The old walls decorated Victorian style trembled by the passage of young students down the hallway in search of their classroom. The Owens college or University of Manchester, like the students call it has been established in 1851. Once I myself was a student here and now I am proud to call myself teacher on this very same facility. As one of the original six ‘brick universities’ the students are being respectfully taught in the arts of science.
The bells are ringing what means that it is time for me in going to the classroom. As I step into the room, I witnessed students hurry up to their seats as fast as they could. What causes the difference of students on middle school and university I would never no. I used to teach at middle schools as well, but they did not even waver until you made them aware of your presence. I crave for my former colleges that they still have to put up with the harshness. ‘Good afternoon class, todays lesson is to be about the effect of Histamine.’ Informing the students was an essential part of teaching, with this the students were able to think on the subject and reflect about what they already know. ‘Does anyone of you know what histamine is?’ Testing them always has been the best part. At first no one answered, but I would not let them go all that easily. ‘You, third stroke on the far left. What do you know about the subject, Ann?’ The classroom was actually more like a roman amphitheatre: in the middle there was the teacher surrounded by three low stairs, each stopping after three steps creating a level on which the students seats were designated.
‘I beg you pardon…uh…I’m sorry sir, I my thoughts were elsewhere.’ The young girls cheeks blushed from shame and I suited myself that this was enough punishment for her. ‘Please try to keep your mind focused on my lessons when attending them, Jeffrey?’ A blond boy with shaved cheek and a well fed belly stood responded nearly directly ‘Doesn’t that has something to do with allergies?’ Oh, students could explain everything so plain. ‘That’s true, but could you be a little more precise?’ The boy bit his tongue as he tried to remember it and answered ‘It had to do with the immune system, the wrong anti bodies are attached to white blood cells, they then free Histamine, the stuff that causes your allergy.’ I knew they would know it, I only needed to push them for a while, ‘That is correct, but remember that only two types of white blood cells are capable of this, basophil granulocytes and mast cells.’ The students attention was no longer attached on one another, but fixed on the story I told them ‘They, however, only house Histamine.’ The class became confused, one even raised his voice ‘But why does it come out then?’ I longed for this question and delicately answered ‘Because it isn’t meant to come out, that is why an allergic reaction enfolds. It attaches on the wrong proteins and that is the cause of, for example, suffocation.’ A girl in the frond with long dark brown hair and pearl blue eyes was amazed, but wary ‘But professor Starling, what purpose does it have then, if it only results in pain and torture?’ Now they start thinking and that is exactly the thing I want them to do. ‘That is, because the task of Histamine is not in the lungs, it is in the brains. Histamine works as a mediator between synapses, it is a neurotransmitter.’ And this way the whole lesson went, teaching the students what they need to know for their finals about neurotransmitters.
After all students left the classroom I grabbed my stuff and left the room. Thinking about today made me happy, those kids actually learned something from me for a change. It was a feeling of pride, I was able to mean something for them, for the future of society. And with that my last hour of work was at an end. I went to get my car and looked around campus if there still would be some wandering students. Mostly they would leave this area as soon as possible, but there would always be some spirits that would meet up here before leaving. I heard a sound of slipping rubber behind me and turned around. A bus came around the corner with vast approach. The driver had lost control over it and the bus headed directly at me. I jumped in the hope it did not hit me and I succeeded, I was yet to live another day.
Behind me I watched the horror that the bus created. A young girl was hit by it and her head laid on stone…a pool of blood surrounding her. I witnessed her trying to breathe some air and failing with every attempt. It was the young girl he taught this day, with brown hair and blue eyes. She was the same I saw when killing those men in the pits, she brought me back.
I opened my eyes slowly, because every movement would react in pain. I laid on a pile of straw, surrounded by wooden walls. Probably someone saw my injuries and brought me to a barn. It could be the one calling my name. No, I must have imagined it. Who would be dead in this year who knows me? Everybody I know still lives, except for...
And there she came, like an angle holding a cup of soup. I sat and tried to drink it. ‘Thank you for brining me here.’ She waited for a moment as if she wanted to say something, but did not think it would be proper to ask. But curiosity wins over sense. ‘Where, sir, did you get those branding marks.’ She pointed at a burned spot on my right ankle. I remembered the city burning and that mark would not easily disappear. No, it would be a reminder of that day. I sighed and answered ‘The city…it was burning, people were burned alive, the witch….smoke.’ She shushed me, I could not speak in clear words and she knew it. ‘I am sorry that you see me like this.’ The girl only smiled and said ‘Rest now, I will get you some more soup.’
© Copyright 2017 Dutch R. All rights reserved.
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