Birds of the feather, flock together! That’s how nine of us found our way to a table at the bar last Friday night, a few weeks before that and so on. We were in the same class at school since grade 6 at a girl’s only convent in Negombo. But from grade 6 we’ve been in different clicks on and off, with different other girls. But can’t remember how, we ended up together when we all departed our alma mater.
We were proud back benchers in our class at school. Barely listened to lessons, never listened to teachers, had food always on our hands (ALWAYS!). Our favorite time of the day was the interval. All 9 of us and some of our other friends, around 10-12 would gather around one table and eat everyone’s food packets one by one. That was a classic example of the theory ‘survival of the fittest’ because the ones who could eat faster and grab the most amount of food from over ten fighting hands would be fed, others would go home starving.
None of our teachers at school thought we would end up where we are now. They all might have thought some of us would run away with a man and get dumped, would not pass nor even complete our exams, or least would marry some man and be pregnant by 18. But we became none of that. At 24 years old now, none of us are married still nor pregnant. A score to us! Though we were the notorious bunch in class, all of us are now in good positions, making our parents proud. All of us studied well though we were looked down all the time, even have the best O/L results of our class in the bunch. All of us are in good careers, two air hostesses, one graduate of UOC, three studying business management, two in banking and accounts and one in IT.
Doesn’t matter how much we were hated by teachers at school, we were able to make tons of memories that we would still talk and laugh about over a pint of beer. We would be punished at least once a week for shouting in class. We would be asked to stand outside the classroom, in the basketball court or in front of principal’s office. We weren’t really shouting, but all of us were discussing from one end to the other of the class of our little crushes; if they smiled with us during class last evening and so on. Every girl in our class were paired with at least one guy. We would joke about them like we’ve known them from age 5, but to be honest, we haven’t even sometimes seen a photo of these boys. We’ve had nicknames made for all these guys so that when we talk about them out loud, teachers wouldn’t realize.
We dearly loved our school and still do. It has given us so many things; the knowledge, the decency, maturity and a lot more. Even though we hate some of the teachers who never saw any good in us, there were some teachers who always pushed us to be better at what we were doing. But most of the time good students were the front benchers. While many of those front benchers are doing well in state universities in Sri Lanka rebelling against SAITM, I bet we are the happier ones 😉
Though we are now all grown up, planning our weddings in the next two-three years, we are all still kids at heart. I know my chicas always have my back and if I want anything all of them are just a phone call away. I always treasure our little hangouts and I’m thankful for being able to stick together like this even though it’s been 5 years now since we left school. Thanks to our little WhatsApp group, we are always updated with the latest gossip in town and every time our friends in Doha or Australia lands in Sri Lanka, there’s a meet up with a few chilled beers. I pray to God that we’ll be able to stay like this forever. Some might migrate to far away countries and by the end of the day it would be just a few of us left, but we would always have each other in our hearts. I feel so lucky to be a part of this group and will always treasure our little moments. Through thick and through thin; that’s how we’ve always been.