Tales of stranded children littered our school corridors. Stranded – young children leaving younger children in dark alleys on the way to school, so early in the morning.
Truth is, the meaning of life was already lost on us. In this translation from whatever grade you were in at the time, you lost the zeal to study. And if you didn’t hate your parents for the sacred torture, you hated younger siblings.
I was the younger sibling. My sister was responsible for EVERYTHING. Getting both our uniforms pressed and ready before dawn, packing grab and making sure all homework was done before 8 pm.
The walk to school with me always put her at odds with herself, our darling mother, the beautiful teachers and then me. She had three choices, and these all had ugly consequences.
If she were to be nice to me, walk at my pace, we’d both be late.
If she chose to drag me along, I’d get to school screaming, crying and throwing all sorts of tantrums. The uniform would get dirty and badly creased. That would never sit well with my very OCD mother.
Leaving me for dead on the road meant she’d make it to school on time, get quizzed about where I was, and then be forced to come get me.
There was no scenario that didn’t get her beaten. She had no voice, nobody to defend her. I couldn’t defend her either because I got the usual threat, “If you ever tell, you’ll see what I’ll do to you.”
So, for the best part of early school. I got left alone in the dark. Stranded because I didn’t know where school was. I had one job, to make sure we got to school together. And as time went on, I found out that I was not the only one. Did school make any of us better? At all?