Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who Is She

My parents waved at me sadly as they stood outside the hostel compound. I waved back at them, and tears started to run down my cheeks. Suddenly I felt so lonely. Who will make friends with me? Will I be accepted by the so-called “brainy students” of this renowned boarding school?

I watched in tears as my parents moved away slowly. Then, I climbed the stairs up to my cube (room with 4 beds). Three other girls are already there, chatting along quite friendly to each other.

I stared at them with a bit of terror, for I am a very shy girl. It is very hard for me to start a conversation without somebody else starting it for me. I felt tongue-tied, and I said nothing to overcome the feeling of embarrasment.

Soon, the three girls got up and came near me. It was obvious they wanted to say something. I prepared myself with such a disguised dignity to hide my shyness.

“Tonight everyone is ordered to gather at the mosque,” one of the girls told me.

“But I can’t go. Menstrual, you see?” I objected, with a caution eye. I’m afraid the girls will not believe my excuse. But actually it’s true. I was having my menstrual and thus prohibited from entering a mosque.

“But all of us are going. In fact, we’re going there right after dinner. Aren’t you coming along?” The other girl added.

“Well… you guys go ahead. Maybe I’ll catch up later,” Somehow feeling unwelcome, I rejected their invitation with the hardest effort to be polite.

“Ok. Good-bye. We’re going.” Off the girls went.

“Bye.” I whispered to nobody as the girls’ footsteps echoed along the corridor, leaving me alone in the cube. My eyes started to roam around the room. Spooky feelings started to invade my so-very-little braveness.

I sat at my bed, legs bent up so that my knee touched my chin. Suddenly I began to regret not to follow the girls. The cube was in fact a little spooky. I don’t know how to describe it, but the temperature began dropping bit by bit.

Suddenly I was shivering. It was really cold. Outside, the sun set and the moon took its place.

I felt terrible. I got up of bed, running towards the door. I wanted desperately to have a companion with me. And I hoped someone else was in her cube, not attending the mosque ceremony due to menstrual, just like me.

I strolled along the corridor. Panic started to attack me. The surroundings of the block made me want to scream.

“Why is it so dark? Don’t they have electricity?” I yelled to myself to calm down. Not bothering to knock any doors, I opened one after one door, desperate to meet someone. Just anyone.

But nobody was around, except for me.

My world began to spin. I was in a huge panic. I was alone! In an old, spooky block! With all the electricity shut down, except from my own cube!

“God, help me.” I don’t know how to explain, but suddenly all my hair stood on end. I ran back to my cube and locked the door.

Suddenly, something very strange happened in front of my two eyes.

The electricity suddenly went off. My eyes drifted to the window of my cube. A strong and powerful light appeared from outside the window, and I knew there was nothing out there to result in a light so powerful.

My knees were shaking real hard, when suddenly something moved outside the window and resulted in a huge shadow. The ‘thing’ moved from right to left, and left to right, all throughout the entire window.

Too panicked, I dashed out of the cube. Since it was my first day at the boarding school, I haven’t learned my way around.

Not knowing where to go, I stood exactly at the front door with the door opened wide. I dared not go outside, but still I dared not step inside the cube.

I wanted to go to the mosque, but I don’t know where it was. Everywhere is dark, except for the light and the huge shadow at the window.

I cried, and I cried endlessly. I prayed and prayed for the terrifying moment to end. I closed my eyes, not daring to look anywhere for the fear of suddenly seeing something.

I stood there for one solid hour. Every inch of my body ached, because I was afraid to move. My grip on the door was like glued and my hands were as hard as arthritis hands.

I stood there like ages when the first sound of footsteps started to enter the block. The sound was like a new life to me. I was relieved, very much relieved because everybody is back from the mosque. And much more strange, all light is naturally on again.

“When we were at the mosque, somebody told us,” said one of the girls to me when we were all in the cube.

“What?” I said.

“Sometimes strange things happen in our block when there is nobody around. But I don’t believe it. Anyway, you did go to the mosque just now, didn’t you?” the girl asked.

“Why do you say that?” I asked, my heart beating fast.

“Don’t bluff. I saw you sitting at the back chewing on your fingernails.” The girl grumped a little, and looked at the other two girls. The girls nodded, in approval.

I hugged the girl in front of me, shaking tremendously. And I told her what happened that night.

That night, the four of us slept in one bed, hugging each other.

That was the first scary experience I would never forget.

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