It’s really odd how my memory of a decade spent in school is so foggy. I mean, ten years at the same place, I was practically raised in that girls’ convent school and yet I only have a patchwork of memories, good and bad, but mostly the embarrassing ones.
In that no-frills institution run by no-nonsense nuns, I made some friends and also lost some. The ones I could keep have stuck with me till today, the ones I couldn’t have moved on; so have I and I wish them well. For all the childish squabbles and screaming matches, I never thought I would never meet them again, that odd feeling of continuity born of a tiny bubble your life is when at school. I wonder if they thought of me in the last ten years devoid of any contact. But however short our time may have been together, oddly enough I miss those old frenemyships.
I still remember the good manners and etiquettes drummed into our heads; gosh if the fearsome Headmistress saw me today I would receive a verbal thrashing bad enough to make me quake in my very unladylike pjs. We always had to be courteous and polite, gentle ladies yet stoic and resilient, I faintly remember the school philosophy talking about being like a tiny boat adrift in the sea, yet holding strong against the currents. It’s strange how it makes so much more sense now than it did back then when I thought we were meant to take swimming lessons. I miss that red and white boat-monogrammed uniform.
There were some teachers who became friends more than instructors, perhaps because I was such a dork. And yes I was a model student, following orders, never breaking rules…never being cool. Oh well I was nerdy cool. There, that ought to make me feel better. Perhaps it does, in a way, the comfort I could draw from being me, as incomplete a personality as I may have been, I miss being a starry-eyed student.
We always believed our school was haunted, what with a hundred and fifty year old history it carried with it, so many places to explore and doors that we were forbidden not to open. Of course we created our own conspiracy theories, and obviously we checked them all out. An interesting part was the owner of the tuckshop, an ancient Caucasian ghost of a man whose life was spent swatting little girls off his candy counter. For all my memories of him yelling at us to behave, I remember one smile and I wonder if he still lives…I haven’t seen him in over ten years but I miss the mystery of that building and all its inhabitants.
I didn’t really think I would remember so much because I thought I’d never miss this place but quite honestly, I miss my school and the life I spent in it.