Murder it was . . !


SHE stood, a small figure in front of the school notice board. With anxious eyes she searched for her number. It wasn’t there. 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 the same laughter turning to jeers. Suddenly she felt imaginary 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 that 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 that she had not understood a thing the day before to have been able to do her work at home?

“Stand outside the class will you, let the whole school know what an idiot you are!” She had stood outside her class, and watched her juniors laughing as they walked past. The teacher had called her in after some time. 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. A shiver ran down her spine. She saw her father tall and 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 mother’s 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 had shouted, “but if you fail, you’ve had it”.

“At least pass your school, 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 shouted. “Idiot!” they yelled. “Failure!” they cried.

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 the taunts and jeers grow less and less. She smiled as she calmly climbed up onto 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 teachers, her father and her mother. Suicide was what the police report said, but murder it was.!


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