First Memory of Guilt
I was five.
Too young maybe to feel such huge heavy remorse that is guilt. But even as a young kid, my emotions and way of thinking were a bit more serious and advance than normal. I’m not bragging because looking back now, I must say, I’m not anymore surprised or wondering why I became a victim of depression. I was simply an easy target for negative, mental and emotional state as I grew up.
I was in First Grade.
Too young maybe and was supposed to be still in Kindergarten but even without going through any early education, my parents put me directly in Primary school because ‘I INSISTED’. Though if I hadn’t, I might’ve avoided something terrible to happen that would, even now, still make me wince.
I was stupid.
Too young maybe to be called stupid. You can call a child naive or innocent but not stupid. Stupid is such a strong, fierce word and a child age of five shouldn’t hear that word addressed to her. But I am certain I felt stupid that time besides was I innocent still or naive after what I did?
I was aggressive.
Too young maybe for aggression. But you see I’m no normal child. I’m no child like you were once. I don’t sulk or pout when things don’t go my way. I don’t throw tantrums when I’m mad, I simply react to any situation.
I was five.
Too young. I was the youngest in my class and the smallest. Along with those demeaning qualities, I also became the easiest target for my classmates who were obviously bullies in the making. They would taunt me, pull my pigtails, break my crayons (which was my favorite thing in my school bag), push me in the lines and occasionally embarrass me.
I was in First Grade.
Too young to have reasons. It doesn’t matter if I was already acing my subjects and topping my class. For a child, grades are just numbers or silly Alphabets with minus or plus beside them. You see in first grade, they taught me to pray, to be kind, to color, to write my name, to remember the names of the animals and heroes I don’t want to meet ever. But they never taught me to analyze. Reason and logic means nothing to a kid in first grade.
I was a line-crosser.
Too young, but I knew about lines. But too young to know that some lines need not be crossed. Between right and wrong there was this very thin line that kids don’t mind to cross. They get away with it anyway.
I was embarrassed.
Too young, but I knew about shame. There was this boy who used to be in my class and every morning he would taunt me, and laugh at me along with his friends. Even then, I was able to see they’re bullies in the making. I didn’t mind the taunts and the laughters at my expense, but physical, I did hate. I hated violence. He pushed me and I was so surprised I got out of balance and fell on my back on the cement. It hurt like hell. But I was fast. I got up and got back at him. I had this little dark umbrella and hit him right on his ugly fat face. I didn’t stop there. I tried poking his eye with my umbrella too. Thank God, I didn’t succeed.
I was forgiven.
Too young to know what forgiveness is. Parents were called. Sorries were said. Classes went on. I finished first grade second in my class. The boy never touched me again. Good thing? No.
I was in first grade.
Too young to know many stories. All I knew were fables and parables with happy endings. But an ending is no happy ending without a lesson. The boy was afraid of ME. He wasn’t afraid of other kids though. My life was peaceful but was never AT PEACE.
I was miserable.
Too young to learn a life lesson. But I was no normal kid. I needed a lesson. The boy needed the lesson. Kids are easily forgiven because parents think they must stay kids as long as possible. Wrong. Kids are no filters, they’re basins. They get and accept everything. Good and bad. With their little understandings they fill their brains with everything around them that will shape them as adults.
I was guilty.
Too young to feel this remorse. I wasn’t guilty for what I did to that boy. I was guilty for my five-year old self and for that seven-year old kid who pushed me. I wanted to apologize to that little girl who happens to be me, to that boy, who even now bears the scar I caused him. Sincerest apology to those two kids because their parents, teachers and guardians didn’t pay enough attention to them after that incident when they should have. They should’ve seen the boy was still bullying other kids and the girl was still crossing that line between right and wrong.
I was sorry.
Too young to remember everything right. But I was no normal kid. I knew that my parents and that boy’s parents shouldn’t have just walked out of the principal’s office when that meeting was done and then went their separate ways. They should’ve stayed longer that day and WATCHED. Because they might’ve seen that the boy taunted another girl just few hours after the meeting. They might’ve seen that the five-year old me stayed at the library for so long that day because I was afraid and I couldn’t stop my mind from overthinking. They might have seen what we were going to be in the future.
I was depressed.
And the boy? He became a dad just ten years later. Too young. Just seventeen. But it was too late for him. Now, twenty years later, he was a daddy of three. They’re poor.
I am still depressed. I am still guilty. And still no one is WATCHING.