The School House

May 9, 2011
By Kirsty Fraser BRONZE, Prishtina, Delaware
Kirsty Fraser BRONZE, Prishtina, Delaware
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Ignorant is the only word that truthfully describes us all. People try to escape from it but the truth is that they can’t and probably never will. Ignorance is what we are. Over time, people have taken less interest towards their community, or even the world as a whole. No one seems to care anymore and because of that, our world is slowly falling apart before our eyes. People are so lucky and still they complain about the countless things that they don’t have. We all need a serious wakeup call before the things that are important to our lives have disappeared. Because when they’re gone, they’re not gone for a few days but forever and there’s no bringing them back.

I stand, gazing up at the decrepit school house before me and a shiver trickles down my spine. Deathly cold air engulfs my whole body. My frozen hands quickly reach up to pull my coat tighter around me. With a push, the rusted gate swings open. The shrill sound of it squeaking on its hinges still rings in my head as I advance up the cobbled walkway. Cracks have wormed their way through the stones and the heads of dandelions and weeds can be seen poking through. I can see splotches of the original paint through the black decay that now thickly plasters the walls. Moss and vines slither up the crumbling walls like snakes, forming a twisted maze. A lonely oak tree stands near the entrance of the building; a tree swing hangs from one of its gnarled branches. I remember always playing on it and spinning around and around until I felt sick to the stomach, but now it only sways back and forth limply with the wind; neglected. I continue on towards the looming door and I hesitate for a second. Do I want to see it this way? Should I just remember it the way it used to be? My mind considers these thoughts but I still find my feet marching towards to the entrance. I reach the door before I realize it and I know there is no turning back. The door that I used to marvel as I ran my little hands across it, is now a home to termites. I splay my palms across the splintering wood and push with all my might. It doesn’t budge. Not letting myself give up, I try again and again until it finally creaks open with an annoyed groan. I quietly step in, mentally bracing myself for the worst.

I splutter. The stench of stagnant water and decay surrounds me. It makes my eyes water. My feet stay frozen in one place as I take in the destroyed remains of the school house. My eyes begin to well again but this time it’s not from the smell. Damp patches dominate the ceiling and the sound of water splashing against the floor echoes through the eerily silent building. Deep cracks dance across the walls. I convince my feet to move towards the main classroom. After fighting through a mass of sticky cobwebs I finally reach the entrance. I hear myself gasp. Tables and chairs are either overturned or covered with a thick layer of dust. The once bright wallpaper has peeled off the walls and now lies curled on the floor. I crouch down and pick up a handful of paper that is at my feet. I flick through them and see that they are all worksheets that the teacher used to hand out to us. I bring myself to my feet and have another look around. How was this place ever allowed to become like this? It just isn’t right. The floorboards creak beneath my weight as I walk over to one of the desks and place the pile of papers on top of it. A sudden realization hits me. I hurry over to the place where my desk used to be and I’m relieved to find that mine is one of the few that is still in its original place. I slide into the grime-coated chair and lean back. My eyes travel to the window that used to let great beams of light spill across the school house’s floor. Now, nothing. The window is too caked in dirt to even think about letting any light through. I blow of the thick layer of dust that has been lying on my desk for who knows how long. I sneeze. The sound echoes all around the building and I shudder to myself. I run my hand across the damp wood of the desk and find the engraving of my name. The corners of my mouth pull into a smile. I rest my cheek against the wetness of the desk and grin at all the memories that come to mind.

“Hello? Uh… you’re still here right?” His voice startles me out of sleep. My head springs up with fright and I look around, trying to make sense of where I am. I rub the sleep out of my eyes and stand up from the desk.

“Yeah, yeah I’m coming,” I reply groggily as I look around my old classroom for what I know will be the last time. My feet trudge through the silent rooms. I get to the wooden door and walk straight outside.

“It’s a pity really,” the man says, his arm shielding his eyes from the blare of the sun. He gazes at the decaying building. “It doesn’t need to be bulldozed.” My eyes follow his to the huge, yellow bulldozer lurking in the shadow of the school house. My stomach twists into tight knots and I feel sick inside. I just simply nod at him before walking off. I don’t even look back. I don’t want to replace any more good memories with bad ones. I want to remember it the way it used to be.
It’s sad isn’t it? The things that are most important to our lives are the ones we hardly ever pay attention to. We don’t know what we have until we lose it. And then, when we finally realize that we desperately need it in our lives, it’s too late. It’s already long gone.

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