One day I was daydreaming in the assembly while the Lord’s Prayer droned on and on. Since I wasn’t a Christian, I found having to say the compulsory prayer every day meaningless. Alain was in the line in front of me, and I was staring at him.
When we walked to class, my friend Mona said: “You looked like you wanted to be honeymooning with Alain! You like him. I know you like him.”
“Of course, I don’t like him. Don’t be so silly,” I said angrily.
But I was worried. The eleven year-old girls and boys in my class barely spoke to each other. If the girls thought I liked a boy, they would tease me relentlessly. I had just started wearing a small, white bra, and that made me self conscious enough. I didn’t need more headaches. The boy sitting behind me teased me about wearing a bra and tried to pull the strap. About half the girls wore bras, so the boys should have been used to it by now, but they were so silly. Boys were like that, and they couldn’t help it.
The very next day, Alain came to talk to me on the playing field at break time, even with a gaggle of girls skipping nearby. Didn’t he have any sense? He should have waited to talk to me in relative privacy.
“Shaza, my sister is starting Standard Two in a few weeks. Could you tell your sister to be her friend? She is very shy,” he said.
“Okay, okay, I’ll tell her,” I nodded, wishing he would go away. He didn’t, so I stood quietly. He looked a bit puzzled that for once I wasn’t chatting away to him before walking back to play football with the boys.
A few weeks later, Alain came up to me in the playground again. This time, thankfully there were no girls near us.
“I heard that your dog is having puppies. Could we have one of them? We want to get a dog.”
Indeed, Tanya was having her puppies in a couple of weeks but this was a major request. I had been giving the class daily updates as I was so excited.
But we didn’t know how many puppies she would have, so many people wanted one that we had already promised five people a puppy and I wanted one.
“Would you look after it? Will you feed it properly, play with it and take it for walks?”
“You know I will. We have a big garden. You can come and see it whenever you want.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish