Mr Graham’s Year 9 English class did some creative writing earlier this year inspired by the pandemic - please see below two of the short stories submitted. Well done Year 9!
2020 Rewind by Inaaya 9M
Five, Four, Three, Two, One. Happy New Year! The idea of a new beginning always brought a feeling of security and hope, reflecting on regrets about what could’ve been and thinking about what to look forward to; a chance to hit reset and do better. The start of a new decade, standing on top of Primrose Hill with the sky at my fingertips as I reached out, outlining the glow of fireworks dancing around the night sky, imagining the ambitions of each person that released them into the air. The spray of fizz from the bottles settled on my skin as I embraced the rarity of the vibes in this moment, thinking this year would be incredible. We didn't know. None of us knew. We were all filled with joy for January.
The memories of the past year played through my mind as my alarm intervened, awakening me to the intrusion of the morning sun. Spring had come before the snow could settle, and there was news of a virus outbreak but none of us thought much of it. This was just something that happened in other places. Life kept going -the normal routines of February. School, work, friends, eat, sleep, repeat. Then it got real. March 20th 2020 was our last day of school full of cheers and joy. We didn't care because we thought it was going to be a relaxing holiday. Lockdown was just a word. Nobody knew.
April, still trapped in lockdown, the cases rising day by day. The fear of catching the virus was on everyone's mind. Agitation, glancing at my window as the sun beamed through. White noise. I longed to hear the sounds of children screaming, engines revving or the joy in the tune of the ice-cream van creating a convivial chaos. People would be heading off on holiday or off to the beach but none of us were going anywhere; we watched the sunset from our sofa.
May, it almost felt as if we were imprisoned, a sad lion in a cage longing to rejoin its pack. 8pm the clapping began. Monotonous, now it was just eat, sleep and repeat nothing else. June floated past going unnoticed as the vibrance of life dulled and the lines between days blurred. At this point people had had enough. The repetition of living became habitual, breaking the concept of life, simplifying it to survival.
July, cases were still high, the scorching weather was too much to handle. At this instant I think everyone gave up, people were out everyday the streets began to look fuller. Summer days were going fast. Still in a deadly pandemic, I was determined to make the most of our glimpse of freedom. August came by and the rest of summer felt like a simulation of a temporary high; the feeling of living in a utopia in contrast to the past months. The virus was a taboo, lurking in the shadows, the public in tacit agreement that ignorance was bliss.
September marked the beginning of school. The sound of my alarm brought a comfort that I would have dreaded any other year. It felt like things started to go back ordinary, the sight of masked faces was normal to me then the days started to get typical again -in a good way. October, the repetition brought me comfort with the hopes that normality wasn’t just a distant dream, then a sudden thought flew into my mind; the thought of being trapped. The virus was still in the air but people didn't fear it so the cases crept up higher and higher.
November, back in lockdown just as we thought we were free and this time it didn't feel like a glimpse, it had been just 3 months of freedom. December although we were still attending school it wasn't the same. The constant wearing of my mask triggered me, I missed the past. The memories blurred in my mind as it was focused on school, on and on, everyone questioned the virus everyday -when will it stop?
Small mercies. At least whilst the virus was attacking almost everyone, me and my family felt fortunate that we didn't catch it. We chose not to speak much on it; we did not want to jinx it.
Days passed by and I started to cough. Cough cough cough…
It will be fine by Nazmin 9R
2019, I remember sitting at lunch with my friends, talking about the discovery of a new virus. It was just something that happened to other people. The virus that killed hundreds. Now, 2020, where we had thought about a great new year, was a great disaster. A global pandemic; nurses and doctors filled with stress and guilt overwhelmed by the number of patients, people locked in like a bunch of animals at a zoo. This was the time children lost contact with the outside world and adults worried when they were going to get another shift. This dark age where young and old get together to fight and lose each other in loneliness. I am no longer afraid to go to sleep because even if my nightmares find me, they are different from the ones I live with the whole time I am awake.
In March 2020, schools had to close down. At first I was excited, being able to wake up late, staying home instead of going to school was great. But there were times I felt like the world was slowly disappearing in front of me. Like my Mum losing her jobs, convincing me time and time again ‘it will be fine’. The thought makes my empty lungs burn and my heart hit my chest so hard I thought it would break my ribs and rip apart my skin. But this feeling would only come and go. And so I believed, it will be fine.
The numbers ascended. Some say it was a punishment from God, Others say it was human error. I was sitting in my bed staring at the blank wall; my mum came in giving me news from hell, ‘Your grandma passed away from the virus.’ My heart twisted and sunk with nerves as I sat in my bed. The feeling came back. My breaths came in sharp pants and I tried to gain control, but nothing was working. I tried to breathe calmly, but every time those words came ringing back and forth in my head, I felt like I'm gasping for air. Slowly, the panic and anxiety attack flowed away, and yet I still shook. My eyes, closed and aimed towards my clasped hands, slowly opened. Trepidation swelled through me as I slowly raised my eyes yet again to the blank wall and yet again said ‘it will be fine.’
Now I felt nothing. Months past. Only being able to have one and if I am lucky two meals a day. My mum decided to go to the frontline. She battles and fights just so I can have a future, a life. But still nights and nights again I hear about the endless battle the key workers face and the distress in the public. These emotions came back. Emotions I can't discuss with friends nor family. Every morning, as my mum leaves the house I put on my painted smile and say it will be fine. I only believed in false hope, just so others do not experience this thing I call emotion.
In the end, I must surrender to these emotions. At the moment, I found myself drowning in these emotions. Unable to move physically and unable to think. Tears run down my face, making my eyes swell up. These emotions are a labyrinth. Every time I reach a dead end the more I begin to wonder if I should have gotten help before I chose this route. The more I desire an exit the more I get lost in the depression and anxiety. The further I go the more it makes me wonder, will it be fine. Then as I lose hope, a light showing me an exit appears, the voice of my mum, “I see you. I do. I see pain in those eyes. It has sat there, trapped in the confusion we all carry. I see love too, the love you would have given were it not for the scars. It's still there, and one day I will set you free. I'm not perfect, yet I love you, and I know what love means. Give me a chance to find my feet, to stop my own head from spinning and I'll prove it. So let me join you in that pain, walk with you, feel the same torture.”
Then I knew these emotions are meant to be faced with everyone, the key workers, the old, the young and the ones in between. That these emotions show us the light of the dark tunnel, that in the end we are not alone and there is someone out there to ease your pain. It will be fine.