Wednesday, June 22, 2011

tears of a clown

The examination hall was pin-drop silent, as an examination hall was supposed to be. There was, however, a hushed discomfort thick in the air; an unspoken anguish. But the teacher in charge of the hall was content. All was well.


The quiet was interrupted by the sound of a pencil being put down. Then a chair being pushed back. The noise was repulsing in its abruptness, but the uneasy silence engulfed the sound as quickly as it had emerged.

Silence once again.

The teacher's bespectacled eyes followed the boy ambling ever so slowly toward her. She sighed as the boy mumbled an inaudible excuse to leave the hall. The teacher never really like that boy. Too noisy. Too animated. A typical class clown.

Silence once again.

Then a strange thud from the outside – though not exactly a thud. It was more like a sickening cracking sound, with the undertone of a sodden impact. The teacher's eyes widened behind her thick glasses. The silence once again broken as her shoes click-clacked swiftly towards the door. A piercing shriek escaped her lips as her eyes met the revolting sight three storeys below.

Silence once again.

As people gathered, stunned. The boy's body lay disfigured by the great fall onto solid concrete. A halo of blood spread from his crushed head.

Later they would find that the boy's exam paper, under a pencil, an eraser, and his ruler; arranged neatly as if he would come back anytime to continue his Biology essay. But the paper did not contain any diagrams of liver cells, or explanations on energy flows in an ecosystem.

Instead, after his name and his class, the 3-page note, in his scrawly writing, began with the words:

"The mask I wear is that of a clown, and I wear it well. But it only serves to hide my tears, for no one cares about the tears of a clown…"