THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
As I walked into school that day, I felt a strange but exciting difference. Students were milling around the assembly area, waiting, anticipating… for the day to end! Yes! It is the last day of school. We were going to have a special ceremony to acknowledge the students that had a 100% record of attendance. It was a day many had been looking forward to as their hard work and perseverance to attend school, through rain or shine, had finally paid off.
Some students were simply here to say goodbye to their friends before they went their separate ways for the holidays. Others were anxiously waiting to start their first day of work at various shopping malls and the ever-present McDonalds and KFC. That meant extra pocket money as well as means to finally get their driving licenses.
As for me, I would miss many of many friends and teachers. After all, I had spent eleven years of my life in school. Parting would not be easy. I enjoyed school and could not even imagine not seeing my teachers along the corridors or monkeying with my fellow classmates. There would no longer be any tests, exams, spot quizzes and assignments to complain about. Life would be relatively tame back home.
This rite of passage of the last day of school is one that I was expecting since last year but to actually have to go through it was not easy at all. Mrs. Teh walked towards me. It would be harder for her, I know. She was retiring today. After 56 years of service, she was going to take things easy now. Her last child had flown the nest and her husband had passed away four years ago. She filled her life with the students around her. She would surely miss the chatter and laughter. She gazed sadly around her and I ran towards her to give her a hug. It seemed to tell her that we would always be around for her – 5 Tekun and I.
Soon, the bell would ring the last time for us. Then, the school corridors and walkways would empty out, waiting for two months before the next wave of students arrive for the new academic year. I walked out and turned back for the last time… sweet memories…