Chapter 2: ‘Laura shows improvement’

“We had lots of fun and we must say a prayer before we eat.” Beatrice was narrating all the wonders of schooling at the new kindergarten in their village. Beatrice was a year younger than Laura, and she is one of the first groups who learn at the village new pre-school. ‘If only I’m a year younger, I’ll be in that kindergarten too, not in Primary 1’ Laura sighed as she continued listening to her neighbour plus playmate, Beatrice, talking about their interesting learning activities. Well, of course, Laura loves her new school too, and her friends and all the teachers there. It’s just that, everyone was so ahead of her. She was afraid that she won’t be able to catch up. However, Laura did try to learn the basics with the help of her siblings. And at school, Miss Annie’s lesson of writing the alphabets over and over again did help a lot. Laura wondered if Miss Annie knew she can’t spell. She was too afraid of telling Miss Annie.

                At class, there were four groups with names entitled to them. Laura was in group D. Joyce was in C. The rest were also grouped based on their level of competency. Laura’s group was mainly the quiet ones and some were very noisy and love to disturb, especially the boy who always seems to have a running nose. His name is Stephen, and Laura was so afraid that he would pick on her. But Stephen is not that bad. He loves to joke around and soon, Laura was not afraid of him anymore. In group B, there were Lisa and Grace, whom Laura walked with whenever it’s time to go home. Then there was Stella. The sweet girl who is always so generous to lend anyone who wants to borrow her pretty crayons. But most of all, Laura likes the boy named Michael there. He is cute. In fact, he is the cutest boy in the class. Every girl loves talking to him. But Laura has not really spoken to him yet. Laura and Joyce had a talk the other day, about the boys in their class. They decided that Micheal is the cutest. The second title goes to Edmund, and the third is Arthur. Both were in Group C with Joyce.

                Laura’s endless efforts to learn soon paid-off. Miss Annie decided that it’s time for Laura to change group. She was transferred to group C, with Joyce. Laura was so happy and at the same time, she was sad to leave her old group. But no worry cause the distance is not that far (in fact, it’s just a step away). “bye-bye, Laura. You are getting smarter. I knew it all along that you will improve.” said Stephen while shaking hands with Laura. Laura just giggled, not realizing that Stephen had just touch his nose before shaking hands with her. But Laura won’t care if she knew. Joyce was happy to sit next to Laura. However, Edmund always made fun of her and all the girls in the class. He would even say out loud the father’s name of any girl in the class whenever the teachers are not around. All the girls were mad at him. But he will just rolled his eyes and laughed with the other boys. Laura never understand why they have to tease a father’s name. ‘What if the person’s father whose name being called is somehow already dead?’ she wondered. “I decided that Edmund is not on our ‘Cute List’ anymore,” Laura said one day to Joyce. “He’s so impolite. I think Stephen is better than him.” And Joyce agreed.

                A week after being in group C, Laura moved to group B. Laura blushed when Miss Annie praised her for showing so much improvement. “We must still be friends even though you’re not in group C anymore” Joyce reminded her before she went to group B. “of course, why shoudn’t I?” Laura answered. ‘There’s no reason as to why we shouldn’t be friends’ she thought to herself. The pupils in group B were very welcoming. Lisa, Grace and Stella are so nice. But Laura’s heart thumped so hard whenever Michael speaks. “hey, you went to St.Martin Church too, right?” was Micheal’s first question to her. Laura nodded “Yes, you too, right?” she asked back but suddenly she felt stupid. ‘of course, he is’ she said to herself, feeling embarrassed. Laura always looked at him secretly every Sunday at church. ‘maybe he noticed me too’ she smiled with this thought.

                Laura was so comfortable with the group that when Miss Annie announced that she would be in group A, she’s not happy at all. Laura loves group B so much. She loves sitting between Michael and Stella. But now, She had to bear sitting in group with some of the most unfriendly pupils in class, Debra and Naomi. Both are very clever. They can do all the works that the teachers gave, and answer easily any question asked, especially Debra. Debra is the class’ top student. Laura felt so small when being with them. Even Edmund didn’t dare to call out her father’s name. However, Wilma is nice. They quickly became friends. Wilma always helps her whenever Laura finds it hard to understand certain topics. Being in the group for quite some time now, Laura realized that Debra and Naomi were not that unfriendly all the times. She just need to take care of what she says and speaks gently to them. But still, Laura is uncomfortable with them. They talked about things that she did not understand much, like going shopping and going places. Laura would just be quite and speak whenever necessary. Then, Laura was a bit glad when Michael soon joined their group. But, she sighed in her heart when Debra made it obvious that she likes Micheal, too. ‘Who doesn’t’ she said to herself. ‘I am nothing when compared to her’ she thought.

                Well, within a month, Laura managed to go up from group D to A. That was really something, don’t you think. But she need to be a little braver. Let’s hope she won’t let anyone step on her or look down on her. And let’s also hope that she will continue being nice and kind to everyone.

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