“Tell me again why we are here going to school so early? Doesn’t school start like nine o’clock or something” asked Tianna in curiosity from the back seat. Her eyes just happen to drift to the clock in the front of the car. Mum was focused and mumbling something. Tianna didn’t hear most of what she was saying but she guessed it was the Assembly speech. Wow, those poor kids are gonna be scared to death and she would be humiliated if she mum tried to be funny by giving a joke. She remembered the joke mother had given at Career Day, a creepy memory wave crawled up her spine and she shivered. Clueless to the how good her mother’s principal skill were she thought that one way or the other; it was all going downhill somehow because her mother, well entire family was crazy. They called it begin hyperactively fun. She was the normal one, but only Tianna thought so. Mother stopped at the red traffic light and answered Tianna,
“Tianna, school officially starts at 9o’clock but the bell rings at half eight” mother smiled in a taunting way. Oh yeah, she was enjoying this. Around that time, Tianna would still be rolling and drooling on her bed until mother came into her room at 8 o’clock, hyperactively do the chicken dance and scream cock-a-doula-GET UP! Tianna’s eyes narrowed at first thinking that mother was either delusional or she lost it. Coming to terms with herself that both words meant the same thing, the point was, mother was crazy. She was joking, she couldn’t be serious. Or was she? Getting up 5 o’clock was “real wuk” according to a Trinidadian man talking to his colleague who happened to pass in front the house the other night.
“You’re joking right, this is a sick, twisted hell of a joke right. Or maybe I’m having a nightmare. You can’t be serious jack!” The car from behind rudely bellowed its horn at mother furiously. Mother’s car accelerated forward, “People in Trinidad are so cool and hip, I love it here!” Mother’s voice was preppy like those annoy cheerleaders back at Lakewood High. All cheery and fun, and “like totally”. Tianna’s theory about cheerleader was they were strapped to a chair, hit by a laser that gave them gymnastic powers and for 5 hours watch a brain washing documentation on how to be the perfect cheerleader. They were like robots, only flexible and not boop-beep-baap but “Ready-ok”, kick-jump-split.
Tianna watched out the window. Trinidad was beautiful in some parts but just plain ‘city’ in others. Where they lived, was so green, lustrous, simply gorgeous like her, but the city, the city was buildings not as tall as the ones back in the US but tall enough, a morning rush from long lines of cars and workers in suits rushing to work on foot. And who could forget the aimless bombs or vagrants as they call it. Eww-ments! The car made an extreme left turn that sent Tianna swing and finally SPLAT! Her face made impact with the window. “Mum!”
“We’re here honey.” She was still smiling, excited, yes, probably. Whatever it was, mother had intended that today would be the best day ever, for her to keep smiling at least. Then, Tianna looked astonished and amazed at the monument threw the window where her face was. Sure make-up was smeared on it but, wow. Who would have thought that the Caribbean could have such spacious education facilities? For a third world country, this was first class. Then again, mother was sent to the best and biggest school the government of Trinidad and Tobago had to offer, Harmon School of S.D.A.
“The school is originally a private school” mother said “but technically, some flippiddy-floppitty story I don’t feel like telling you right now made it kind of a government school. It holds about one thousand kids and has a tennis court, 2 pools, a football field-” Tianna wasn’t hearing a single word mother was saying as she was blown away but the infrastructure before her.
“Mum, no one is here, its 7 in the morning on the first day of school. Who comes on the first day of school anyway, 7 in the morning? Only losers and nerds with no life” Tianna sounded logical and matter-of-factly. Realizing that she just called herself a loser and nerd because she had a perfect attendance record she hushed as mother reminded her of that perfect attendance. Snow, sun or sleet, Tianna was sent to school by car, train or zamboni. Jumping out the car like a spring buck, mother was practically running towards the school door that revolved automatically. She gave clownish smile at the door and at the car where Tianna was still emerging from the car. Finally making eye contact with her mother for a brief moment mother had just finished her newly invented and don't-try-this-at-home dance in front the doors and yelling woo-hoo running through it, the thought came to Tianna, Harmon had a crazy, hyper-actively fun principal and it was her mother.
"There goes my social life and fitting in"