OK, I’ll set the scene. One of the many down-sides about getting the bus to work is that all of the school children in the city seem to try to squeeze their pubescent frames onto the confined space of a bus going through rush-hour traffic. And once they’ve sufficiently squeezed themselves on, they then speak at the uppermost levels of volume that they can reasonably sustain, about all of the goss that’s going on in their micro-societies.
And this morning, the topic of the day was a young girl, who was apparently in year 11, making her 15/16 years old. This girl was pregnant with twins. And this was her fourth pregnancy, after having the first three terminated. She was with the same boy who seemed to encourage her to get the previous abortions, and this time he seemed, as the word on the street suggested, somewhat put out!
Now, neither the pregnant girl, nor the impregnator was on the bus, allowing this particular group of girls to speak their minds about the topic freely, never mind the 100 or so strangers that surrounded them… So amidst proclamations about how stupid the girl is, and how they would never allow that to happen to them, in the same jovial and boisterous tone, one of the girls announced, “I’d commit suicide if that happened to me”. For me, the whole conversation took a serious turn. For them, it was just another comment that they all whole-heartedly concurred with, adding jokes to cement their assent.
I understand that they are too young to be bringing up babies, and it’s probably one of the least ideal situations to find yourself in. But suicide? It really shocked me. It made me wonder about the weak will that these kids seemed to possess. That they’d rather end it all rather than struggle and, for all they know, eventually find themselves in a not so bad situation. It made it clear what school isn’t teaching:
Life is hard - find a way to deal with it.