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Communications Studies IA - Story - First Draft - What Changed Me

Communications Studies IA - Story - First Draft - What Changed Me

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Published by: api-25950239 on Dec 03, 2009
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What Changed Me

It was early in the morning. The classroom was empty. Alfonso sat at his usual place, at the front right of the classroom, and opened his literature textbook. Reading everyday had become quite the habit for him. He leaned forward slightly, his elbows on the desk, as he made himself more comfortable. His eyebrows furrowed as he became engaged in the information letter for letter, word for word, sentence by sentence and from paragraphs to pages. He was nearly finished the book when he heard a familiar voice. “Hey Al, what’re you doing?” Alfonso had known Maria Michaela Jones for almost 10 years now. They had met each other on the playfield where she pushed him down while running. It was the start of a beautiful friendship. From that tender age of five years, they always seemed to end up in the same places. They attended the same church, lived in the same neighbourhood and now, they both attended the same high school. Maria had a rather playful character. She always used to tease Al about his height, or rather, lack of it. Summer had taken its toll however and Al was now a good 6 inches above her head. Not only had he gotten taller but wiser as well as he decided to approach fourth form with greater determination than he had before. This time, he would make his father proud. “Oh, nothing,” he replied casually as he closed the book. “Wassup?” “Oh, nothing.” She replied, mimicking his tone and his calm expression. Al gave her a glare. She smiled and giggled. Al turned his attention towards the clouds outside as they drifted slowly across the atmosphere. “Wow. The sky is really blue today,” he said, looking through the big glass window beside him, his eyes got lost in the distance without hope of returning, “You saw it?” Maria paused and looked outside. Then, she faced him with a confused expression, put down her school bag and sat in the seat next to him. “What is wrong with you?!” she exclaimed, frightening him out of his skin as he jumped in his seat, “You do so well in class but your head is just so blank.” “And can you imagine that I’m beating you too?” he grinned as she slapped him reflexively on the shoulder. “But seriously though, why do you do so well?” Al sat back in the chair, suddenly feeling the nostalgia engulfing him. Maria placed her elbows on her desk and rested her chin between both hands. She watched him intently, waiting patiently for his answer. “Well you see, it’s a really long story,” he began as he rubbed his beardless chin. Tears streamed down Alfonso’s face. The Redwood household was supposed to be asleep though not everyone was in bed. Al’s parents had been at it for the past hour now. His little brother as well as himself had already been sent to bed but he had been awoken by all of the shouting coming from downstairs. His father had come home a lot later than usual and an argument had ensued. As he listened from the big chair in the adjacent living room, he could not hold back his emotion. “It was the day after that when I neva see ma fadda. That’s when mummy told me he was gone and he wasn’t coming back to live with us,” Al said, looking directly into Maria’s eyes, “ From then on, mummy sent my brother and I to some counselling sessions. We learnt a great deal about managing with our feelings and the situation. At that time I was just five years old.” “You know, I thought that children of divorce woulda probably eventually turn out pretty bad in the future,” Maria said as she twiddled her thumbs “Wha’ mek you so different?”

“So is only english yu good at, Eh?” Mr. Redwood asked his son as he glanced over the term’s report card, “you know that you could have gotten all A’s on this one Al” He shook his head as he went over it again, his thumb lying directly beside the place where his sole A average was displayed in bold characters, screaming for individual attention as it was unlike any other on the page. Al stood silently. As he had anticipated, his father had more to say. “Good job all the same, you passed all of your subjects,” his father said, the familiar phrase echoing in Al’s mind, “Keep up the good work.” He folded the paper back into the brown envelope, sighed deeply, and left the dining table of his new twobedroom apartment, 3 years later. “That is what changed me. It was then and there I decided that I was couldn’t take it anymore. A’ did ‘tink ‘Jah know star, if only a’ coulda work a likkle harda’” Al sat upright, unfolding his arms from across his chest, “But you know, a’ kinda grateful ‘dat I’m not like some of the people that I met at those counselling sessions stills. Some of them were so messed up.” “Really,” Maria asked in disbelief, “How so?” “A divorce can have a lot of negative effects on people Maria,” Alfonso started, “The depression causes them to do strange things. Amongst the people in our age group alone, some became smokers, alcoholics and sex addicts. Many girls your age are getting pregnant. A few guys are now ‘fathering’ their children. A lot of things.” Maria sat back. Her face was expressionless and Al could understand why. “Oh, I see,” she said, looking at the reflection of the sky in the big glass window. “But you know,” Al began, turning towards her, “Having good friends makes all the difference. Sometimes, I’m not sure what I would do if you weren’t around.” He said with a soft smile. “What did you say?” she said, hoping that she hadn’t been imagining things again. Al sat back in his chair, flipping through to the last few pages of his book, smiling. “Oh, nothing.” He said, in his same sing song way. She looked at him longingly, then the school bell rang.

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