It was a hot afternoon, most students were in the dining hall. The SS3 students could be seen milling around in crazy dress styles. Some all packed and waiting for their rides, some had left and the rest packed, carried or said their final goodbyes to their juniors, teachers and friends. Some flew their shirts, some unbuttoned theirs, some had long pulled off their ties looking like ruffians and like every year, the teachers would turn their eyes away pretending to be blind. 

Yes, on a day like this every year a batch of SS3s' would say goodbye to this institute where they had spent 6 years of their lives. 

Looking at this young adults, each filled with the joy and sadness of leaving a place they've come to view as home.

Bliss, sat on her bed, her hands dexterously folding up her cloths, she, like most of her mates, had given out most of her belongings to her juniors. Her uniforms, daywears, sports outfits and a few other articles of clothing had all been given out. Suddenly, she looked up, her eyes roving over the building she had spent most of her years in boarding school in.

She looked out of the window, a smile gracing her features as she stared at the quadrangle, she looked at the cloth line where she would always run to make space for hanging her clothes after inspection every Saturday morning, the tap where she would make space immediately after night class every day, the gutters where she punished half of the junior students who'd crossed and where she started the jornwy of punishments in her own junior days, the cupboard room where most provisions that got missing were lost, the beds that belonged to most of her friends where they'd sat, gisting, gaming and reading. 

She glanced at the ceiling, a smile gracing her features as she remembered how she and her friends would hide themselves up there when the house mistresses would come in for a spot check in the evenings to know if all the students went for night class, the foam at one corner of her wardrobe which they had cut into two human shaped maniquins, which they would place on their beds while sleeping in the cubicles at night to avoid the sudden night raids the teachers would suddenly impose on them in the middle of the night. Her hostel, Yellow house, was the closest to the teachers quarters and it was very easy for the teachers to start a spot check in her hostel. Her cupboard held most of the contraband items used in her set. Indomies stuffed into cornflakes packs. Spices placed in milk tins. Phones sealed into sugar packs. The gas cylinder hidden inside her box. Her mattress was covered with a coloured bedsheet, another contraband item. She was dressed in a shirt and a pair of shorts (contraband). At the top of her wardrobe was a box, which no teacher had ever attempted to open and in there was every conceivable contraband the school could think of. Clothes, food stuffs and make-up items as well as pots. She smiled again. Within each corner of this hostel lay memories she would never forget. Memories of who she was and why she was who she was.

Her days as a junior were quite fun and so were her senior days. 

She would search all items belonging to the juniors girls in her hostel but they could all bring in their contraband items. They could also bring in for their seniors since the school most times chose to do the search for the seniors. Her corner, an end corner, since the house mistress refused to let her occupy a cubicle, had a door which led to the cubicle. From that angle she could see what was going on both within and outside the hostel. From that location she could spy on the CPG members and other school spies. 

She was a perfect, Yellow house House Captain, to be precise but she was most likely one of the students with the highest visits to the Principal's office. Unfortunately, it was impossible to actually pin any blame on her since she could effortlessly escape it.

Bliss smiled remembering the days she'd spent in all corners of the school. Empress College had trained her, slowly molding her from the timid girl who required help from her parents to do anything, the little girl who would have bent to peer pressure, the girl who had been shielded from all harm as a child to the Bliss who she was today. The independent girl who could make her own decisions, who could withstand peer pressure without galtering, the girl who could calmly decide her career path and the girl who had learnt to forge ahead in her path to reach her own goals.

Yes she'd picked some bad habits too, jumping windows and fences, picking locks and low-key tapping but who hadn't... The school had made soldiers of them in one hand, prisoners on another hand and criminals when one looked at it from.another standpoint but so what, they'd learnt because they were willing to survive. They'd learnt the good and the bad but they had also learnt to do the right things.

She found herself reminiscing, the memories of this institution filled her brains... The senior who on her first day had told her she wasn't suitable for  boarding house, the senior who'd told her that if she wanted to cry she could go back home and hug her mom.The seniors who'd introduced her to the bullying in boarding house, the times she'd cried and sworn she wanted to go home, the days she'd been punished, the memories were bitter sweet. They were the tales of her growth process. Back then all she'd believed was that she was being bullied, but looking back, she could only smile feeling grateful to those who had contributed to her growth in their own ways. Thanks to them, she'd emerged through secondary school stronger than she had been at the beginning.

Her memory drawn back to her childhood, to the place where it all began.

It was a cold morning,...

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