I survived secondary school. That’s the only real way I can put it, I didn’t enjoy it, as such. Looking back on it, it was such a finite time, but during it I could see no end and it felt eternal. Fond memories of it are few and far between, but I want to share one of my highlights…
Room 52 in my secondary school was a haven of mine. It was a small resource room in which I often studied. I liked it for many reasons, it was smaller than the usual classroom, cosy, and so full of light. Usually vacant, it was situated away from most of the other classes so the murmur of voices could hardly be heard.
Sixth year was a weird year in my life (second to worst, actually): I was drifting from my friends, falling down in my grades and I was being bullied. The bullying came as a shock, I honestly didn’t think people could be so cruel for no reason. It left me crying my heart out in bathrooms on many an occasion.
One day I found myself in tears once again because of that damn girl and how low a person could stoop to hurt another, and so I fled to room 52 for some of that desperately needed light in my life. But when I opened the door I was met by a crowded room – a strange occurrence for my beloved room. I mumbled my apologies and turned to the door to leave. I was stopped and told to sit down and join in. I surveyed the group, and noted that I knew only one or two of the girls. Christina, a girl in the year below me seemed to be some sort of leader. She insisted on giving me a cup of tea and biscuits, and when we were all sufficiently caffeinated, they told me about their group.
They called themselves an anime club, but that wasn’t what they really talked about. I asked the teacher in charge of the group about how such a gaggle of girls came together and she told me that the club was really just a place for the younger girls who found it hard to mix in with hoi polloi to come and chat. I learned that most of them, like me, experienced bullying at some point for just being a bit different.The girls in the group, I came to know, were brilliant people. They were all so lovely and interesting, I liked to just listen to them, even though I couldn’t contribute much to the anime conversation. I returned to the anime club each Wednesday at lunch time (just for the tea and biscuits, I would joke.)
I’m so thankful for their company during those miserable, dreary days of sixth year, and I really hope that they know that. Christina, especially. There are people out there with hearts of gold, and it is rare to have come across them. The worst in one person drove me to find the best in another. The world is funny that way.