Chapter 14:


The Ballad of the School Hallways

Class Opal. Everyone who studied, or was currently enrolled in Seth’s school had that strange thinking that this class was the third in rank among the four classes in Grade 8. It was under the supervision of Mam Mia as the class adviser, and many of its students were infamous for being repeaters, and troublemakers.


Personally, Seth hated going to this class. They were hopelessly noisy, and many of them would just come to class whenever there were exams going on. Also, they submit school requirements that were woefully incomplete, he and his fellow teachers thought they’d all fail their subjects…


Not to mention, Seth also had several students here who were in his advisory class two years ago. Yep, they failed before, and were now trying again.


“Sir? You okay?” a student asked him.

“Yep, I’m fine.” Seth replied, exhausted. Well, not only because he’s tired of keeping their noise down and telling them to sit properly and be still; that incident with Anne Marie still lingered in his heart. Seth wanted to skip work and stay at home because of sadness, but he didn’t want his absences to continue piling up. So, Seth had no other choice but to continue working.

Hmm…really, you’re not fine Sir,” she kept on bugging her teacher.

Seth stared sarcastically at his student. She couldn’t hide her awkward reaction when he did that; so she went back to her seat. Well, Seth knew she’s just concerned about him, but he doesn’t like to talk to anyone right now.

“Maybelle, thanks for your concern, but I am really fine.”

“No Sir, you aren’t,” Maybelle replied. “We know when you’re happy and when you’re sad. We’ve been together in this class for almost five months, and as what you always say sir—you know us and we know you as well.”

“…” Seth could only look at her in silence. This girl knows how to read him, huh?

“Yes, Sir, I think Maybelle’s right,” another student chimed in. “I also think you’re going through something.”

Haha…looks like I can’t hide anything from you too, Ellie,” he grinned.

“Of course, Sir! We’re your children, you know?”

Che! I don’t have any children to anyone just yet,” Seth jokingly replied. “More so, if they’re obnoxious and toxic as you guys!”

“Sir! Don’t you know our class got the cutest and kindest girls in the entire school?” a classmate of theirs named Princess declared.

“Also, the noisiest and naughtiest!”

Eh, we just take after you, sir!” Ellie countered, “You’re our father!”

Shut up! At least, ‘big brother’ would be enough! I’m only 27, you punks!”

Laughter followed their random talk. And then, things started to turn serious…

“You know guys, there’s a lady I loved for twelve years…”

“What?! Sir, you loved a girl for how many years?”

“It’s twelve! Are you deaf, Janica?”

“Sorry sir!”

“Well, continuing on, she’s my ex-girlfriend, and we’ve been together for twelve years…”

“Wow, that’s really long, sir. Aren’t you guys fighting from time to time?” Maybelle asked.

“Yeah, we do. But we try our best to understand each other, that’s why we reached that long together.”

“Aww…” the girls chorused.

Another one of the girls named Michelle put up another question, “What happened to you and her, sir? Did you break up?”

“Yep, it happened when I proposed to her…” Then Seth continued on his story about how they came together and how they fell apart. The girls of Class Opal listened intently as he narrated the events that led to his current sad, pathetic state. And when he finally finished his story…


H-Hey, Ellie?! Michelle? Why are you guys crying?” Seth was surprised when he saw the two girls with tears in their eyes.

“That’s so sad, sir! Now I understand why you’re like that!” Michelle answered.

Ellie cried like a baby. And Princess tried to cheer her up.

Seriously guys, Seth thought to himself, it’s just his story. It’s got nothing to do with them to be that sad!

“Well, we’re literally heartbroken for you, Sir!” Maybelle answered for them. “Look, you’re so kind and caring, and yet that girl dared to leave you for another man!”

Nah, hold it Maybelle!” he gently rebuked her. “You know, I may have been at fault, too. You see, I think I committed a mistake as well, like I may not have given her enough time she needs; or I may have not provided the care that she wants. There are many possibilities, but well, I will never know about it.”

“What’s her name in FB, sir?” Princess had a phone in her hands, ready to search the social media for his ex-girlfriend. Seth did not tell her name; but rather, he got his phone and let them see her through his account instead. That was to avoid shaming her, and also to let his students see what Anne Marie looked like.

Gosh sir! She has a kid already!” Janica commented.

“I told you so.”

“Don’t worry sir, instead of her, we’ll fill you with love as your students,” Ellie declared between her sobs.

“Thanks Ellie!” Seth gave her a head pat.

For some reason, these kids from class Opal turned out to be surprisingly sensitive than Seth previously thought. At first, he had the impression of them as selfish, spoiled brats who didn’t give a damn if the person around them was suffering already or not…

However, this conversation showed that Seth’s hopelessly mistaken.

They may be the worst class of this year, but he thought that there’s much more than to what his co-workers say about them. At least, these kids knew and tried their best when a person needed a companion to overcome sadness.


“Sir, cheer up!” Maybelle patted her teacher’s back.

“Yes, Sir! Come on, why don’t you join us in our recess?” Princess happily invited him, “We got Marvin in-charge of foods for this time.”

Ah no, I’m fine…”

“No, sir please!” Michelle pleaded, “Join us, or it won’t be special! Let us cheer you up!”

Seth thought for a second about the possible consequences of joining the students in their snack time. His fellow teachers always warned him to keep his distance from them, since if they got too close, they’d become too comfortable and their respect for him would go down. Seth had to keep a ‘certain type of appearance’ of a dignified teacher.

But, when he looked into their bright, happy faces, he finally found his answer…

To hell with fake appearances! He’s joining their happy lot!

And so, when the bell rang, Seth graciously partook of their food for snack time…


His respect and love for Class Opal increased since then…