School is my Playground PUBLISHING FINAL


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This book is about a young girl that was up to no good and found herself into deep trouble at times. The stomach ache of laughter to the butterflies fluttering will keep you motivated to read the book to the end. Teasing the teachers and played hard at life, she sometimes felt alone. In the end everything changed for the best!

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Chapter 1

Before I entered the beautiful architectural building, I took a moment to recap my high school years. I was definitely not an angel, but I had the best 5 years of high school any young girl could ever ask for. The memories flood my mind and soul. Thinking back to my first year in high school, made me smile from ear to ear. I was almost late for my very first day at school. I remember it as if it was yesterday.

It was also the very first broadcast of the rude awakening. A new voice to wake my brain up, a new voice to lead to the time I have to leave home, to walk to school. I was so drawn into the line-up of their show that I almost pooped my pants when I checked the time. I grabbed my bag and ran. The high school was not just up the road any more like my primary school was. It was at the very least double the distance. As I ran, I saw busloads of children driving past me. I tried to keep up but they were too fast for me. I ran into the school yard as the bell rang. I was totally out of breath when I entered the gates of new opportunities, new vibe, new friends and a new beginning. All my close friends had the opportunity to go to another school. I begged my parents to allow me to go to the same school as my friends, but they apologized and explained that there were no funds available to make this possible. The last day of grade 7 was one of the hardest things to do. I had to say goodbye to four of my precious friends. The hardest thing I ever had to do is say goodbye to the four young bright sparks that motivated me to study and brought the best out in me. I had no idea where to go but took a chance to follow a group of kids to the hall. I saw a few familiar faces there so I was definitely at the right place and just in time too. I have never seen a group of children with more confused and scared expressions on their faces. Some of the boys had attitudes expressed in their body languages. Some of them had their hair flat and neatly cut, some of them looked like punks. Then you had a group of nerds. I respected the nerds for who they were. I knew that one day, they will be the rich leaders leading our youth forward some point in time. The girls were chewing bubble gum and glared at each other while they stood in their little groups. The fear in each and every one of them was priceless. They tried to act all touch but their nerves got the better of them. You could see who the well-mannered group were and then you could see the lot that was just there because they had to be. Then there was this one girl. She had this long fringe, thick brown hair that covered half her face. My observation was broken with a very loud voice. I got such a fright. "Keep quiet!" one of the teachers demanded. He was an average height, well-built teacher. He was firm when he spoke and used his hands to direct what he wanted us to do. He looked strict. I think that this teacher will discipline any pupil when needed. I wondered what subject he taught and if I will get any classes taught by him. "I am Mr. Grobler. What I expect is complete silence. You will do as you told. Now walk in an orderly fashion and fill the seats from the front. Girls you are on the right and boys you fill up on the left." I was too scared to lift my eyes off the ground. "Psst... hey..." I heard one of the boys said. "Quiet!!!" Mr. Grobler shouted. We entered the hall in an orderly fashion; quietly. Sitting in the third row from the front I realised that this is the first assembly of many. There will be concerts held here and numerous other things. We will probably have our music class in the hall as well. When the principle welcomed all the new children to the school, he looked straight down to the grade eights and said: “Welcome juniors, this is the first day of your high school years. High school is what you make of it.” While he was informing all of us to make the right choices, I noticed a familiar face trying to get my attention. Looking at him in his school uniform made me realise just how tiny he is. Joe is in grade eight with me. He lifted his hand slightly to wave and I just responded by giving him a slight nod. This is going to be a very interesting day. After assembly we were split up into our classes. My register teacher was Mrs. Cilliers. She was a short middle aged lady. I liked her immediately for some reason. Maybe it is because she reminds me of my mother. She gave us our time tables and explained where all the teachers’ classes were. I sat right opposite the girl with the half covered face. I heard her friends called her Yolande. She sat there staring at me. I did not want to say or do anything. She looks like a real tough cookie. I missed my primary school friends. I am sure they are all together having a total blast. The first day was fun but also an eye opener. It was my first experience where I felt nervous, excited and scared all at the same time. Now that is what I call mixed emotions. The best thing of the first day of high school was that I had the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Positive thinking gives you a positive output.

I entered the venue, totally stunned with the beauty that surrounds me. Every lady looked beautiful and sparkled in their own unique way. Most of the girls wore blue… and some black with dainty sequence. I decided to go with the colors I love the most in a nightgown. I entered the room in my elegant black and gold dress; it had a very low cut at the back trimmed with a thin gold wire. It was skin tight black velvet and had a v-cut neck. It had black and gold velvet puffy shoulders. It had a long slit on the right leg, so long that it almost reached my hip bone. I had beach bronze stockings on with an extremely dainty high silhouette that complemented the gold tip of the suede shoes. My hair is done in an up style with beautiful flowy curls. My eyes had natural evening eyeshadow on with glitter just below my eyebrows. My eyeliner was black that made my eyes look even bigger than they really are. I had light blush on my cheek bones to ensure that they seem very high and my lip liner was complimented with my light dust of gold-brown shimmer lipstick. I wanted to look as natural as possible yet elegant so I decided to add a beautiful gloss to it, to make sure that they’re not missed.

I took a deep breath as I prepare myself for a wonderful glitter evening. I am ready for this evening. It comes to mind that it is the last night with all my friends together before our final exams begin. Beauty as far as the eye can see. The ladies were dressed to the “T” and the men that accompanied them had sashes on with their suites and tux’s. This is really a night to remember.

The grade 11’s has outdone themselves and so did everyone else that were involved in making this evening as spectacular as it is. There was a piece of my heart that melted when I saw my ex in his catering attire, ready to serve the matric’s of 1995. He stood with his champagne cloth over his wrist, serving another table, non-alcoholic drinks. He is a smart looking youngster with a smile that will melt any woman’s heart. If he only knew how much I still adored him…

I cannot believe the glitz and glamour at the Turffontein Race course this evening.

The evening started with some thank you notes and blessings from a couple of teachers that had the fortunate or misfortunate of teaching a bunch of rebels. The moment finally set in… the moment has arrived… the magic has begun and it is time to party!

After all the exquisite foods and drinks, we started dancing. Now that is one thing I love to do. I can shake this skinny body as if its no one’s business. I danced with everyone and all the time. I could feel his presence… I could feel his eyes on me, yet I chose to ignore it. I watched him stare at me in the reflection of the mirror on the dance floor. I realized that what once was will never be again. But on the lighter scale of things, nobody will be able to damper my mood or damper this special evening with the people I basically shared five years of my life with. We are all here to celebrate the end of our last year, as school pupils, together before our final exams start. Oh how I wish my date was here. He was my friend for many years, one that understood me better than anyone else. Oh’ how I wish Joe was here. “I miss you Joe” I whisper to myself thinking of what we would have done on the dance floor. We were not shy at all. We took over a dancefloor in seconds. At the end of the evening we all had a lot of fun and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

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Chapter 2

On the way back to the school everyone was all very excited about the after party that they were going to. I decided not to go because I heard of too many things that happen at these places. For the first time I do not have a curfew, yet I chose not to take advantage of it either. My friends father dropped me off at home. As I got out the car he asked me again if I did not want to go out with the group.

“Thank you very much for your concern, but my gut feeling says I need to stay home tonight” I answered him politely. I wave goodbye as I entered the front door of our house. I made sure that I locked it and walked straight to my bedroom. My feet were killing me. As I sat on my bed I realized that the big world awaits me. I am almost finished with school and to top it all off, I have no idea what I want to do when I am done. What a combination; Rubbing my feet, staring at the radio that is playing softly and thinking of my future. My future holds nothing, I have no direction but I do have one desire; computers. I always wanted to become someone who helps others so I guess going into customer services in the Information Technology industry will be the best bet. Sliding the shoulders of the dress off and standing half naked in my room all by myself. Girls have boyfriends that desire their bodies yet I chose to stay single for good reason. I need to focus on my finals and to do that; I had to ensure that I had no distractions whatsoever. Lying in bed, my mind wondered back to the best times of my high school days. We had Mr Odendaal for one of our subject. I gave him another name, one that suited his appearance; I used to call him Mr Ore-bal. He had big ears, a bald head and was a stocky man. The one day he went out the class to see another teacher. I used to sit right at the back in the corner, the furthest away from his desk. One of my friends, Michelle, sat right in front of his table. While sitting all quietly, I was pondering on my next move. Munching away at the apple that Nicholas gave me, sparked my next bright idea. I am going to throw the half eaten apple at Michelle. She was fun and I loved her personality. Mr Ore-bal entered the room some time while I was pondering and for some reason I did not realize it. The next moment, I stood up quietly and just threw the apple at Michelle. I sat down, faced another direction and waited for a reaction. “Who was that?” I heard Mr Ore-bal said. I put my hand over my mouth, lifting my head off the desk and looked towards him. “Who threw this apple?” he asked again. I could not help it. I burst out laughing. His glasses were skew, he had apple bits on his forehead, nose and glasses. “I am not going to ask again, WHO THE HELL THREW THIS APPLE?” he yelled. Everybody was laughing at this point. Michelle looked straight at me and I just gave her the evil eye. The entire class knew to keep quiet or I will take revenge on their little butts. “So, because you are covering for someone, you will all stay in for break. I have a lot of work to do.” He said and sat back down. He took his spectacles off and cleaned the apple juice off it.

I stood up and said “It was me, sir.” He did not even hesitate and yelled; “Out, get out of my class!” I had to sit outside, in front of his class in the blithering sun.

I burst out laughing at myself while lying in bed. That is a moment that I will never forget. That was the very first time I was thrown out of a class. Note to self; brilliant effort but poor aim. Yawning away, staring at the clock and wondering what tomorrow will bring… Falling asleep at the early hours of the morning was worth every memory that ran through my head.

It is Monday morning and time to leave for school. The 1995 click first met at our friend’s house. He lived across the road from our school. I had a total blast this weekend, my sister and I had good laughing sessions and there was no fighting. Abby normally walks to school with her best friend Angela. They were truly inseparable.

During our high school years, Abby and I drifted apart. She stood up for herself, had her own flaws and she had her own circle of friends. I admired her; from a scared little girl, she blossomed into a beautiful sunflower. She was a petite and feisty teenager that took no nonsense from anyone. She showed no interest in the boys even if she was head over hills over him. She use to tell me all about them, but as soon as one of them showed interest in her, she rejected them as if they had a plague. I knew she was scared to bring a boy home because our father was so strict.

I, on the other hand thought there was a very cute boy in the grade ahead of me. He was short with blond hair and blue eyes. Even though he was short, he had a nice muscle line to complement his stove pipe school pants and yucky mustard shirts.

His pants were very tight and showed off his cute butt. He was a real looker, a very handsome lad and obviously he had a few girls that lined up for him. At break, I used to stand on the benches looking to see if I can find him. He used to play hand tennis at a certain spot on a daily basis. This particular day I decided to sit with my friends on the benches. A tennis ball hit me square on my right eye and trust it to be Franks ball. The boy that I thought was so cute. Frank Williams… no no no, this is not happening right now. Why? Why to me? I put my hand over my eye, closed my other eye and just wished I could disappear right now. Some of the kids gathered to see what the fuss was and I could not see how many there were but my ears confirmed it. My eyes were watering. I stood up to walk to the girls bathroom and he walked next to me every freaken step of the way. “I am fine Frank.” I said trying to get him away from me. “Gabriella, let me see.” He said all humble. “Will you please not make a fuss over nothing?” I said irritable. “Just beat it before I beat you.” I warned him. I felt so embarrassed. Oh my word, people will think that I was in a fight. My father is going to think I am being bullied. Some of my friends followed me to the bathroom to make sure I was ok. My friend Chantel knew that I liked Frank and she giggled while I was rinsing my face. I started giggling with her. “I threatened him.” I said. By this time we could not hold it in, we screamed with laughter. “You threatened him.” She said. “I know. What on earth was I thinking? Oh well, maybe I scared him off for good.” I said. Thinking back of a time when I was just a young pip-squeak myself, I remember a funny story. “You know what Chantel?” I said laughing out loud even more. “When I was small, I visited my aunt while my mother was resting for her nightshift. It was a couple of my cousins, my sister and I, and we played outside for hours.” Giggling as I try to to her this funny story, she started laughing too. “My cousin picked up a small bottle that looked exactly like eye drops. So I opened it and tested to see if there was anything inside it.” I said while washing my hands. “What did you do with it?” she asked. “Abby said I must throw it in her eyes and first I said no and then my cousins also said to throw it in her eyes.” I continued my story; “So as silly as I am, I dropped it in one eye and then the other.” This is when I started laughing even more. “Abby complained that she cannot see and I tried to force her eyes open. Even my aunty tried and we just could not get it open.” I said leaning against the basin where I washed my hands. “I thought that she was really joking around until the next door neighbor read the label on the little bottle.” “Keep out of reach of children. No woman, what is the name on the bottle? My aunty asked her time and time again and all she could read was keep out of reach of children. When my aunt took the bottle from her, she was so shocked and terrified and angry with me too. Take her home immediately my aunt said. I was so confused. Tell your mother that you put superglue in your sisters eyes. Now go!” We could not help ourselves but laugh non-stop. Was there any other given time that I was so silly? I could not even answer my own question in my head. Walking out of the bathroom, I could feel the blood rush to my head. There he was standing, waiting for me to come out so that he can make sure that I am fine. “Nope, you did not scare me at all.” He said. Oh gosh, earth swallow me now. What on earth is he doing waiting for me and to top it all off, he heard me? “I told you… I am fine.” I tried to brush him off but he was not catching the hint. “You don’t remember me, do you?” he said. Loads and loads of memories scrambled through my mind. I would remember such a gorgeous face. No, seriously, I cannot place him anywhere in my life. “We were neighbors.” He said. Now this is even more puzzling. Neighbors? I would remember living next to such a cute boy. “No, you must be mistaken. I lived in our current house since I can remember.” I said. He could see that I was serious when I said I don’t remember. “Let me refresh your memory. We were very small and you lived next door to us. Remember the houses behind Pick ‘n Pay? We lived there; in one of those houses.” I remember vaguely living there but I do remember the snow. He rambled off about my siblings and his siblings and then he said: “Remember when it snowed? We were riding our bikes in the snow.” Now he has my attention. I could not believe what he was telling me. He was reminding me of my youngest memory. I was about three years old. It was snowing outside and I was riding my little bike outside. My mother and brother were wrestling in the snow, when my mother told Suné to take me inside. Abby was still very young. I stood still for a moment. He stopped in his tracks too. “You do remember me. I can see it on your face.” I did not know what to say to him. Oh my soul, Frank Williams; who would have thought that he would remember me. I was so young. “Yes” I said. “I do remember you now. We started chatting and before we realized the bell rang and it was time to get to class. That break felt as if it was never going to end and for obvious reasons, I did not want it to end either. Walking into our English class, the teacher had her ruler ready to tap me so that I can move a little bit faster. “Aha, I beat you today Mrs. Botha.” I said with a bright wide smile on my face. Frank really cheered me up tremendously; I was in the best mood ever. Entering Mrs. Botha’s class, made me realize that school days are full of opportunities and gifts. We do not always realize it, but if we look carefully, we will see it. Take my English class as an example; I loved Mrs. Botha. She was old but somehow she understood the children. “Come, come, come Gabriella. No chit-chat today. We have a lot to cover.” She was not joking about the amount of work we had to cover. Bradley Wilson was the bright spark in our class and Lesley Essence was right on his tracks. I studied hard enough to ensure that I am not stuck with the dummies but I did not want to be known as a nerd either. My average was about 60% and that for me was the safe zone.

I remember my first report in high school. I have never failed anything in my life, but my first term I failed 4 subjects. I was so scared to go home. I was terrified of my father. I had to get it signed and I had to take it back on the first day of school. We luckily had a scape goat. We had to pack for a church camp. I accompanied my friend, Lené, home to fetch her bags. She had a little case with all her toiletries in; brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, facecloth and tampons. It was jam packed and hardly closed. Her kitbag was filled with underwear and clothes for the next couple of days. Well, Lené did not stay around the corner. We took a slow stroll to my home. I decided to carry Lené's kitbag because what I was afraid what would happen, just occurred. During our slow paced walk, Lené decided to swing her little case. She did not swing it severely but enough for the clip to pop open and scatter everything everywhere. I could not help but break down with laughter. There were tampons everywhere, her toothbrush was covered in sand and brush captured grass like it would hair. "Help me you daft chick" she said panicky as she gathered all her goods that's spread across a two meter diameter. Tears were running down face, my stomach was hurting with all the laughter as I watched her pick up one tampon after the other. As I turned around I realised why she turned purple in her face with embarrassment. There he was, Frank and his click of friends staring at her this entire time. They also laughed and pointed their fingers. "You missed one" he said. It was ok to laugh at the ordeal but I did not agree with him embarrassing her even more. "She left that one for your nose bleed" I responded to his snotty remark. "What nose bleed?" he asked. "The one I am about to give you if you don’t make like a tree and leave!" He could see the seriousness in my eyes. I picked the last tampon up and threw it towards his group and they scattered like scared dogs with their tails tucked between their legs. "It makes me so angry when boys turn everything into their stupid little games." I said while helping Lené to close her little case again. "Stupid boys" is all she said while giggling at herself. My thoughts wondered while we walked the last stretch to my house. What am I going to do with my report? I was too scared to leave my report in my room in case they scratch in my stuff and find it and I was scared to take it with because my little sister likes scratching in my stuff too. So, for my own sanity, I decided to take my red ringed report to camp with me. The church camps were always fun and fulfilling. We played games and learnt life lessons that we can cherish till our dying day. Our group had a little radio playing Michael Jackson softly in the background. We were youngsters and what else did we love than music. Our pastor’s son complained about the music and told us to switch it off. Brandon was a nag bag and complained about everything. This particular afternoon after we had our gathering and afterwards we had some free time. We popped in to visit Brandon and his sister Mal. They were so rude to us and made us feel very uncomfortable that we decided to leave. Not knowing that my sister took their cool aid, I walked out and she followed. The next moment Brandon stormed into our room without knocking. “Where is she?” Brandon demanded. “She took my cool aid and I want it back.” He said angrily. Not knowing what he was talking about, I defended our girls and asked him to leave. “I am not going until I find her.” He said. “Who are you talking about?” I asked. “I am looking for Shirley.” He said. Now I am even more puzzled. “What do you want with Shirley?” I asked politely. “Why? What is going on?” “She stole my cool aid and I want it back.” He demanded. He was going through our stuff, pick this us, looking under that, just basically messing up our room. He stormed to the door, turned around and gave a cute nod to Abby. After leaving our room, he shouted “Tell her to stay away from our room. The PIG!” I was totally stunned. I sat on my bed trying to get my head around what just happened. Abby burst out laughing. I looked at her all confused. “And now?” I asked her. “He was so flippen rude to us, basically talking to us as if we are lower than snake poop, so I took their cool aid.” I could not control it. This noise just belted out of my belly. I fell back onto my bed and cried with laughter. “My little sister got angry? This is the funniest thing I have ever experienced.” I could not believe my ears. She stood there in disbelief. Poor child was terrified that something bad is going to happen to her. When I finally stopped laughing, I told her to do what she think is best. We never spoke of it again. We did not drink it and I know she did not give it back to him either. That really made me realise that Abby is a no nonsense girl. I am so proud of her.

Knowing that the church camp has to come to an end, I started packing my bag. The bus is departing at four o'clock. I am dreading it. We all gathered to have a last prayer before our final journey home. Everybody knew that I was always up to mischief. I was sitting on the seat in front of Shirley. I have been suffering with a nasal drip for a couple of days. I started coughing and coughing. After I eventually stopped, I had this huge green ball of phlegm in my mouth. My window was open so I did what came to mind; I spat this green thing out of the window. Next best thing I know is that Shirley started screaming. Her window was also open and something flew into her ear. She put her pinkie into her ear and when she pulled it out I saw the most disgusting thing ever. It was slimy when she pulled her finger out. I handed her a tissue. "Is it moving?" I asked all concerned. "No, I think it is dead." she answered. Shirley twisted the tissue so that it could fit into her ear like an earbud. As she pulled it I started laughing and elbowed Lené to look. Lené started laughing and by now Shirley has seen what she pulled out of her ear. My green geely that I spat out of my window entered her window and jetted into Shirley's ear. Shirley almost hurled with disgust. We could not stop laughing. Shirley started laughing with us at the end. This was a crying ordeal; one that was set by laughter. Eventually getting my laughing under control and wiping the tears off my face, clearing my vision again, I realised just how close to home we were. We were literally a minute away from home; just thinking of my red ringed report and fear set in.

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