Return to Newlands Manor

Newlands School

When you revisit your past, you must question which part of it you let define you. It could be a person, an object, maybe even a misfortune. For me, it was a private school in Seaford. Newlands School. It made me fearful and socially awkward. But seven years have now passed since I attended. By returning to such a place, surely my fears would be conquered? Well, I was going to find out.

I got in through the boys’ changing rooms. A room that was once filled with lockers had become a room filled with broken furniture and demolished walls. It literally looked as if a bomb had hit it. To my dismay, the smell of sweat was still present. So at least one thing hadn’t changed! Now, as with many boys changing rooms, there was much mischief to be found there. Boys talk about girls in ways you wouldn’t even begin to imagine, and many tried to pull down your pants for a laugh. But now it was simply frightening. This was only cemented further by the fact that there was a noose hanging from the ceiling, and a chair was just beneath it as well. A shocking scene. Maybe one of the reasons the school closed? I guess some kids literally didn’t survive school.

Walking through the corridors was both creepy and nostalgic. Creaky floorboards and dusty photos of old students would leave me gasping. But also coughing, since the hallways were filled with dust. As I went around every corner I half expected something horrible to jump out. Maybe that was because of the harrowing appearance it had, or it’s possible that my memories were getting the better of me. The bullies would use the music practice rooms to hide until we were close enough to scare. Those rooms now looked like prison cells, what with all the exposed brickwork and its small interior. Ironic really, as the bullies would also lock us up in there for a laugh. Then boom. Before you knew it you were late to registration. The more I explored the more it really did feel like a prison, complete with cells, harassing inmates, and even suicides. However, to my great delight, my old guitar was still there. I used to play it while waiting for somebody to come unlock the practice room. Things no longer felt haunting, as I played it for the first time in years. Just nostalgic.

On my way out, I found myself in a school photo. A scared little boy. My eyes glanced from the photo to my reflection in the mirror next to it. That’s when I realised that this school no longer defined me. The boy who had once walked these corridors had grown up and was no longer scared. As I left the school grounds, the tree leaves danced in the wind. They would soon fall, just as the school did. However, new tree leaves would soon grow and bud anew. Just like me.

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