Updated: Mar 5, 2021
This is a story about a boy whose name was Gabriel Johnson. He studied in ‘St. Matthew’s boys’ boarding school’. He had spent almost seven years in this dreary boarding school. Now, he was about 14, an ordinary high-schooler studying in 9th grade. But wait, the word ‘Ordinary’ doesn’t describe him the best. Probably, the word ‘Girly’ would do good. That’s what everyone called him. This boy, like everyone on earth, was unique in his own way. Perhaps, he wasn’t as cool and smart like the other boys. He was the weakest in sports and quite sensitive. Sometimes, his performance in academics would be average, but most of the time, he was below average. He wasn’t too good at expressing himself. He was a common victim of practical jokes and all kinds of bullying. He wasn’t great at self-defense. He was often tortured both mentally and physically by the bullies. He was afraid to face the boys of his school. He felt totally disturbed and useless. But he wasn’t as useless. He was a patron of art. He adored music and art. He was undoubtfully a master in arts. But that’s the reason why he was defined as ‘Girly’.
“Excuse me sir! We have a girl in a boys’ boarding school. Dismiss her from our school now!” the boys would say. “Cry baby, cry baby.” They’d tease him. Gabriel however, was used to all of these malicious comments by the boys. He neither found counselling as a better way to decrease his depression, so he decided that he’d have to face the situation on his own and live a boring school life. Whenever it was sports period, he would go to the music room and sit in the tranquilness of the sound proof walls, composing songs and writing lyrics to them. But on the other hand, Gabriel was never going to let this injustice continue all his life. He always prayed and believed that god will make a way for him.
About a few weeks later, the loudspeakers in the school auditorium were resonating with the school’s principals’ hoarse voice, “Ahem! A wonderrrful morning to all my dear students of St. Matthews’ boarding school,” Gabriel found his principal’s accent quite funny. But more than that, he was anxious about the talent show competition taking place in his school for the first time in 28 years! The school was decorated as though kings were going to visit the place. A grand stage was built with remarkable lighting and professional sound systems were also set up. Such contests were just a dream for him to take place in a school which was more into academics. Today, he was living that dream. And he was never going to lose this opportunity. It was his turn to seize his moment. “I have immense pleasurrre to host ourrr first talent search competition in ourrr school in 28 years.”, echoed the gruff voice of the school principal. “I hope all of you have preparrred well forrr today’s special event.” And he continued giving the students a fifteen-minute lecture about co-curricular activities. But our young artist, Gabriel Johnson didn’t give at least 1% of his attention to his wise principal’s words. He was rather busy figuring out the final line of this awesome song that he had created. He had come to the event, wearing his best clothes and also carried a guitar with him. There was a panel of judges who were professional directors, producers, choreographers and performers. Many students performed on stage. Some did magic shows, some danced, some sang songs (most of which were out of tune), and some did stand up comedies too. Gabriel however, was too busy to pay attention to them.
“And now, let me call upon Gabriel Johnson on stage to show us his talent.”, the show host announced. Gabriel’s heart was jumping out of his chest. He was super nervous. But he tried to gain confidence and took his first step. As the audience saw his face, they started demotivating him with many thumbs downs and boos and chanting loser. Someone shouted out, “What is girly doing on our stage? Wasn’t she supposed to be dismissed from our school?” And some wicked laughter was heard in the background. Gabriel could have given up. But he was too late to back off. He tried to gain confidence and said in the mic, “Good morning everyone. I’m Gabriel Johnson from standard 9. Today, I’ll be performing a song that I have composed. I hope you like it.” Then someone from the audience cried out,” Is the song about Barbie dolls?” and again some cruel laughter could be heard. The judges were displeased by the mean behavior of the boys and it was clearly visible through their faces. But they didn’t say anything. Gabriel pretended as though he didn’t hear a thing and started plucking his guitar strings. Then he began to sing. As soon as he opened his mouth, people started feeling as if this young artist had brought heaven down to earth. He had the voice of an angel. Everyone had their eyes fixed on Gabriel. The boys of his school got goosebumps. Every harsh heart melted down. This master piece created by Gabriel brought a heavenly ambience to the auditorium. This young artist's voice won the hearts of everyone in the auditorium. The song was a slow ballad, an emotional one. Towards the chorus, he sang:
“And let me say, my good byes to you forever.
Let me wish you all the happiness in heaven”
The lyrics of the song made everyone realize that Gabriel was an orphan. The song was so touching that tears filled every pair of eyes in the auditorium. Gabriel, himself couldn’t stop himself from crying while singing. He had poured down his sorrow into the song. He had brought his entire soul into the song. Later, people also realized that he was brought to the school by a group of NGOs so that he could be educated.
After his performance ended, everyone, including the boys who bullied him stood up and clapped with tearful eyes. Gabriel received an enormous standing ovation. He was thrilled. He was awarded 1st prize too. While receiving the trophy, he gazed up towards the sky, from where he could see his parents looking down to him from heaven with proud smiles. Now, everyone had started to like him. He had friends. He was no longer bullied. He completed his final years of schooling in the most memorable way. After all, his school life was memorable. All thanks to the inviolable bond between him and his passion which helped him to smile. This was a lesson for everyone to never judge a book from its cover.