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Thursday 12 November 1966

Today I was about to write my usual tedious entry. Nothing happened, but it did.

Just after prep, I needed to borrow some Ancient History notes from Rosemary, she wasn’t in the Library or her cubicle so I went to the top of the stairs to the bathroom and called in case she was in the shower. She wasn’t, so I swung around and nearly knocked over that sneaky weasel Sister Moira who had crept into the dorm. I think she was hoping to catch us talking about something juicy, but we were all getting ready for bed. Anyway, she accused me of imitating her! There are many more things in life to do that imitate that hypocrite.

She carried on and on, demanding I apologise to her. I did not and could not. I think if you give into a bully in a small way then the next time it will be worse.

She bustled out and I thought that was the end of the issue but no next thing the internal phone rings. As I was passing, I answered and it was Sister Lois demanding I go to her office at once.

Since I was already in trouble, I took the shortcut from our crumby quarters through the hall by the library and down the stairs to the headmistress's office. The door to Sister Moira’s flatlet was closing as I came through so she would not hear my footsteps on the thick carpet. You’d think they had work to do, or at least a prayer meeting to attend instead of this silly hounding.

In the office Sister Lois was standing gazing at the vase of flowers and spun around while beckoning me in. I was told to sit. I hate that it makes me feel small compared to her towering presence.

She loomed over me, and we went through all the nonsense again about my imitating Sister Moira. Once again I refused to let her intimidate me, would not say sorry for something I had not done. This went on for some time. Then she gave a great sigh and dismissed me. I went round to the back of our building in case that mean-minded nun Moira had locked the front door.

There was not much time before lights out, so I quickly told the others what went on.

I wonder if that is the end of the affair? I think not, but the exams are only two weeks away, once I have written them it will be the end of school for me, I will have to talk over my future with Dad when I get home.

 

Friday 13 November 1966

Talk about Friday 13th being unlucky today has been the worst day of my life. I need to record it all as it happened otherwise it won't make sense, well it doesn't but I need it down step by step.

Today was the last Friday for a full assembly for the term. Next week the younger kids will write exams, then we start the public ones in two weeks. We will make special preparations in the hall as there are students from other schools coming to write here too. Anyway, I escorted the Grade 3 girls to the Hall, as usual, and made sure they were silent and in the right places. They so sweet, a few of them smiled and wished me good luck for the finals.

Everyone was sitting quietly when the nuns came tripping onto the stage. I hate the hypocrisy they come in with their heads bowed and making a great show of piety, but it is all for show. They are mean-minded at the best of times, but enough of that I must get on with my story.

The assembly went off, as usual, prayers, hymns and notices. I was preparing to escort the younger girls out quietly and to make sure they did not talk until they were in their classrooms when Sister Lois suddenly raised her voice, “Stay in your places until I dismiss you. There is one more thing to deal with today.”

I motioned my group to stay still and be silent.

Then my world came to an end.

Sister Lois carried on, “Last evening an ugly incident occurred. This morning I intend sorting it out. Sofia Langdon, please come up here.”

Shocked, I looked at her and wished the floor would open up and swallow me. No such luck. My heart was beating out a tattoo and I thought my legs would refuse to carry me up the steps to the stage, but somehow I got there and stood still.

 

“Sophia, I believe you made a mockery of Sister Moira last night. She tells me she caught you in the act, but you denied it. I will ask you again, in front of the whole school. Did you imitate Sister Moira while standing at the top of the stairs leading to the bathroom?”

My mouth had gone dry, I swallowed and croaked out, “No, Sister Lois, I did not and never have imitated Sister Moira.”

Sister Lois drew herself up, took a deep breath and looked down on me as if I was some worm, “That’s not what sister Moira said, but if you apologise, I’m sure things will work out all right.”

From somewhere inside me I felt a warm glow of confidence, “Sister Lois, I said I did not do it and so I cannot apologise. If I say I’m sorry that implies I did something wrong, which I have not, I cannot, therefore, apologise if I am not guilty.”

I stole a quick glance at Moira. She had a nasty look on her face. She was always the coward, but I knew she was enjoying this battle of wills. This was a typical David and Goliath scenario. However, I knew, although I was the underdog, there was no chance of a good outcome for me.

The headmistress shook her head, “If you continue to deny your guilt and refused to make an apology, I have no alternative but to punish you severely. Once again, are you going to make an apology?”

I hoped she could not see me quaking. But determined to do what I believed was right, I shook my head, “No Sister.”

She continued, “Right, I am going to revoke your prefect status and your house captaincy. Hand me your badges.”

Tears were flowing down my face, making it even more difficult to undo the pins. Then I handed them over. As if that was not enough humiliation she said, “I have a good mind to expel you, but since you write your finals in a couple of weeks, it makes no sense. However, you will speak to know one from now on and as soon as you write your last paper I want you off the school premises. Do you understand me?”

I nodded my head. All I wanted was to disappear, to vanish in a puff of smoke or anything to get away from all those eyes staring at me.

So now all I can do is to write my thoughts in my diary and cry in the shower. That way I will not let that creep Sister Moira think she has beaten me.

 

Words: 1224


February 21, 2020 11:23

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