Who killed this student?
The girls around her jostled and pushed. There were screams of delight and shrieks of ecstasy. She turned away from the sounds; tears streaming down her face. Far away she heard same laughter turning into jeers. Suddenly she felt eyes on her back and voices saying. “She’s dumb you know, she failed.” “She was never any good.” “Remember in class, she sat with same stupid look.”
She turned and walked the stairs to her now empty class. In silence, she heard her teacher’s voice. “Why don’t you do your homework like the others, you’ll fail if you go on like this.” How was she to tell the teacher, she hadn’t understood a thing the day before to do her work at home? “Stand outside the class will you, let the whole school know what an idiot you are!”
She stood outside and watched juniors smirk as they walked past. The teacher called her in after awhile. There were sniggers from the other girls as she sat on her bench. “Dumb,” they all seemed to say. “She ‘s just plain dumb”. There were no tears to wash away the heaviness in her heart.
She sat on her bench in the empty classroom, and her thoughts went home as a shiver ran down her spine. She saw her father tall, menacing standing in front of her. “You better pass okay, we don’t want the neighbours laughing at us do we?”. An uncle had sniggered. “She’s got her brains from her mothers side!” “Oh no!” shouted her mother, “It’s her own dopey mind!” “I don’t care where you’ve got your brains from,” her father guffawed, “But you fail and you’ve had it!” “At least pass, so we can marry you off!” her mother had piped in.
Voices, laughter, shouting, sniggering in the empty silent classroom: Voices chasing each other round and round her mind; laughter, cruel and brutal, sniggers, sharp and merciless, echoed louder and louder in her head, till suddenly she felt herself shudder involuntarily. “Stupid!” they cried. “Idiot!” they yelled. “Failure!” they shouted.
Like a zombie she climbed the steps one by one, the tears no more there. She walked as though pushed by some invisible force. She smiled as she heard their taunts and jeers grow less and less. She smiled as she calmly climbed up on the parapet wall. She heard the screaming of her classmates below as she joyously threw herself down. “Why did she do it?” cried her classmates, her teacher, her father and her mother. Suicide was what the police report said but the question I ask year after year is, “Who killed this student?”