TINA was eight feet two inches tall. She was born in a small village. Her parents were middle income earners and she was blessed with a kid brother and a ten year-old sister, three years younger than her. There was also Purfee, a little cat given to Tina by her father who was once a general in the army. The father lost his job due to a national crisis and later found himself in the village, with his family.
They lived in a two-room house that contained few chairs, two beds and some kitchen stuff. Before settling in this village, the family traveled from one place to another because her father had become an agriculturalist, always looking for good soil. It meant change of schools for Tina and getting new friends which was not something hard for Tina when the family finally settled in the new village. Majority of the parents were low to middle income earners. As a result the students did not worry about wearing expensive clothes.
So it was but for Tina she was accustomed to wearing tee-shirts, jeans and sneakers for school and was always in a hurry to tell her friends how she climbed one of the tallest trees during the day or how she went fishing with boys and caught the biggest fish.
“Honey, another great opportunity has come,” her father said to her as they ate supper one evening.
“What’s it?” Tina asked.
“I’ve been called back to the army and that means going back to the city.”
“Of course,” her father said, “and we are leaving a day or two from now.”
Just as almost everyone, especially kids cannot wait or even sleep on Christmas Eve, so was Tina who could not wait to find herself in an environment that was full of almost all the most talked about things, (zoo, skyscrapers, parks, popular schools and others.)
The next morning, Tina asked her father, “What hour will the camp motor arrive?”
“How big is the camp motor?”
“Like a 40 feet container.”
“Can it take all the big things we have here?”
“Did you say big things?” her father said.
Tina replied, “Oh, I forgot, we’ve just few things here but daddy are we to forget about our garden?”
SCHOOL was about to start and parents took their children for shopping. Tina’s parents too took her to shop for her usual wearing.
THE first day of school seemed to be the worse day ever in the life of ‘little’ Tina as she was always called by her father.
Entering the school’s fence, she stood and observed for a while and all she could see were girls wearing mini dresses, high heel shoes, purses and handbags, nails painted red and so on.
These were all teenagers like me, she thought. And just as everyone turned to look at Tina, who was standing above everyone, they shouted, “Tall Tina.”
Tina wondered how they knew her name. She tried not to faint which she actually wanted to. She could not stand her blue jeans, tee-shirt; her low cut hair and flat chest that looked like a billboard as compared to those students.
Tina felt out of place and wished she could have just evaporated into thin air and not be seen anymore. No student could learn in the class that day, for she felt eyes were teasing her.
During the class introduction, Tina who wanted to lie about everything could not do it when she introduced herself and called her name. The whole class went wide with laughter.
At home she told her parents about her experience and concluded that she did not want to return to the school.
However, they encouraged her.
“Whatever career that is in a person is within and can only come out by the persons’ determination to make the best of herself.”
Afterwards Tina realized she did not care anymore about being described as ‘Tall Tina’ or just a straight structure.
She did not care.