Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

2011-2012: Love Letter to Clara. My First Website. Smoking a Pipe.

2011. I dropped out of the eleventh grade, didn't start my own business, and couldn't find an apprenticeship. I felt like a failure. Quitting time-consuming computer games was difficult because they were just too much fun and distracted me from my fears about the future. The virtual world was the only place where I achieved success and made progress. Nevertheless, I had the desire to do something meaningful. So, I created my first website called Darksoft using a free Russian web provider recommended by Max, as his gaming clan also used it.

The content management system was called UCOZ and was quite easy to use. I familiarized myself with the system, started learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create my own design for the website. I tried to implement every new knowledge immediately, which led to constant changes in the website design. Sometimes it was dark, sometimes light, sometimes colorful, sometimes angular, sometimes round. The website filled up with my diary entries, thoughts, and imagined theories from various fields, whether it was computer science, philosophy, psychology, or poetry. To ensure that all my content could be found on Google, I gradually taught myself search engine optimization.

Of course, I had to continue looking for an apprenticeship. My mother would never have allowed me to do nothing for my future. So, until the beginning of the new school year, I couldn't dedicate all my time to my new hobby but had to continue searching for an apprenticeship. Since I didn't manage to find one by the start of the new school year, I eventually had to continue attending school. I looked for one that offered something related to computer science or computers in general. The next best choice was a technical high school in Hildesheim, the Werner-von-Siemens-Schule.

It was a half-hour bus ride from home. However, I still had to walk a little from the train station, which I didn't mind because the fresh morning walks to school relieved my tiredness - at least until I entered the school.

Surprisingly, during school breaks, I met my friend Alexey, who had to go through an additional year for his technical college entrance qualification after his apprenticeship. Sometimes during this school year, I spent the breaks with him - but also with two girls, which were a rarity in this school. The Turkish girl felt bullied by the boys at school, so she left after a year. The other girl, Clara, had blonde hair and wore square glasses that suited her. She was in the other eleventh grade and was rather unremarkable - nothing about her would have immediately caught the boys' attention at school - but she was nice. During breaks, we spent most of the time together.

Clara came to my house a few times because she needed help with her homework in information processing and I was reasonably good at it because of my hobby. Coincidentally, when she typed the letter P into Google search, she discovered my search history, which included pornographic search terms. While I was overcome with embarrassment, she simply clicked on a porn movie without batting an eyelid. A woman was kneeling in front of a man while the man pushed his penis into her orally. The woman made gagging noises. We just looked at each other for a moment and started laughing. We had forgotten to turn down the speakers because this funny gagging noise didn't sound like porn at all. When my mother burst into my room, I quickly closed the browser window.

"Okay, enough of that. Let's get on with IT," I said and we returned to the actual topic.

The next day, I was sitting in the break hall with Clara again. But this time it was different between us. Somehow we got onto the subject of the toilet. Just before the big break was over, we looked at each other briefly.

"Sasha, do you want to go to the toilet together?" Clara said to me with a sexual undertone, while all the students were already getting up from their benches and going to their classes. I continued to look at her while my brain had to process what she had said. The corridors slowly emptied.

"Sure, why not? The main thing is that we don't get caught by a teacher. I'll follow you!" I replied resolutely, thinking about the condom I had in my bag.

We sneaked into a women's toilet on the top floor and locked ourselves in a cubicle. I had to pee urgently. Clara turned around and looked out of a small window while I did.

"Clara, do you want to see my penis?"

"No," she replied dryly, without taking her eyes off the window.

"Okay, that's too bad. Let's get back to class then," I replied and zipped up my fly. We snuck out again and went back to our classes. I was totally confused.

When I walked into the classroom, everyone stared at me while my English teacher noted my tardiness. I sat next to André at one of the back tables because there was a free seat next to him, and the seating plan wasn't always followed. It was too far from the board, so due to my shortsightedness caused by spending too much time on the computer, I couldn't see anything except my teacher's wobbling bottom. I had a pair of glasses in my bag, but they were too embarrassing for class because they looked like safety goggles from chemistry class. So, I just doodled bored pictures in my notebook, which I always did when the class was excruciatingly boring. Additionally, André whispered his jokes because he knew they would make me laugh. It worked as usual, which led to the teacher kicking me out of the classroom.

Outside the classroom, I thought about my relationship with Clara. Somehow, I had a bit of a crush on her. Also, I felt like she was sending me clear signals that she was into me.

Love Letter to Clara

2012. One afternoon, I decided to try my luck with Clara. Most students had already finished, and the empty hallway was filled with silence. The warming sun rays penetrated the large windows of the hallway, where I stood anxiously waiting for Clara to appear in this passage. The longer I stood there, the faster my heart beat. The school bell startled me. She must be coming soon. The first students passed by me; probably heading home. Then came Clara.

“Hey, who are you waiting for?”

“Actually, I'm waiting for you. I knew you'd be done soon,” I replied. “I wrote something for you,” I continued.

She took the letter in her hand and wanted to open it.

“Wait! TOP SECRET! Better open it at home!”

“Alright, I have to go anyway. See you later,” said Clara, looking at me skeptically.

I couldn't sleep that night. I stared at the ceiling in the darkened room and kept thinking about whether Clara had already read the letter with my confession of love, and if so, how she had reacted.

The next day during break, I waited for her on the bench and ate my packed lunch. When she entered the hall, she didn't even come to me; instead, she joined the other nerds. She pretended not to know me at all. I already suspected that it hadn't turned out as I had hoped. When I confronted her about it, she just said she wasn't interested in a relationship.

Since that letter, she only hung out with other guys. She didn't even greet me anymore. Alexey wasn't always there, so since then, I mostly spent breaks alone, while various groups of students, the nerds, the cool kids, and the regular ones chatted incessantly about something or other.

I got along well with all these groups, but it still felt like I wasn't really on the same wavelength with anyone, so a friendship might develop. Nevertheless, I tried not to stand out too much as an outsider. I didn't sit too far away from others, especially to avoid attracting the gaze of the supervising teacher roaming the hallway.

Most of the time, I pretended to be reading a book and therefore didn't have time to chat. Meanwhile, I just stared into the open math book. But in my thoughts, I was with Clara, who was a few meters away from me, talking to other guys and laughing from time to time. It felt like she was laughing about me.

Sometimes, when I discreetly lifted my head to briefly glance at her, our eyes met. Then I quickly turned my face back into the book. Sometimes my gaze also met the gaze of the supervising teacher. He probably noticed my outsider status. So it was best to leave the school and take a walk around the block until the break was over.

While strolling through the city, I stopped in front of the display window of a tobacco shop. The wooden smoking pipes reminded me of Albert Einstein, who always smoked a pipe. I decided to go into the shop. When I opened the door, a bell rang, announcing my entrance. No one was at the cash register. It was quiet, and it smelled of some aromatic tobacco.

Suddenly, an old man emerged from behind the counter.

“Looking for a good pipe?” In that moment, I thought about how cool it would be to smoke a pipe and feel like Einstein.

“Are you still there?” he asked me again while I was lost in thought.

“Yes, I'd like to have an inexpensive pipe first. I'm still a beginner at this,” I blurted out spontaneously.

He recommended a black pipe for fifty euros. Along with it, filters, pipe cleaners, and cherry-flavored tobacco. I felt a bit sorry for spending so much pocket money at that moment, but the experience was worth it. Besides, pocket money was piling up for me anyway because I didn't know what to spend it on—except maybe for a chocolate bar or a cheese roll.

On the next school day, instead of sitting around in the hall during the break, I went outside the school, where over-eighteen students and a few teachers were hanging out and smoking. From my backpack, I pulled out my new pipe, already filled with tobacco, and lit it. After a few puffs, a huge white cloud, like a mushroom cloud, formed around me, overshadowing all the other smoke clouds. This drew the attention of all the smokers to me. For a brief moment, I was suddenly in the spotlight. Somehow, I liked that.

“That's pretty cool, can I have a drag?” asked a smoker standing nearby.


It was always easy for me to grab the attention of others with crazy activities if I wanted to. But building and maintaining good friendships or a romantic relationship, that didn't seem to work out for me in Germany.

Future Learnings from 11th Grade:
  • I should never wait for something that interests me to be taught in school. I should learn it myself!
  • The knowledge of how to create and build a website will later help me become financially independent.