I feel nostalgic for high school.
My life had just started and I was full of so many hopes and dreams. All that has faded away now, and so much has happened that has changed me. I am a different person then and it is only through this life experience that I am able to move on from my life. Only through the knowledge that I have acquired now am I able to fully understand my former world, and my role within it.
My dreams had always felt like nightmares. It always felt that once I knew what I wanted, that it was ripped away from me. It was almost as if I was made to suffer, over and over again.
I travelled through high school alone and invisible. In every aspect I was just your average high school girl, I just blended into the crowd. That was all that I had hoped to be: there was never any option or any opportunity to be anything other than what I was.
These thoughts occurred to me as I was sitting in Mrs Smith's class. She was a young teacher, only twenty or so. She was always so nervous and awkward, continually dropping the large textbook that she consistently kept attached to her hip. Big round glasses, and long librarian skirts, I bet she was one of those 'change the world 'types.
My English textbook lay on my desk, open. I resisted the urge to snap it shut.
Behind me, a dark hair guy howled with laughter. "This really is funny stuff" I turn around to look at the voice, and find myself met with a big, towering form.
He waves his textbook in the air, obvious to the fact that all the eyes in the room were on him. Brian Wilson was his name and he was the resident class jock. Thick wavy brown hair and intense blue eyes – he was good looking and he knew it. Of course, he was another loudmouthed jock who always made his opinion known to everyone.
"Romeo and Juliet" He complained loudly. "Hasn't everyone already seen this movie already like A HUNDRED times? We've also seen the play and had verses quoted from it in every media source in society"
Mrs Smith, (or MISS Smith, as I later found out) adjusts the rim of her glasses, trying to fit it back on her nose. It just kept sliding off. "This play that you are talking about is only one of the most important and famous plays in all of society. And, Mr Wilson – I expect that you keep your opinions to yourself. After all, isn't everyone else also enjoying this?"
Thirty blank eyes meet her bewildered gaze. "I guess not" She murmurs, more to herself than anyone else.
"Well then" Her glasses slid back down her nose "I suggest we do something different why don't we act out the play"
Eyes turn up, staring at her (mine included). I wondered where she was going with this train of thought. "So I suggest that you all turn to the person in front of you, to start individually reading out this play"
"Oh bother" Brian states loudly from his seat behind me. "How about we just don't do this play at all" He adds in a sarcastic tone.
Miss Smith glares at him. "I expect you to give your full co operation to Annie"
I turn around, met with the furious blue eyes of Brian Wilson.
"I can see that you don't want to work with me but let's get through this and then we never have to talk to each other again" Brian was not one to mince words.
I stare at him blankly. "What happened to full co operation?"
"Well I never agreed, did I?"
I stopped. He had a point. Still...
"We should begin at the beginning" I suggest helpfully.
The crease on his forehead deepens, he looks momentarily distracted. He shoves his book at me. "I want to do this scene"
"The balcony scene?" My eyebrow rises.
"But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon"
As he continues on, his voice rises and the conversation of everyone around us stops. Miss Smith stares at us silently.
"..Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady! O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing.
What of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold; 'tis not to me she speaks."
He stops at this point and turns to our teacher.
"Mr Wilson, I will see you after class"
It was only once I was in the hallway corridor that I realised that I had left my most important possession – my copy of Romeo and Juliet in the classroom. I had been in such a rush to exit after the final bell that I had forgotten to take it. But I needed it: we had homework due in tomorrow on the book.
My footsteps quieten as I reach the classroom, and just as I am about to knock on the door I hear two voices that echo loudly from within. I press my ear closer to the door to hear better, and what I hear sparks my attention.
"You can't just say things like that" A low pitched female voice says.
"I know" the reply is nothing more than a grunt.
"What happened if anyone pieced it together? That they heard your little stunt and it held their attention? They would put two and two together, especially since you're not normally as careless as this"
"I know... but – no one will ever know. How would they?"
"You would be surprised what people can find out"
The voices stop and there is nothing but silence.
"Someone is out there" The female voice says.
I slowly back away from the door. My textbook would have to wait, I needed and escape route and I needed it fast.
The door opens in my face.
What I see there is a sight that I would never forget.