From the Mind of a Boy Whose Dreams Were Torn Down
The following sentences are slightly altered versions of thoughts of a 4th grader after seeing his school (Kemer Kolej), at that age the only place where he could discover and be himself, demolished without notice:
“I just can’t unsee it. Wherever I look, on what direction I turn towards, no matter how much I run, those images of the wreckage will always be alive in my mind. The dust, it is covering up the gardens that once we were running around, enjoying life and our friendships. That dust is getting in my eyes, burning them slowly. But, it doesn’t hurt, you know? Because that dust is what’s left from all my delightful years, my happiest adventures. Because if it hurts and if I cry, the tears of mine, they will take away all that dust and what’s left will fade away completely.
Is that a scream I’m hearing? I guess it is coming from the ruins of my beloved. No, it is a shriek. I explore the ruins, while any smallest chunk I see reminds me of the days that were never supposed to die. Then just before I find the source of the scream, I realize that I am yet to see that the screams are of my poor disparaged childhood, stuck under shattered walls, craving for help.”
It was just a regular summer. Spending days by swimming, playing around, sleeping most of the time and such. But that summer was about to turn upside-down, and was about to change the course of my life utterly. That day I was, just as any other, playing with my friends at our yard. My parents were home when that phone call came. Oh, how I wish we have never received that phone call. Unaware, my mum lifted the phone.
The caller was the school, they have said that they had to close, there was a conflict between the school administration and the city hall. They have just said that we need to change our school and hung the phone. My parents, shocked by the sudden news, now had to deal with a whole new conflict. Where was I going to get educated now? Meanwhile I was innocently playing football at the yard with my friends, enjoying the benefits of a relaxing summer day. Later on, my friends’ parents called my parents and informed us that the school was torn down by the city hall. When I first heard it from my mum, I don’t know why, but I didn’t care about it at all. I literally was like: “Oh, okay.” and went on back to football. But my parents certainly were worried about the situation, as were all the other parents calling each other. And suddenly there was this huge crowd of angry parents gathered to “raid” the construction site. Believe me, if there are a bunch of mad parents united for a common purpose, you wouldn’t want to stand on their way.
All the parents gathered their children and took us to the construction site. For an 8-year-old, again, the view was unbearable. But my friends’ faces… That was just about enough to comprehend the misery. Some were crying their hearts out. That one graduate I saw was yelling: “The tragic thing is, now I don’t even have a school that I can point at and say I used to belong here. I don’t know where I belong anymore”.
I remember my mom telling me about some teachers who knew about the event before, confronting those gigantic machines, passionately protecting their vital mission, shaping the life of the kids. So many efforts were shown to prevent this huge mess. But were they all for nothing? Not at all.
After this horrible experience, we were devastated, it was two weeks until the school year started and I didn’t have a school to attend to. Then, the school administration announced that a new school was going to be built. It was our only option at that time. I bet you could never guess where my new school was going to be situated: It was, literally, inside of a shopping mall! I spent my entire 5th grade, on the top floors of a shopping mall. Sometimes we waved at the customers below us. When the school day was over, we would meet up at a coffee shop 2 floors below. It was a, let’s say, unique experience. Plus, I got to see most of my old friends again, only some of them left the school. With my old friends and teachers, we have kept the old memories alive. We have kept Kemer Kolej alive. I felt it everyday, I felt it in every step I took as I walked past that H&M store on my way to classroom. I felt that the ruins weren’t symbolizing an end anymore. They were the ashes of our brand new lives.
Although now every one of us Millennials, including me, wish that our school would burn down in a fire or something, back then it was a horrible experience.
We all have to face it: Life does not go exactly the way we want it to. But most importantly, it is dynamic. Our lives are changing along with every breath. You could be pleased with what you’ve already got. Believe me though, life will brutally take that away from you some day, because that’s how it works. It is a continuous cycle and the only way you can benefit out of it is to accept the fact that you have to let some things go. Only that way you can move forward. After all these years, now I can clearly see the whole picture of that tragic event. It was life itself, opening new doors for me. For each and every breeze block that came off the walls of the school, I was one step closer to the new life awaiting me.