H had planned that he would do a lot of things after the bell rang. He would buy the violet balloon from the vendor and the candy floss too. He would walk as far as the flaky clouds would take him. He would bravely look up at the midday sun and challenge him to blind him. He would walk down the lonely alley of his blasphemies and whisper, “I am sorry” till the echo numbs him.

H thought he would go to the valley of roses, where the skies don’t laugh at the earth. He would drink from the babbling brooks and sleep under the jeweled inkiness. H would snuggle under the greenness abound, and he would have no grey demons to pin him. H would be free.

And there H thought he would tell her that he had been wrong all along. In his imagination H believed she would forget about the broken bridges and those painful shards of shattered dreams. He thought he would hold her hand and even might brave a kiss. Then they wouldn’t care about summer, winter or spring: they would sing and dance and laugh like the swallows of dusk! With her in his arms he would never want a thing more…

To his horror he never saw the valley, the dreams never came back, and the balloon flew away to some distant acres unseen, the roses were but thorns, the crystal but a quack. He could never hold her hand.

But the bell rang. The bell rang, not with a distinctive clangor but with a sarcastic snigger, as if only to say how silly H had been!