Din röst-bidrag: Noise


Av Tova Nilsson från Sunne

The constant bird chatter of the other students around her was an ever present distraction. The ocean waves of the too tall, uncut, grass outside the classroom window was almost calming, and seemed to lull her into a trance. While unable to take her eyes of the flowing strands of emerald green the girl’s friend kept lightly tapping her right arm, a way to quietly get the girls attention, as she needed her help to decipher a question. The clicking of pencils, scratching of lead on the smooth white sheets, the rustling pages of turning to the next spread, it was almost too much. Right on the edge of the blade, almost tipping over and causing her to explode.

Instead, she imploded, turned into herself, trying to ignore all the small sounds that only grew and grew. Scratching, clicking, tapping, rustling, chairs scraping and squeaking across the vinyl floor, the sounds that made her want to disappear.

Ticking mixed into the sounds. The small circular clock on the wall had always been a problem with this classroom, the pointers were always louder in here.

Tick, tick, tick.

The girl thought she could almost hear her name be called by her friend, but she wasn’t sure.
The ventilation system started. The fans whisking small puffs of cold air at her, at least this time it was a calming breeze.

The girl finally shook herself out of her trance and turned her head to her friend. She had needed help to apprehend a question in the textbook. After she helped the friend to understand the question, and as the girl observed her friend successfully solving the problem, she couldn’t help but notice all of the small doodles in the textbook. Questions crossed out, names and crude remarks were written all over the pages. Boxes, circles and lines of harshly pressed lead from prior students that found ruining the pages with their boredom a pleasant pass-time. The messages and doodles where probably ranging from over 5 years old to done this lesson by her friend. What was most maddening was that the majority of the messages where written in ink, so they could never be removed. And the few marks that where in lead had started to smear and streak on the opposite page.

In hindsight, this was a small problem. Not even a problem to be honest, but in that moment, the smallest things where enough to tick her just the right amount, not enough to tip the blade over, but enough to keep her dangling on the edge.

The music in her ears wasn’t loud enough to cancel out the noise of her peers, but if she heightened the volume, she wouldn’t be able to hear her own thoughts. Not that she was able to currently. As the girl once again moved her eyes to the waves outside the window, she clicked the volume buttons on her phone twice, making the sound of drums and guitars scream into her ears. She definitely preferred this over the overbearing sounds of the classroom.

Soon, soon the lesson would be over, and she would have to be social. She would have to make conversation with her peers to be polite, and as to not be seen as the odd individual that she was. In just a few minutes they would be released to have a short break, and then it was right into another classroom, and to do it all over again.

Tick, tick, tick, tick.

And people had the nerve to ask why she was exhausted after school.