Sunday, January 22, 2017


Middle school was a whole new game. New classmates, new subjects with a different teacher for each, quite exciting for a newbie like myself. Our classroom was at the far end of the single-storey school building, with a bush of light purple flowers blooming outside a window all year round. Yet what I remember the most was something that did not even happen in my class or to my friends.

It happened to a chemistry teacher who was also new to the school. She was young, good-looking and said to be fresh out of wherever teachers were trained. She did not teach my class because in those days kids started chemistry in eighth grade, which was two years ahead of us. I did not pay much attention to her until she was not seen around anymore.

She had been arrested.

A newcomer to the village, she had been given temporary lodging in a back room at the school office. Rumor, later confirmed, had it that one day the principal rummaged through her stuff and found at the bottom of her suitcase a sheet of music. It was one of those love songs from the non-communist years and as such condemned and forbidden. The principal then called the police on her.

A couple of months later during break suddenly it felt as if there had been a big gush of wind sweeping through the whole schoolyard. All the kids started to run towards an empty field right next to the school while yelling "Miss Hue! Miss Hue!" I joined them and behold, there was a line of prisoners walking under police guard to wherever they were supposed to do forced labor for the day. Miss Hue was among them, using her hat to shield her face. After they were gone we got back to the school premises and I saw the principal standing outside, scowling really hard at us.

Then one day Miss Hue was released. She stopped by to see my neighbor and told her story. She left for her home faraway and I never saw her again. The principal stayed for much longer and did his darnedest to ingratiate himself to his new bosses, but life would have its own twists to astound everyone.