"If these walls could speak, imagine, what would they say?" Try Not To Cry by Outlandish feat. Sami Yusuf.
This is a work of fiction.
Mr Rizman massaged his forehead as a faint headache started to formulate inside his skull. These kids. Standard 4 and still not able to write a proper sentence. When are they going to learn? he lamented to himself as he reclined in his chair. He has been marking 4 Bijak’s English exercise books for not more than 10 minutes and he is flustered, to say the least.
Kak Ros materialized beside his table, looking for something on her table full of files. Behind her stood Shahrul, the 3 Sepadu student he always saw sitting alone during recess. Mr Rizman smiled to himself. A release. He sat up and the smile from his face vanished.
“BOY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” Mr Rizman asked the child as if he was addressing a deaf boy. Shahrul turned in surprise and composed himself quickly enough.
“Going?” thought Shahrul to himself. But I’m already here.
“OI! PEKAK KA? I ASKED YOU A QUESTION!” Mr Rizman demanded with a scowl on his face and a smile in his pocket.
“Er, Puan Rosmah..” Shahrul started his sentence.
“AWAT NGAN PUAN ROSMAH?” Mr Rizman interjected authoritatively. At that Puan Rosmah turned to Mr Rizman with an enquiring look on her face. Mr Rizman just tilted his head towards the pupil and Puan Rosmah went back to finding whatever she was looking for.
“Puan Rosmah asked me to carry some books,” Shahrul said to the ground more than to Mr Rizman.
“Ooo, Puan Rosmah you help but me you never help?” Mr Rizman said in a disapproving tone.
“Cikgu tak pernah suruh pun,” Shahrul said in a low voice. To this Mr Rizman stood up.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY??” and a tight slap went across Shahrul’s face. “HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT!” The audacity of this boy!
Puan Rosmah, who had found the file she wanted a few moments ago just rolled her eyes to this.
“JANGAN DOK PANDAI-PANDAI MENJAWAB WHEN I TALK!” Mr Rizman ordered. You could see the shaking heads and tut-tuts around the staff room. Kids these days…
Shahrul held his right cheek. It burned. He suddenly felt a wave of tears coming to his eyes so he quickly wiped them away. Teacher said that boys can’t cry.
“Dah, dah. Here,” Puan Rosmah handed the boy the file she needed him to carry. Shahrul took it without a word and tried with all his might to avoid Mr Rizman’s glare, but he felt it all the same. He felt relief when Puan Rosmah started walking away and he followed closely, all the while keeping his eyes on Puan Rosmah’s shoes.
Mr Rizman eyed the boy right until he exited the staff room. As soon as he stepped out, a smile broke on his face as he crossed his fingers together and stretched. He ran his fingers through his hair and decided to get a drink from the school canteen. He stood up, left the other unmarked exercise books on his table and headed towards the cafeteria.