FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LINE

 

I was expecting a lot of changes in the classroom after I’ve gone and died. But ,no. It still looked the same. Same old cramped, dusty, disorderly classroom with one long chipped off table stretched out in the middle to make it look like a formal business meeting area when in fact it was nothing but a dirty hellhole.

I was also expecting a lot of changes from my classmates after learning that I had hung myself from a beam in my room but no, they carried on with their vain, materialistic lives chattering and joking still, insulting and gossiping about others they claimed to be their friends. This was the very reason I killed myself, to escape from all the anxiety and depression that college classroom life brought me. Imagine, five days a week I had to deal with all this ruinous nonsense about tainting one’s name because of a made up sex scandal, or secret feuds and ass-kissing, one bullshitting another, “friends” staying “friends” for the sake of their gang looking tight and for status. Girls with boyfriends fucking other boys with girlfriends. It was all too much, not to mention that I had thrown myself into a program that I didn’t care much for and I wanted out of it but my parents did not support my decision, so I got depressed. That’s the problem with me sometimes. When so much happens around me, I start to feel everything, to think about everything. When all the rumours and ruinous stories started circulating I couldn’t help but think that one or two (at least two) of those stories involved me, stories made up by people I had considered to be ‘friends’. Secrets of mine had been divulged by confidants who I thought were trustworthy confidants only to use their innocence as a ruse and catching me in this petty web of manipulation that I wanted no part of. I felt like every movement of mine was being watched and criticised, parodied and snickered at behind my back, spread to people I didn’t know hence creating an image of me that wasn’t entirely mine. It was all too nerve-wracking that I decided one night that I was just going to end it all. End it all and be done with all the uncontrollable feelings that would come back again and again. So I wouldn’t have to see anymore, hear anymore, feel anymore.

To be fair they all were shocked and some even cried when they learned of my suicide but I deemed all these crocodile tears. Nobody cared enough when I was having mental breakdowns and anxiety attacks. Nobody comforted me in my depression, heck they even roughly told me to suck it up and stop acting like an autistic kid. And now that I’m dead, they all weep in sorrow and say their ‘I wish we could’ve known you better’ elegies? Gimme a break, sister. I tried to open up myself to you in year 3 and you would have none of it.  And now that I’m dead you start talking about how you wanted me to open up to you and you would listen? That, my friend is a bunch of excrement.

I wanted to play a little game with them, just to see if I could stir things up a little bit. You see, I still attended class but not as a participating student, no. Obviously I could not partake for I am a ghost but I did hang around the classrooms and followed them around in their classes when I got bored, just to see what it was like, what life after my death was like. If there’s anything I proved to myself it’s that you’re just one person and even if you die, it won’t be the end of the world. Life goes on as it always will. The world won’t stop to mourn the death of a tiny speck of an individual. It has more important things to do like turn, change the weather, and float about in space.

But going back to my little game, here I was in their Food Education class, floating about. The professor was busy typing in her laptop as she always was ignoring the class and letting them do their own thing. I was floating about and scanning the place trying to figure out what to mess with first. When I haunt, sometimes I feel nice and just toying around with things. Not saying much or doing anything particularly noticeable, just lifting a pencil case here and adjusting a flower vase there. But now I was in a vengeful, mischievous mood. I felt like I wanted to become a poltergeist for today. I know, supernatural scholars, poltergeists are demon ghosts but my soul was always corrupted and restless and angsty so I might not be your Belial but I’m evil enough to cause chaos in my own devilishly funny way.

I started with the airconditioning unit which had always been crappy, even when I was alive. It was out of order today, as declared by the sign but since I was a ghost I did what every ghost did and turned it on. The kids fanning themselves with unbuttoned polo shirts and hiked up skirts rejoiced as ventilation had finally come but one observant student pointed out,

“It’s unplugged.” She said, starting to pale with the realization that the AC unit was running without it being switched on. Panic and fear were starting to rise but they somehow managed to keep it under control. Control, of course, was something I vehemently despised. I lived for chaos and now that I am but a spirit I cause chaos. The plaques and trophies displaying the school’s glory (Bronze and silver? Certificates? Seriously? The school has acclaim for being 2nd and 3rd best? Isn’t that supposed to be an insult?) were airborne as I had hoisted them both up, frames and trophies floating in the  air made the students rise to their feet and huddle-all 18 of them-in the corner. The absent minded professor knew nothing of what was going on and continued with her typing, wondering what the commotion was about. Boy, I wish there had been a camera to capture the look on her face when she tilted her head and saw what was causing the students to group over in the smallest corner of the room.

“HOLY CRAP!” she screeched and scrambled, nearly tripping from the wires of the laptop intertwining with the projector switches. The male student grabbed her by the elbows and pulled her closer, I delighting in the terror. To amp things up a little bit (because just floating them in the air was boring me), I threw the trophies at the wall, my ghastly strength shattering it to smithereens and the frame I dropped down to the floor, its glass breaking and the certificates ripped. Nobody could ever explain what was going on so all they did was not think about it and just cuddle one another in one big group of fear and uncertainty.

All the trophies the school had worked hard (?!?) to win one by one came crashing down from the shelf, each one of them reduced to nothing but shreds upon reaching the floor. I turned my attention to the frames, wanting a more dramatic, movie-esque appeal just to prolong their agony, and smashed them in the center. No I didn’t particularly destroy the frames, just a little punch in the middle was all. One by one, they got jabbed right in and the finale came when they altogether-like the trophies-fell to the ground and made loud crashing sounds that could deafen even the strongest, most resilient ear. It was getting boring but at least there was a bit of comedy in seeing their ugly, snotty faces, contorted and tearing up in horror. I laughed, cackled as a matter of fact but I kept it inside, not wanting to let them hear a thing. This was a silent haunting. No sound would come from me, the only sounds would be the crashing of everything-including their bravery.

“We gotta get outta here!” said one of the boys, lunging forth for the knob but I was quicker, you see. I bolted the door shut from both sides so no rescue could come. They were all prisoners of this strange phenomena but most importantly they were becoming prisoners of their fear-and that was the worst.

I moved on to the chairs and tables. The tables had many things on them, mostly notebooks and books and expensive gadgets from Japan. I would delight so much in ripping out every single page of the book to symbolise my utter disdain for this program and everything it tried to ram down my throat for the past four years. I did just that. While I wanted a more cinematic effect, I decided to speed up the process. The books all flung open, all at the same page=666 (yeah, I’m sure you saw what I did there). That gust of wind that blew them open was strong enough to make them gasp in unison. With the pages open I got to tearing them, bit by bit ripping them to angry shreds and tossing them in the air, whirling, stirring them a bit like a tornado and scattering them all down slowly like snowflakes.

The students scrambled for their lives, like I could actually cause bodily harm. The chairs and tables-thanks to my ghastly power-flew from all corners of the tiny room, smashing and ricocheting against the walls, the tables scratched with the sound of nails on a chalkboard, its chipped of paint peeling off. The sound drove them mad, the screams rising to level with the scratching. The door knob was bolted, nobody could get out. I enjoyed playing this little game with them, enjoyed watching their wits blow up and seeing them in fits of chaos over in a little corner. The classroom was a mess, I gave it my own unique, angsty twist, and everyone was tied in knots. I had achieved the fear that I had so longed and thirsted for in my living years. Too bad proud, egotistic me was no longer alive to witness this. Ah well, sacrifices had to be made. I had to die to get the respect I deserved.

Of course, there was still a little bit of pity in me. Whatever scintilla of it prevailed and I ceased my scaring. I had done them enough horror for today, maybe I’ll reserve my scaring energy for tomorrow. I wanted to end with a little mischievous bang, something they would all remember. Everything calmed down for a little bit and that instilled some kind of relief in them, believing possibly that my work here was done and they could all gather their belongings and leave but one last prank up my ghastly sleeve prevented them from proceeding. Just as they stood the lights went out and screams were heard once more, shrill cries and high pitched wails calling for help. A cold wind caused by my…I don’t really know what caused the cold wind either my “cold, bitter winter heart” or my adherence to horror story stereotypes, but a cold wind blew and made them all shudder with murmurs of sheer fear, tingles crawling up their spine. The lights remained out and I could feel their bodies tangled up in knots. Would I talk? Would I at least speak? No, I guess. No need.

Or is there?

While I floated closer to their shivering bodies I felt the warmth emanating from them. Life. Ah how I used to burn with its passion, now I’m all snuffed out and chilly-maybe that’s why it’s always cold when I come by. Anyways, I floated closer to their warm, breathing, living bodies and heard their stifled cries, some not so stifled. There was general fear and sadness and doom in the air and comical me decided to lighten things up a bit, since it was already me who caused a bit of a stir.

“Boo.” I said. That alone was enough to make the crowd scatter and scram. The inside of my mind burst with laughter as I finally unbolted the door and the professor, sensing that the knob could now be twisted, led in the escape and flung it wide open, the students scramming out of the room like a bunch of freed mice. I turned the lights on and left the room, leaving behind me all the ruckus that was just the beginning of my new reign of terror in room 321.

It might’ve felt good to be alive, but man, nothing beats being dead.

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