Tag Archives: giving up

The first time I gave up

The air is so humid that I can barely breathe. Sweat is pouring down my body like a river down a mountain. The electricity has been gone for the past five hours and according to our neighbors, a transformer exploded and it’ll take forever to repair it. We’ve been without electricity before but not for this long. There’s no running water in our house. The only form of water we have is in a small plastic tub in the bathroom and in our cooler in the kitchen and in an hour that’ll run out too.

Mama and all my siblings have drenched themselves in mosquito repellent. I haven’t. Mosquitos and other bugs don’t really bother me. My grandma says it’s because I have bitter blood. I honestly don’t mind.

We live in the upper portion in this house and it’s like we’re being roasted. Everyone is sitting outside on their terrace or garden or in the wrecked park in front of our house and I’m sitting inside, by the table beneath the gas lamp that’s hanging on the wall. That’s the only form of light I have, and it’s slowly dimming.

I have a math exam in a few days and I have to give in my math notebook tomorrow to the teacher so she could check it, but I haven’t done any of the questions because I had to study for my Urdu exam and  I’m not good in Urdu. Being dyslexic and learning another language don’t go together. All the letters seem the same.

In school we’re aren’t allowed to use pencils or ballpoint pens, all we can use are ink pens and it gets annoying when the pen runs out of ink.

I sit on the floor with my legs crossed. The floor is the only thing that isn’t burning like hell. It’s cold and I’m glad my but isn’t on fire.

Mamas calling me outside, saying that it’s better if I wake up before sunrise and complete my homework but we both know I won’t wake up.

If the electricity doesn’t come on we’ll probably sleep outside, on the cots, beneath the stars like we do in our Pind (village).

Give up. For a moment the thought brushes through my mind, but I fight against it. I’ve never given up, so why should I now.

Sweat is trickling down my arms and legs. I can feel my clothes cling to my body.  I fill the notebook with math equations, questions and answers. We aren’t allowed to use calculators and finding the square root of 34 on paper isn’t easy.

I’m almost done and a wave of peace subsides in my stomach, but when I look back at my notes they’re all smudged. The sweat from my arms smeared all my notes.

I blink rapidly trying to hold back my tears but they escape and fall on my register, worsening my notes. I’m mad at our school for making us use ink pens. At this point I don’t care. The temperature is above 37-degrees Celsius and if I stay in here another minute I’ll suffocate.

I curse Zardari for being a shitty president and my dad for sending us to Pakistan… but I give up and go out to the balcony like everyone else around me.

That was the first time I gave up on anything in life. The first time I said “fuck it.”

I don’t remember if I got yelled at by the teacher or if she called my mother. But I remember feeling helpless and hopeless… it’s been more than thirteen years but that memory is stuck in my brain like gum on a shoe.

High School- An old memory.

High School.

A pain in the arse. Especially if you’re not even a student anymore. It’s hectic. It’s like you’re standing in front of the same teachers and the same consulars all over again, but the only problem is, is that you’re being scolded like you’ve cut class to hang out with those kids who do meth. But you’ve never done meth because you were too busy doing math, and that screwed you over so badly that you’ve forgotten how to add. Which is obviously worse than meth.

That’s exactly how I felt when I went back to my high school for a problem my sister had. She’s a student in that same school and the school administration have vowed not to help her because she’s related to me. It’s a blood thing, I think.

I mean, I’m not complaining about the school- okay maybe I am. Like y’all need to fix ya’ll bathrooms and y’all attitudes. Oh and let me not get started on the hundred other things that are wrong with your school.

I’m graduating from college, but the thought of high school still sends a ripple of fear down my spine. It’s like one of those haunted houses everyone is scared to go to. Heck, I’ve never been scared of haunted houses as scared as I am of high school and I’m a grown adult. Not like college is any better.

I mean, maybe sometimes the people aren’t rude, but then why do I feel like they’re about to pounce on me any moment. It’s like there’s a language barrier between the students and the administration, but ironically everyone is speaking the same language. But then why does it feel like we’re standing on two separate islands and we’re all yelling at each other from opposite ends.

My high school experience wasn’t like high school musical. Where everyone was jolly and energetic. It was mostly filled with dead zombies who were cranky and obnoxious. More than Gabriella’s there were Sharmane’s.

I was a shy girl, I mean I still am. Tell me to fetch something from the deli next door and I would cry for a month. But that’s a whole different story.

High school should be a place where teenagers develop. Where they feel safe not threatened. Where people listen because being a teenager is hard, heck being alive is hard. But it should be a safe haven, not a war zone. A place filled with flowers and all those other soft and mushy things.

But no, for me high school was a dungeon, filled with creepy demons waiting to prey on me. Every time I would see the school building, my heart would claw in my throat. It was like I was in a horror movie and the school building wanted to see me die. Like that movie where the house comes to life, except the school was dead and so was everyone in it.


That was the only thing that I wanted to do. Run far away from the building and never see it ever again, but it was close to my house and I saw it every effen day.

Maybe that’s why kids cut school. Because instead of teaching students about survival they are taught about how beautiful the quadratic equation is. I mean I’m not saying that the quadratic equation isn’t important, I might need it when I’m doing my taxes. But, students should be taught how to deal with their problems not thrash more problems onto them. SAT, Honors, AP classes, College, Career; it’s all overwhelming.

The only thing I learned in high school is that life sucks, and Hitler has a weird ass mustache. Oh, and how the mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell. Boyles Law? PV=nRt. Let’s not forget about plants. It is very crucial to learn how conifers reproduce because we’re all being raped by plants.

Maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe I’m being clouded by my hatred of my high school years. But it was hard, not having friends, I mean not like I still do. I’m a very lonely person by the way.

But it required more energy to try to stay positive than to actually study. The effort to care would drain all the energy I had in me.

It’s like this feeling that you’re dumb because unlike all the other students you don’t have special talents. They have all these AP classes and they’re into sports and here you are wondering why your pants don’t have pockets. The system is rigged. I demand more pockets.

But to all those high school-ers or even middle-school-ers who are going through this, I wish the odds in your favor, heck I wish all the numbers in your favor. It’s complicated and no one understands. I know.

Just keep pushing on and keep trying. Your life does not end here. Go to teachers who care. Trust me there are a few. Yes, you have no idea where your future is leading you. Trust me, even I don’t know and I’m graduating from college. But have faith in yourself, because you’re epic. If you were born different, then why fit in.

You’re an outcast and you should be grateful. You did not fight through a million other sperms to be like everyone else. You were born different so be happy. Give your best my growing little pumpkins and soon you will turn into pie.

I’m joking.
No one likes pumpkin pie.
Be fried chicken instead.
Everyone loves fried chicken.

But don’t give up. Keep trying and keep a positive attitude. I promise you will make it through. Yes! Your insides are churning, and Miss D. doesn’t like you, but this isn’t a chapter in your life, it’s just a mere sentence. Don’t rip up your book just because you didn’t like one word.

You’ll make it through, I promise
Because I did too.