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A childrens classroom. Frozen in time.

Posted by Butterfly Kisses on Tuesday, June 11 2024 at 4:23:14PM

Out in the countryside they are tearing down an old building used to tutor kids I believe after school. I don't think it was a school itself per se. But, no one remembers for sure. Some of the building had been repurposed for storage over the years. Even then, it was hardly used. But, a couple of rooms had been left untouched since they were last used in the late 50's. One of them was an elementary school class room for I believe 2nd graders or so.

The room was tiny, not much bigger than a closet and I wondered how they got the little table in. 6 tiny wooden chairs surrounded it. The chairs were a yellowish brown, were scruffy, with peeling paint off the wood, chips were missing from many of them, and crayon markings covered most. The teacher didn't get a seat I assume. Not enough room. Scattered on the table were papers from school work most half completed. Abandoned the same as they were the day the children left never to return. I asked the people who had occasionally entered the building to use as storage, but none of them knew if the school had just shut down one day and they couldn't come back for the materials or if they decided what was there wasn't anything important enough to move.

The floor had areas where the faded green carpet was almost worn through. Crayons and one lone broken toy occupied it. Several crayon colors had been smudged in places. The crayons scattered around were all heavily used, no new ones. No complete unscribbled in booklets remained. There were coloring pages, word exercises and simple math pages. All were either completed or half completed. So I'm guessing they knew it was the last day and had taken anything valuable when they left. Maybe they thought someone would come back later to clean, and no one ever did. They were probably just happy to move on to a bigger, newer space.

Completing the room was one old child sized wood bookshelf beside the door. With debris and a small wooden doll in it. A mini chalk board hung over the only space where there wasn't table and chairs, which is where I assume the teacher usually stood.

A soft light streamed in from the window casting a golden beam across the small room. The exposed lightbulb in the center had long since stopped working. The walls were a soft faded earthy gold, almost white color. It might have been white when built, but over time turned that color, unhelped by the golden light streaming in.

I studied the papers left behind. One had impeccable handwriting while still being able to see it was clearly by a child. Susan was written in the name bar. I gently sat down in the chair in awe that the last person who had ever sat there was a small little girl named Susan, 70 years ago. Some scribbles were on the back side including of stick figures. Her and her family maybe? friends? One word was written on it. I. I wondered if she had intended to write something there and ran out of time. There was space available after it. I am Susan? I love my family? I like someone or something? Just a simple I? I picked up one of the old crayons and copying as best I could the handwriting added love.

It didn't matter what was loved, just that it was. I just felt the best of human emotion should be there. She existed, She loved. I existed, I loved. I loved this small room that brought such emotion. I loved the swaying trees outside. I loved the children's laughter I could hear from further away, echoing the laughter that had once surely rung out in this room.

Did the future turn out well for them? For her? I guess it depends on who you ask and which student it was. I'm tempted to try looking up her name. But, the mystery and imagination are more powerful. In my mind she can always have lived an uneventful happy life. Maybe she is still around laughing with her great grand kids.

It was to be bulldozed the next day. What had happened there was already gone from memory of anyone in the area, and now the physical evidence would be gone too. I wished I could stay longer there. Both me and them frozen together in a moment and separated by time. Both leaving behind the evidence of their stay. But, staying there will never allow new such moments to be created. The door creaked harshly as I closed it, one last time on the room where children once played, never to be opened again.

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