I am a page from a 4-line notebook. I have lines on me – 4 each about 6 times. Each begins with a red line with two blue lines sandwiched between another red line. I wasn’t even torn from the middle page. I am that page that comes off when some page in the front is torn off. A strange victim of chance.
I have not been written on. I lie on the floor. It is cold. I do not remember how exactly I got here. It feels strange not to feel the other pages pressing down on me. I have a small odd shaped fold on my bottom right. Maybe that happened when I was haphazardly shoved into the bag when the bell went off.
I hear some scratchy noise. Rhythmic but scratchy. I see some dust, strands of hair, a broken pin and remanants of an eraser moving towards me. I am being picked up with all the dust, hair, pin and mortal remains of the eraser swept on to me. I do not like the feeling. It feels like the itch at the back of your throat where you cannot reach! The dust is making me grey. It is moving all over me. I suddenly feel quite wasted. Until now it didn’t dawn upon me that I would no longer be written upon.
It was not that I was waiting for my turn. I was not looking forward to it. But everytime I saw a page in the book being written upon with the pencil pressing itself to leave a mark, I knew I was one step closer. I had spent pretty much all the time since the name was written on the first page anticipating my turn to be bruised. In fact I was so far behind in the book that I did not even have the tell tale signs that the other pages (not written upon) have because the pencil pressed itself so hard on someone before.
But now that I know I won’t ever get there I strangely feel left out. I cannot believe that this is how it is going to end. I did not think of myself to be immortal. But I was also quite certain of my journey. Most pages meet the same fate. Of course there were always those who became a rocket or a plane and flew. Just for a few seconds but still they felt the air breathe life into them. I envied them. No. I actually envied those few seconds. I knew they did not last long after their exhilirating flight. Some kid always stepped upon them or some teacher always threw them into the dustbin. I never really thought of what I would like to be – the page that was bruised and marked by someone else but lasted a while almost a year sometimes or the rocket which lasted a few seconds but breathed the best. I did not think because it clearly wasn’t a choice. I do not know.
But to not meet either seems cruel. I can feel myself moving towards my end. I am not going to let this be. In my head, I see myself being that rocket, plane maybe a bird. I see myself gliding. I can hear laughter. I can see the rest of the pages far below. I can sense their envy looking upto me while they are encased between two drab brown covers. I see myself falling slowly. I see the ground reaching upto me. I slide on to it. I feel the ground scrape beneath me. It burns.
Thump! I hear the pin fall into the bin, the hair falls in. the eraser clings on like I can save its life. I can’t see but I sure do feel my beatific smile across me. I slide in, dust all over me. But I now have lived. Even if it was in between my own lines.