Written for the Daily Prompt: Moments to Remember
Sports days were happy days, at least on this day they still were. I was good at sports. Third best at running sprints. Angelique White was the fastest. There was nothing anybody could do to beat her. By the time the rest of us started running she was already finished. Rebecca Swanepoel was halfway finished when the rest of us were only starting, and then I finished slightly ahead of the rest of the pack, coming in third. The first three would qualify to compete against the other schools in the surrounding suburbs. We were handed cards numbered 1, 2 and 3 which we took to mister Oliver who wrote it all down. As I handed him my card he remarked in a jolly happy tone: “Alweer jy!”. I could hardly believe that he’d noticed me. I never thought anyone did. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
To this day, I still don’t know if this, the most romantic moment of my life, is real or just my imagination. There is very little I remember from my early childhood. Worryingly less than others. But there is one moment I’ll never forget. I must’ve been about 3 or 4 because we were still living in Saltriver with Mama, my granny. There was this one boy at creche. He was the little prince of my imagination. When I’d lay in bed, knees up creating a little tent with the blankets, I had my own little private space, I’d close my eyes, and see myself in a dress all the colours of the rainbow, not pretty, like the other girls, but like me, my beams of course hair around my face. Just looking like that. And him, my little prince holding my hand looking at me. In real life, other than when he was saying funny things to irritate me, he never paid me any attention. Then one day, when it was time to sleep, he ended up on the sleeping mat next to mine. We slept head to foot all of us, and when the teacher wasn’t looking, he stretched over to my head side and kissed me … on the lips.
In primary school, I was an outcast. I did well, but I was poor. I was a nerd, but I didn’t have a proper school uniform. I used to think the other girls were always making fun of me. I had one or two friends. They were also nerds, but not the clever kind. They looked better and had fancy stationary and every piece of the standard school uniform, even the track suit. They were not good enough to be popular so they were nerds. I was like nobody, in a bad way. There were the popular girls that all the teachers would favour and all the boys would like. The were not as clever as me, but they were pretty. I was clever, usually the top of my class, but no teacher showed me any favours. I didn’t look the part, and poor children were never favoured. The popular girls were very nasty. I blocked most of the memories out, but there’s one particular day that will never go away. After returning from PT, to the dressing room in the toilet block, I looked all over for my dress and could not find it, And then, I don’t remember how, but it was found, in a toilet pot which had not been flushed. It was covered in shit. I was the only one in class that had a dress like that because it was home made. My mother couldn’t afford to buy one. I cried and cried and cried. I don’t remember what I felt, it could have been anger, embaressment, sadness. I think it was mostly sadness and rejection, but I don’t remember. The feelings are blocked out. All I feel about it now is deep deep sympathy for that little girl that was me. She didn’t deserve it.