when I was in primary school, there was a girl in the year below me called Amelia. I forget her last name. All I remember is that she had dark shiny hair. She was in the year 3/4 class with my friends, while I was in the 4/5 class down the hall. We were in the playground. All I remember saying was 'you're name is Amelia, isn't it?', and she kept either denying it or saying 'maybe'. At lunchtime, her brother, a year 7, came up to me and had a go at me. At 130 cm tall, a boy over 160 cm tall with a larger build really scared me. It was because I was so intimidated that when he demanded to know what I had said to her, all I said was 'I don't remember'.
I never spoke to her again, or him for that matter. ever since then, and possibly before, people older than me have intimidated me - its why I never really associated with the years above me, even though my previous school encouraged inter-year mingling, hence the mixed classes.
When I was in reception, there was this boy in the other class, called Ashley. He had a friend called Dylan. Neither of these boys gave the impression of someone you want to annoy. Dylan left shortly after an incident, I think. He just, disappeared. He came back later in my time there though. However, before this, I got my first taste of the terror others can cause. I was walking to the oval, and I came to the crossing of the two paths: on the right was a small flight of sandstone steps, on the right the path headed uphill to the pine forest. For no reason whatsoever, the two of them ran up to me and trapped me. Dylan held my hands behind my back where it weakened me, and Ashley put his hand over my mouth and nose, smothering me. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move. Once I started crying and trying to scream- I was only about 5- laughed, let go, and sprinted off, leaving me gasping for air at the intersection. I hated them after that, I was terrified of them.
As it happened, Ashley was kept back a year or so, and ended up in my brother’s class, who, of course, made friends with him. I never forgot that incident and refused to acknowledge them when he came over or called.
A few years later, we were reminded, again, not to play around the after school care room and the rails by it. We were sitting on the benches near it, during PE catching our breath after running. Dylan was back by then. He was spinning on the railing, climbing on it, being silly. It had been raining, and things were slippery. Concrete levels kept these railings in place, and they were covered in moss in some areas. He slipped, and fell, splitting his skull open on one of the corners of the concrete. There was blood pouring down the back of his head, he went to hospital, I think.
I didn't see him after that - I left the school not long after, and made an extra effort to avoid interacting with him, though I do remember mentioning to my best friend that I wasn't sad he got hurt - no one knew about what they did to me in reception.
There was a girl. We had this love-hate relationship from preschool. She was my friend one time, and terrible the next. She had anger problems, and the only way she knew how to deal with it was by unleashing it on others. She was a chronic liar, too. I think that’s was to fit in, though: the second of four children, she was always trying to be a part of my group of friends, even if she wasn't wanted. She told me, once, that her mum hit her. I didn't believe her because of all the other things she'd done previously, but I always wonder what would have happened if she was telling the truth, and she was calling for help, and I brushed her off with a 'yeah right, you're mum's nice', if things would have been different. It may have lead to me graduating from my primary school rather than fleeing it after the worst fight I had ever had, with nobody to back me up.
I believe that experiences make us who we are - and these still never leave me, to this day. I think about what I would have said if Amelia's brother hadn't scared me so much, though, I will never know why the boys tried to suffocate me.
Because of my primary school, I am who I am. I always mean to go back there one day, and look around, see if it is still the same, and if they had taken the time capsule out yet, or if the tree house was still there, in the pine tree, complete with burned out hole in the floor.
Would things have changed the future? Probably. But who I am now.... I hate to think who I would be without the experiences that defined me.