Memories are meant to fade; sooner or later, they vanish without a trace. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, something happens and the memory plays in your head so clearly that for a moment, it feels like it was just happening.
It can be anything; a passage from a book you're reading, the sudden whiff of a familiar perfume, driving down a once forgotten road.
And sometimes, a song.
Bittersweet, like intense dark hot chocolate with whipped cream.
Music that resonates in the deepest recesses of your heart.
Lyrics that make your knees weak.
A duet that makes your eyes well up.
You're back on that hill watching the city light up as the sun sets. There is laughter, someone pushes your hair to the side. You smile, you look away.
You think this is forever.
But nothing is forever.
And then the song stops playing, but life goes on.
But never is this a more glaring possibility than when saying it to family and friends who live really far away.
And even more difficult to bear is their lingering presence in the small things they might leave behind; a single sock, a hair clip, the scent of their perfume in the pillows and sheets.
You feel their absence at the empty dinner table, in the silence of your once chaotic meals.
You hear their voices in those semi-conscious moments before you fall asleep.
You even miss their "wisdom"; those hours they spent in your room reminding you of how every decision you took led you down a path of self-destruction and then trying to tell you how to live your life.
I once mentioned that the job of a primary school teacher is the amalgamation of many different jobs. This proved to be true yet again. Today, I was an emergency dentist and my tool of choice, the bobby pin. Yes, indeed. I honestly felt like one of those Army doctors in the middle of a battle field trying to use whatever they can find to help the soldiers.
To be honest, school during lunch break isn't any less than a war zone. Students trying to finish everything as fast as they can, running around, chattering like monkeys, throwing water at each other, crying because they don't like their food with the poor teacher on duty making sure no one gets hurt, everyone finishes their lunch, no one falls into the trash bins, opening packets of biscuits and chips for all and sundry all the while trying to finish their own food. I don't know how most of us are not alcoholics.
Today, I was trying to quickly gobble down my pizza when one student started wailing. Why was he wailing? Did someone hit him? No. Did someone spit in his lunch? No. Did he fall down and hurt himself? No.
He was crying because there was a guava seed stuck in his teeth.
Welcome to the world of a primary school teacher.
I first thought I should tell him to man up. It was just a damn seed in his cavity. What are those fingernails for anyway?
Then I looked at his big, fat chubby face. Those sad eyes full of pain, looking up to me to save the day.
So I put on my Wonder Woman costume and decided to be the savior of all mankind once more.
Okay...I'm exaggerating. There is no costume.
I pulled out a bobby pin from a student's hair and got alcohol swabs from the first aid to sanitize it. Then I washed it to remove traces of the swab and with one flick, out came the seed. The kid looked at me like I had just saved his life. And if you really think about it, I had.
So whoever said "Those who can't do, teach", all I have to say is, "Bitch, Please".