. I did not follow any of what is happening in the class. Either way, my father or that disapproving eye or the watchful eye was not there to say anything disapproving. As for my grandfather, I know what to tell him if he asks me for anything.
As it grew closer and closer to the time when school would be over, I was getting restless. I start moving around in my chair, looking at the shadows the sun caused in the garden. I knew exactly when the bell would ring. The bell rings and I am out of my seat before anyone else was. As I rush through the aisle, I hear my name being called again. This time the tone in the voice was stern and impatient, “Do you have to be so disorganized?”As I look at the teacher and also towards the doorway, the teacher got even more irritated. “You have left your lunch bag near your table”. I want to tell my teacher that I am not usually so forgetful and being forgetful does not make one disorganized. Doing that means I will be made to listen to some more of what my teacher wants to say. Staying quiet was the best way to leave early. I quickly run down the steps to see my grandfather standing near the gate. I look at him expectantly and a smile from him gives me the answer I want. My grandfather looked worried when I was telling him what happened in school. When we reached the tree, I ran to the swing but with the corner of my eye saw this person sitting underneath it. I swung looking up to the sky in happiness. When it was time to leave, for the first time I went near the person, said a bye and left. For the first time too, after many days, my grandfather looked relieved. Smiling, he took my school bag from me. When he does that, it means he is happy. Skipping because I was free of all my baggage, I reached the monastery.
Whenever I go to the monastery with my grandfather, it is always my grandfather’s time with the old man and then my time. My grandfather’s time with the old man was always to a specific time. It was a time during which I could be wherever I wanted to, in the monastery. For some reason I would always know when it is my time with the old man. Wherever I was, I would reach there precisely at that time.
This time however, I was a few minutes early. I could hear my grandfather’s voice saying “I am really worried about her. She is too young to understand anything.” This got my curiosity piqued. Just as I was about to step in, the ever serene old man said to my grandfather. “Let’s now talk to this wonderful person who is going to step into this room. I am sure she has many things to share and ask”. I got more curious, “How did he always know where I was? What were they discussing that abruptly stopped?”.
I was about to ask these questions but stopped myself. These questions will not be answered, even if I ask them.
Why did I now feel like both a round peg in a round hole and also a square peg in a round hole?