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Student Feature

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by Sofia Oliveira P.

We are so proud to publish 14 year old, Sofia Oliveira P.’s work, a Brazilian girl who is learning so much English with us and improving not just her speaking and listening skills, but has just recently completed our 6 week, English Through Narrative Writing, course. Check out her incredible, 1200 word, story below!

Quarantine Nightmare.

It was Friday.  I was celebrating my birthday on a huge boat.  I was with my family and about ten friends.  I could see my friends dancing and swimming in the big, blue ocean. I heard the music playing and the waves were splashing softly against the boat.  After a while, I saw my mother coming towards me with a strangely happy face. What was going on with my mom, I thought to myself.  “There’s no school on Monday!”, she shouted. At first, I was very confused, and then my mom told me that I didn’t have school because of Coronavirus. I ran to the speaker and turned it off. They looked at me in a very confused way. “Sofia, what the hell are you doing?!”, they asked. “Can I have everyone’s attention please? – I have the pleasure of announcing that… from this Monday onward, we won’t have any school!!!”  We  were all very happy.  I was already imagining the next few weeks.  Me and my friends going to the beach, eating ice cream, buying popcorn to go to the movie theater, have sleepovers and go shopping with my best friends without the boys of course, they hate shopping.

The next morning, Paula and I went to the beach to meet the gang. Suddenly, we got a text from our friends saying they couldn’t go. “Why?”I asked them really angry, confused and upset. “Turn on the TV.” the text said. I turned it on and there it was, in all newspapers and reports. The reporter announced “We are starting quarantine now because of a new virus called COVID-19”. I was bewildered and dumb struck at the same time. At least I had Paula. Just then, I had an idea. MOM! I screamed around the house while I was looking for her. “Can me and Paula go to the beach,  just to say goodbye? Pleeease?” I begged her. “Sure. Me, your father and your brother will go too. We also need a last day at the beach”. We were all very excited. We went to the beach. When we arrived, my father and my brother went straight to the sea to surf, my mother talked to her friends and me and Paula went swimming. When the sun was going away, Paula’s parents were in the sidewalk waiting for her, and that was the moment when I knew I wouldn’t see her for a long time. That thought made me devastated. We hugged each other and said goodbye. For several days, I didn’t leave my bedroom. I was always trapped in between the close, pink walls, in my dark room, cut off from any physical contact with my friends and the world. I missed all my friends. I still could talk to them over the phone, but it wasn’t the same thing

A few days later, me and my family could stand quarantine no longer so we packed up our things and went to Itaipava. It was a paradise compared to our apartment in Rio. The garden was beautiful. It had lovely flowers, rangy trees and big intelligent dogs, who were mine. When we arrived the dogs were very happy to see us. They barked and jumped happily. At night Paula called me to talk. That night, she said that we are going to start to have homework, but  that wasn’t the worst part. “Next week we are going to start  online classes!” she shouted, almost making  me drop my phone. Three days later, I was going out of my mind. I didn’t understand any of the activities. I was afraid of the tests coming and that I would not be able to understand anything. It can’t get any worse I thought to myself.   

So my days were now filled with endless virtual classes with teachers droning on about I don’t know what. They were so boring, half the time I just turned off my camera and my mike and messaged Paula about how mind numbing online classes were! A month later, the teachers said that we were going to have tests and activities with grades. That  was all I needed. The teachers, not happy with adding online activities, something totally new and strange for all of us, now wanted to  have grades and tests?! I was already panicking about the homework, and now this?! I felt that my body was going to explode. My hands were sweating, my legs were shaking and my heart was pounding. “I’m gonna kill myself” – I thought dramatically.

I ran to my phone, almost dropping it in my stress. God, I hope Paula is not busy! I called her. “Please pick up, please pick up…” talk to myself. After a will she answered. “Hi.” “Hey, I have an idea.” “Shoot” – she said curiously. “How about we do a revision test?” “What do you mean?” “For example: we do the test ourselves, and then when we are finished, we both call each other and do a quick review, to see if we got everything right.” “I love that idea” –  she said happily. From that moment, we did pretty much every test together. A week later, the exams are over and today is the day all the students find out how they got on. Immediately, I called Paula. I want her in that moment with me.  “Paula, the grades are out. Have  you already seen them?” “No, I’m really nervous. Do you think I did ok?.” – she asked me, looking very worried. . “Oh come  on, you’re one of the best students in the whole year. You always get the highest scores.” I reassured her “All right, let’s stop wasting time  and see our grades.” – said Paula, all bossy. Anxiously, I opened the results   email, Paula was on the line as I clicked… at first, nothing happened.

I resisted the urge to press on the link again, but suddenly, the email sprang open, and I could see my results right in front of me. Oh My god!!! I had gotten straight As in everything. “Paauuulaaaa!! You won’t believe it. I got excellent grades! I can’t believe it! I’m so happy!!” When I looked down to see why she wasn’t answering me, I realised my battery had died. “Oh noooo! Why has this happened now of all times?!!  I thought to myself very dramatically. I ran into my bedroom and connected my phone to the charger. While my phone was charging, I realised how Paula being with me in that moment was so important to me. She has always helped me so much with everything these last few weeks. A few minutes later, my phone came back to life. I desperately called Paula again, and I gave her the incredible news. She was so excited and so happy for me. Not like some friends, who get jealous when you do well. Before our call ended, I told her how much I loved her and appreciated her friendship and support. Of course, she was all Paula about it. Sweet, caring and goofy. “Awww. I love you too.” We said goodbye and we hung  up.

Some people are lucky to have a best friend. I’m even luckier. I have a friend like Paula. Someone that will never stop fighting for me. Who will stay with me in all the good moments and in the bad moments. If you find someone like that in your life, never let go. Because this is a friend to have for life.

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