There I Stood Near the Window

I remember so well those days…as if I were looking through my father’s magnifying glass, one memory I keep in a drawer since my old man is been gone. In fact he was not so old, but he liked to call himself „the old man”, exactly like he was calling his own father a long time ago. I never dared to call my father „old man”, I was a kind of shy girl and he was fearsome in so many ways. We never had a close relationship, but I guess few daughters are emotionally close to their fathers. Anyway, he was the type of rigid parent, he had his words spoken as if they were engraved on the doors, on the floors, everywhere in the house. For example he cared very much about the old golden rules like: „never speak while you eat” and others like that. For him I was not tough enough and maybe he was right because once I was infatuated with a young boy, three years older than me. Impressed by his big green eyes, his eyelashes and his style, like reading or writing poetry, being kind, helping me when I needed to mend a musical tape because I was also too clumsy and afraid to destroy it, reciting even love poems to me in the few moments when we were walking on the street together with our mothers nearby. Stupid girl, that is what I was. And when I was almost sixteen my two years old love dream faded away, while I was recording my thoughts in a journal. That adventure ended well. And he had also other reasons for that thought, for example the fact that some of my classmates were making fun of me, hurting my feelings.
Those were the days before 1989. We were obliged to go every day to school in dark blue uniforms and they were controlling even our matriculation numbers. I had a leather portfolio under my arm and usually I was walking towards school very fast. Luckily it was very near to my house, I knew by heart the traffic signals order, so I could pass very quickly from one street corner to another, arriving at school in less than five minutes. Good old days, happiness and freshness all around either summer or winter, because we were so young. I was studying mostly mathematics and physics and the truth is that I used to read a lot of literature and I hated those two horrible, boring, tiresome things. But at the end of the tenth grade we were obliged to give an exam for being admitted in the superior cycle of studies, an exam for those two sciences I disliked.
In my first high school year I had low grades at my physics examinations, but it all worked well in the end. The next year the teacher was replaced. Then I almost lost that important exam because of mathematics! The next year the physics teacher was replaced again. This last lady played an even more important role in my life.
One day, when I was seventeen, the age of reason for some girls, and it was obviously spring as far as I remember, she gave us a written test with different exercises. I placed my sheet of paper on the teacher’s desk in time and then, a little tired and dizzy like a young girl when flowers bloom, I went towards the classroom windows, where I engaged in a conversation with another girl. We stood chatting for a while and I wasn’t aware of what was going on in my back.
Suddenly SPLEESH – SPLASH!! What?! I was slapped on my face by that teacher and I couldn’t wake up in the first moment. She was raging on red in her cheeks, screaming at me: „Miss!” or something like that. She said that I was trying to help another colleague, a boy who was still working on his test, sitting in the first row of benches. I just couldn’t understand in the first moment. I really did not even notice that boy there. And why me? The other girl I was talking with was spared of such a treatment. And she seemed to stare at me in a strange manner. The teacher, in a fury and hurry, took all the papers and ran out the door, leaving me there in a state of shock, thinking without speaking my mind out.
My friend started to talk to me expressing anger and revolt, criticizing that teacher and the way she reacted. I just couldn’t understand, that is all. Maybe I was wrong, even after all these years I don’t know for sure… There I stood near the window, my friend told me that I should denounce that teacher to their higher council. I was confused. I refused to do that. Was it right, was it wrong? I was not so good at physics like I said and maybe I never tried to help another colleague. I was also too shy.
After all maybe only then did I really lose my only important exam with that teacher.

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