When the teacher’s hand touched his face, all that remained was a mark. At first it was soft and subtle. Eventually, it became puffy and prominent. It was as if someone had dipped their hand in a plate of crimson red paint and gently placed it on another’s person face. The only twist was that this time the touch was swift and silent.
He looked up and saw two eyes glaring at him. Those bloody eyes. He knew them intimately. He had seen them before. Multiple times.
“Stand up boy.” He followed the instruction.
“On the bench.” Again, he did as he was told.
He could feel the gaze of his classmates. Nothing new to a failure. The only rule that you had to follow as a failure was to learn to stare at the floor. Every single day.
What do you do when you have to transform into a hen from a human? Stare at the floor.
Where do you look when you are catching your ears and doing squats? At the floor.
What becomes your friend when you are told to be outside the classroom wall, on the corridors? The floor.
This time was no different. He stared at the cemented floor. Nothing else matter.
Did it matter to him that Prithvi Narayan Shah supposedly unified Nepal? No. Did it matter to him that when acid and base concatenate, the chemicals somehow transfigure into salt and water? Perhaps not. Did it matter to him that on all occasions sin squared theta combined with cos squared theta equaled exactly to one? Absolutely not.
Crumbs of Lays potato chips had found their space on the floor after the lunch hour. An ant came and curiously examined it. It went away.
He could hear his teacher say, “all you bloody bastards know is to stare at the ceiling and count ants at home.” Mind you, he heard his teacher say this. He did not look at him. He was staring at the floor.