I didn’t want to talk to anyone that morning. I didn’t even want to go to school. I took a cold walk to school, trucking through the slippery snow on the deserted side streets. When I arrived to my dreadful school, the sounds of my blasting hard rock from my headphones drowned out the voices of my friends and others at my school asking the same questions “Are you okay?” and “I’m so sorry Ryan.” I just responded every time with sass “I’m fine, thank you.” In reality, I just wanted everyone to leave me the fuck alone. I sat in class just questioning myself.
For four hours I sat in my thoughts just thinking. How will I ever get over this? I will I move on? What will I do without him? For those four hours, I felt insane. Until my history class, sixth period. I sat there silently, which was odd for my behavior. My teacher saw that. When the bell dismissed us, I was halted by him. I being only a little over 5’2 and him being a skyscraper of 6’4, he looked down on me like a god would. “Ryan can you stay for a second and talk,” he pointed at the seat across from his desk. I nodded silently and marched my way over. I sat down, looking at my bottom of my shirt that had a whole in it. My right hand started to fiddle with it, to keep me distracted.
My teacher sat down across me, let out a sigh, and sadly opened with “Ryan, are you okay?” I was really sick of hearing that today, so I responded hastily “Yeah, I’m fine.”
He looked at my longer, like he was studying me. Studying the position of my body on the old worn out chair, or the facial expressions I gave while my attention was centered on the whole, or how I couldn’t look him in the eye without losing my cool.
He then continued by saying “What I’ve learned in my forty five years of living, is that when you lose people, and sometimes the pain is to hard to bare.”
When he said that, the thing I’ve been trying to ignore all day hit me like a flood, I started to see tears fall onto the bottom of my shirt, one even got into the hole. He stopped for a second. He got up from his chair and he continued speaking while he walked around his shiny wood desk “Sometimes, someone was so important to you that it is so hard to go on, or you just lose yourself in all of the sadness and tears.”
As he got closer to me, I cried harder and harder. I felt the pain more. The pain of losing my best friend, the pain of not being able to say goodbye, the pain that without him, I was lost.
My teacher took a knee next to my chair, lightly putting his hand on my shoulder, and saying the words that I still here today “But Mike wouldn’t want you to be sad. He’s looking down on you right now, watching over you, and he always will. If you just remember that you will never be lost while you still have mike here.” he pointed to my heart.
I finally stopped fiddling with the hole, looked up at my teacher and gave him the first smile I’ve given in a long time. He hugged me and let me go on with my day, and when I left school that day, I was excited for the next one.