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The Girl Next Door-I Will Always Be Wth You

Joann Johncen
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Girl Next Door-I Will Always Be Wth You

The beginning of a new academic year is full of new surprises. New teachers, classmates & heavier books begin an unforgettable adventure and with each day a new chapter.

And so was this year, but little did I know that a hair-raising surprise was in wait for me….

First bell rung, assembly over & I’m set for my first dreadful period of math, and that’s when my class teacher announces that there is a new girl in class. Murmurs and whispers filled the classroom as a rather frail looking girl with broken glasses and a torn bag came into the doorway. She introduces herself as Janet and sits down on the chair next to me, with a look of fear as if she’s entered into a lion’s cave.

Me with my friendly instinct, stuck out my hand for a shake and introduced myself. She gave me a scared look and said “I’m Janet Rose from Lowoods Indian School’’. Weird, I thought to myself, never heard of an institute like that, but I was brought back from my thoughts with the booming voice of my crazy math teacher.

The next two hours were as boring as a lecture on some irrelevant topic. Like, seriously no one’s gonna ask you in a job interview, ‘How are mountains formed’ or ‘What happened during the First World War?’. Sometimes I do accept school is a complete waste of time. My pleas to save me from this torturous place were answered with the ringing of the glorious break bell [ May God Bless it with all eternity]. Grabbing my tiffin and making my way to the door, I was stopped by a weak hand clasping my palm, I turned around to see Janet looking at me with her sad eyes. In a feeble voice she asked, ‘Can I join you?’, ‘Sure!’ I said. We walked towards the staircase, Janet ahead of me walking faster along the stairs to the ground. Strange I thought, for a new comer to know the way in a new school, but nobody can think right when there is hunger calling out to you, thinking of nothing else I devoured my pizza.

The next day in school had the same routine, the same boring periods and heavier loads of homework. Janet was quite an interesting girl with an old English accent, and style. Her pale face was nothing compared to her quick answers, curious questions and her warm smile that lit up her entire face. She was the apple of the eye of every teacher. By the end of the week me and Janet became pretty good friends, and knew quite a bit about each other. However, she always looked downcast when I asked about her parents and she used to keep changing the subject. Eventually I got the hint and stopped asking her. Peculiarly, she also seemed to know every nook and corner of the school, even though she had been there only for a week.

One evening, there was a phone call for me, I rushed down to answer it, and Janet was on the other end, inviting me to her house for the weekend, after seeking permission from my mom I told her I’ll be there by 4pm on Thursday evening. Putting the phone down I wondered how she got my number, and also realized I hadn’t got her address. Deciding to ask her in school the next day I went up to finish my interminable schoolwork….

The next day, after the last bell had rung, we walked towards the parking lot together, suddenly I remembered to ask her for her address ‘Carnation street, house no.60 opp. Tony’s pizza’ she said. Thanking her I asked her how she got my home number, but she said; ‘’ Gotta catch my bus. Bye.’’

The busy week came to an end, and on Thursday evening I was getting ready to leave for Janet’s house. Kissing goodbye to my mom, I got onto my cycle and rode to her place. Her house was about a twenty-minute ride from mine. On reaching there, I parked my cycle and came face to face with a huge old driveway. I rang the bell and was surprised to find a lady wearing an apron and holding a broom. I asked for Janet and she said, “Sorry, wrong house” and slammed the door.

I checked the address again and rang the bell a second time and asked the lady for Janet Rose. She told me to come in and have a seat. I entered the plain and dusty house that had absolutely no furniture except a torn sofa. Wondering, how I was supposed to spend the weekend here, the old woman came with a photo and poster in hand and gave them both to me. What I saw, made my fingers numb and I stood there frozen to the spot. The lady said,” The Janet you’re talking about died in a car crash in 1990. She was studying in the Carmel convent in class 9D in the year of her death. A very smart and bright girl, but fate got the better of her. It is strange you should come searching for her now “Forcing my body to move, I walked out of the house in horror. Just as I was getting onto my cycle I noticed a piece of paper on the steps. I opened it to find something scribbled in a scrawny handwriting;

‘I never finished my desire to live and I was too young to die. Though I used to be lonely, I always attracted people that had been admitted to my class in the last 19 years, but none of them were as friendly as you. But sooner or later you had to know the truth about me. Anyways, thank you for understanding me and being a true friend. I will always be with you as your pal and no, don’t try to run away, I am there with you wherever you go”

Your true friend,

Janet Rose

And next to it were a pair of broken glasses.

A True Life Incident

Joann Johncen
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Joann Johncen
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