The door of the D division of the class of 3rd standard swung open, as the bell rang signalling the start of the period. Fresh gust of air with a hint of cologne sneaked inside along with him. He was short and stout, rather unimpressive. His eyes, however had a hint of viridity that was in contrast with his grey mop. His smile spread across the jawline with jauntiness plastered on his face.
“Good morning Yonkers!” he greeted the class with verve. It was however met with a dullness in equal measures and it reflected in our hardly audible, greeting in response.
He however was not at all affected by the damp response. “As you already be knowing that I am your new class teacher. And I will be helping you tackle the monster Mathematics with some tips and tricks, as old as my grays”, he continued animatedly.
Soon his cheerful mannerism rubbed off to everyone in the class, except me. For I dreaded the “introduce-and-know-me-parade” that would follow.
“I am much eager to know you. But not just your names. I wish to know how you see yourself. Introduce yourself to me with your name and one word that describes you. Let me give you a start. I am Cedric, the clubby”, he bowed in front of the class dramatically, taking his right leg behind the left and gesturing as if he was taking off his invisible hat. It got the whole class started. That was quite unlike a Maths teacher, I thought.
Pointing to each one of us, at random, he went about listening and absorbing everything that fell on his ears and met his eyes. Every time a boy or the girl was about to finish, I would look aimlessly in a random direction or sometimes towards the ceiling. I doubted several times that he had noticed me doing so. When I was about to turn my sight out of the class, past the sun-lit window, this time around, he caught my gaze. Pointing at me, he winked. “Caught you”, he said.
My heart thumping and my body trembling, I rose from my seat. I licked my parched lips and moved my hand nervously over my face, in spite of me not wanting it. I failed miserably to stop myself from cutting a sorry figure and was on the verge of entering into my dark shell. Before that could happen, he patted on my shoulders and sat next to me as the place was vacant. Rather it used to be so, always. Leaning on the desk, he smiled and made his eyebrows dance. It fetched a chuckle for me. For, he appeared none less than the naughty “Jerry” from you-know-what.
There was something magical in his eyes, that held a helping hand to my sinking spirit.
“I am Aaron, the alien”, wobbled the nasal words from my scar laden, heavily stitched lips, betraying my timidity, venting out my pent-up frustration. Cleft palate and lip made me look different, probably like someone from another world for every Tom, Dick and Harry in the town, barring few and my family and thus sending me forever into my own world of dark gloomy quarantine.
“You are amazing Aron”, he corrected me as the bell rang to signal the end of the period and beginning of the new.