“So we’ll pick up from here tomorrow.” The teacher shouted above the slam of textbooks, ruffle of papers and zipping of book bags. I wanted to take a second to admire the always
inevitable classroom symphony, truly music to my hears. But there was no time to waste.
The clock officially read 2:00 p.m., and that was my heart’s cue to start pounding to a new, irregular beat. I heard that deep breaths helped, but when I barely saved myself from hyperventilating I decided that was the biggest lie I’ve ever been told. Under my breath I urged the people in front of me to, “move, oh God just move”, for the longer it took me to get out, the more I thought I’d die of a heart attack.
As I entered the horror that is the school hallways, I found myself in an obstacle course of adolescent proportions; landslides of books from lockers, bodies everywhere, and the ultimate choice of which stairs to take. Several freshmen were stopping and going, apparently confused. Last time I checked, walking down a corridor wasn’t a game of red light, green light. I ducked, I weaved, I collided with a few unsuspecting victims… and then I saw it. A clearing. I bolted.
As I approached my destination, my stomach did so many back flips it should’ve wont Olympic gold. I poked my head into the doorway, too shy to verbally make my presence known. I waited, and he didn’t notice. I could have backed out right then, just backed away… suddenly he looked up from his desk. “Hey you!” he exclaimed. I could say nothing in return. “I’ve been worried about you all day. Come, sit, talk.” He gestured kindly and like magic my heart slowed to a normal pace. I took a seat at an empty desk, and he sat beside me.
“Hi,” I said, barely above a whisper.
“Hi,” he responded, smiling with such warmth that my stomach retired from it’s acrobatic antics.
Before my brain could catch up with my mouth, issues had spilled out like a flood. Everything I thought I’d never speak of was now out on the table, free for his viewing. Thoughts raced through my head as I spoke, and in my usual manner I began to overanalyze. I was sure he was going to pick up his cell phone and let the authorities know I had to be committed, and fast. But to my utter surprise and relief, he just nodded, as if he was understanding. But that was impossible. No one I had ever talked to understood.
Yet he did. And I knew from that moment on I was in the right place.
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