版主: 麵糰仔

The bell rang. Students rushed out of the classroom and noises suddenly filled the hallway.
Sophia stood beside the pillar and heard her classmates talking about their later plans.
No one noticed Sophia. She stood there, held an envelope in her hand and held it extremely tight.
Sophia was the youngest and the shortest girl in this third grade class. Anyone would find her nothing special at the first sight, and because she rarely talks; no one would ever notice her.
Students gradually faded away, but Sophia kept standing beside the pillar. She stood still, head bowed, but her shivering hands seemed to tell her mood right now, uneasy and nervous.
Sophia kept standing there until all students left and she went straight to the school director’s office. Before she knocked the door, Sophia rechecked the envelope was in her hand and then she knocked.
“Come in, please.” Sophia heard the school director said.
She took a deep breath and then went in.
“May I help you, my dear?” the school director said.
It seemed that Sophia responded something from her mouth, in a very low voice.
However, as one of the teachers that knew well about Sophia’s remarkable feature of shyness, the school director smiled and said, “Well, could you say it again, my dear? I could not hear you.”
Again, it seemed that Sophia said something from her mouth; however, still hardly could the director hear it.
“Well, what did you say?”
This time, Sophia put the envelope on the school director’s desk, in a louder voice, as if it took all her strength, she said, “I…I…I want to quit school.” And then she turned around, running out of the office.
The school director opened the envelope and found that there was an application for withdrawal in it. She soon called Sophia’s parents.
Sophia’s parents were both renowned lawyers in the neighborhood, after they got the call and knew what their daughter did at school; they were extremely mad and disappointed.
“Why do you want to quit school? How can you do that?” They furiously shouted to Sophia.
“I am not happy at school.” Sophia said.
“Happiness isn’t the most important thing that you should care. What you should do is studying hard and getting good grades. If you quit school, you will make us lose face.” They said to her.
From then on, Sophia never responded a word. She just locked herself in her room. The anger of Sophia’s parents gradually turned into worry because Sophia refused to come out, didn’t eat or drink and didn’t answer her parents’ call from outside.
When her parents were almost going to call 911, Sophia sent a piece of paper from the crack under the door; it was ripped off from her diary.
On the paper, there was a crying face drawn by Sophia, and under it, there was a short doggerel.
The title of the doggerel is “Hide and Seek”
“Hide and Seek
I hide,
But no one seek me.
I keep waiting,
But still, no one seek me.
Only I seek them.

I seek and seek,
But there’s no one,
They left.
They forgot me.
Only I remember them.

I try and try.
Try to know why.
But no one wants to answer why.”

After reading it, Sophia’s parents couldn’t help sobbing. They knocked the door and found Sophia was standing behind the door and looked at them. They hugged Sophia and keep saying “everything is gonna be alright.” to her.
The next day, Sophia’s parents sent Sophia’s doggerel to her teachers and classmates. After they read her doggerel, they felt shocked and sad.
Finally, Sophia’s teachers and classmates decided to write a new doggerel to her.
The title is still “Hide and Seek”

“Hide and seek.
Who hides herself from others?
Hide in the blind sadness and cry.

Who hides her smile?
Who hides her vigor?

Aha, who is the happy girl behind the tree?
Is she the one we seek?”

Sophia read the doggerel.
At first, it seemed that she didn’t quite understand the doggerel, but after she read again and again, her face lightened up.
She told her parents, “I want to go to school tomorrow.”
The next day, when Sophia walked into school, she had a big smile on her face.
She smiled to every teacher and classmate she met, greeted them and said to them loudly, “Yes, I am!”
Interesting story. Sad, too.
Reminds me of a newspaper article I read the other day about a 10-year-old boy who killed himself.

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