The grey dorm where I was placed after I took my ‘Graft test’ is where I call home. Yes, it may been small and had nothing on the walls, but it was mine and only mine. It held all of my best and worst memories, from when I wanted to punch a hole in my wall because I forget to plug my phone in the previous night, to when I moved my nightstand and painted the wall with my best friend Drew. But like I said it was my home. I have the most beautiful bed that takes up 87.4872% of my room, it has brightly painted Chinese flower gardens. But the absolute best part of my tiny little house was the closet. This is the only part of my room I was allowed to paint because, when parents came to the school they usually took a look at the dorm’s and the owner of the school wanted it to look presentable. Anyways I painted it bright yellow, to color of the sun and happiness. This was where all of my creative juices flowed and where I didn’t worry if it was up to par and as good as everyone else’s. I was free to just be a kid. Yes, this sounds cliche because most kids want to grow up but, not me I was tired of having to be proper. This closet was the place where I could paint and dance and where the words bad, ugly, weird, and a waste of time were not in the vocabulary. But words like color, creative, and perfect were the most used and almost used too much. Maybe my room was small and crowded but, it was mine. Most of the time this was the only thing I had for sure.
Other than my closet my favorite place was most definitely the old wooden bench on the far right side of the school. This is where I spent most of my mornings before class. Every day there was a vibrant sunrise painted with the color of the wind. Every fall morning I would wake up, make coffee, get dressed in a burnt orange sweater, and hide my dark brown, almost black, curly, unmanageable hair under some type of beanie, then pour the hot coffee into my favorite mug that Drew gave me, grab my backpack and walk to the bench. This morning is one of the best days in a long time because, the leaves are finally falling to the ground. And the birds are coming out and singing. This is also when I try to count the trees, but it gets really hard to do because the sunrise is so breathtaking it takes a lot to not just get lost in the colors. And in the winter most people say that the trees are ugly and dead but I just tell them that’s why I like them. Yes it sounds weird but just think about this, they look ‘ugly’ because they have no leaves but that to me looks like when bad stuff in your life happens you just have to let it go, just how the trees let go of the leaves. Trees only let go of the leaves cause they need the nutrients and they are simply getting rid of things that they don’t need. Anyways, one of my professors told me “you need the darkness to lead you to the light” and I never truly understood what he meant until now. And now that I do it has opened my eyes to many great things in my life.
As I sat there this morning my best friend Drew saw me.
“ Why do you always sit here alone” he said like he truly wanted to know.
“ It’s because this is the best place in the whole school to clear my mind”
“ I wish I could help you and make you feel safe” he remarked with pain in his soft voice.
“ But you do, but sometimes I just need to talk to the birds”
“ The birds” he remarked sounding weirded out “ now I have proof you are weird”
“ HaHa, but I don’t ever want you to feel like you are not important to me, because you are the only one that matters to me” I said almost crying.
“ Good. Can I sit?” he asked.
“ Yes.” we sat there for what felt like hours, but in a good way like we could’ve gone for many more hours.
We only got up because we heard the sound of first period class. That was both the saddest moment of the day due to the fact that we had to leave this breathtaking moment, and the best because Drew was able to truly feel the type of release that I had always felt after watching the sun wake up. Either way I looked at it I knew that we had gotten closer that day. And now we had to move quickly or else Mr.Burns would put us on cleaning duty, which meant that we stayed after class and cleaned which would then mean that we would be late to our next class and we would be put on cleaning duty again. So in a nutshell we would have a horrible day.
We walked to math class and met up with our friends Liza Mendosa and Cody Fulken. We found our seats and to our surprize Mr.Burns had a substitute, Mrs.Danielle, she was pretty with long blond curly hair. She told us what we were going to do that day and explained that she is the Orchestra teacher and that her math skills were limited to adding the beats together. She actually sounded like she was nice which was a dramatic change from regular class.Then she took roll
“ Kattie Lawson”
“ Here” she said yawning.
“ Nina Garcia”
Is it just me or when kids say present instead of here it gets on your nerves, like seriously what are you trying to prove!
“ Zac Posen”
“ Yes, oh sorry here” Zac always says that like he is caught off guard or something.
“ Santana Nam”
“ Here” remarkably she said it without her usual “ it’s Santana not Santana”
“ Gabbie Hannic”
“ Here” I said like a normal student.
“ Drew Hallmark”
She proceed to call Liza and Cody and a few other students. Class went well but I couldn’t really think due to the fact that all I could think about was this morning, the beautiful sunrise and how close I got to Drew. Also, not trying to brag, but I was top of my class and if I missed one class it would be ok. After class we made plans to have pizza at lunch. D, aka Drew, but I usually call him D, and I both had third period off which happens to be right before lunch so we said that we could go and grab the pizza.
Next class was World History so Liza and I walked to class and we talked all about D and me. When we finally got to class Mrs.Diaz asked us to pass out papers. When all of the other kids filed in and found their seats we started on the most boring class in the whole school. Mrs.Diaz was nice but the stuff she had to teach was horrible, like who cares about who created the hot air balloon. Today wasn’t that bad, thankfully. We learned about the Great Plague which was caused by rats that had been bitten by plague infested fleas. Then the rats got onto boats and spread the plague to many different countries. Anyways, today wasn’t that bad. When that most glorious sound, the bell, that said class was over rang, every person in that class went like “aww, yes” because we could leave! I waved bye to Liza and walked to D’s car and waited for him to walk out of his Advanced Art class.
“ Hey babes” P.S. D calls everyone babes.
“ Hola weirdo” I tried to pronounce in a Spanish accent.
“ Still trying that Spanish thing out”
“ Hey!! For your information I know like 32 words in Spanish”
“ You only know that many because whenever we go out to Mexican you always ask them to say the food you ordered in Spanish, so does that really count? he said jokingly
Trying to change the subject I simply said “ Whatever, let’s just go get some pizza.”
We hopped in his car and went to the other side of the campus where the Blaze pizza was. It was kinda weird because we were never allowed to leave the campus for ANYTHING. This is so strongly enforced that there were guards in front of the gates. I had never wanted to leave but nevertheless it always made me think “what is so bad about the outside world?” Then, that makes me think “maybe the outside world is fine and we have it bad.” Anyways, we had ordered our usual before we got there because lord knows how much D hates waiting for pizza. He is a religious user of the microwave and always say it if can’t be cooked in a minutes or less it shouldn’t be eaten. Lucky for us Blaze Pizza is known for its promise to cook a pizza under 3 minutes with their fire heated brick ovens. It was about a 10 second drive and I know that we could have walked but I love his car radio. It reminds me of when my mom would drive because she would blast the music to cover what she had done. I know that it sounds like a bad memory but it was one of the only ones I had of my parents because they ALWAYS were working. It was like they had to figure out a math problem and if they didn’t the world would come to an end.
“ Gabbie, Gabbie GABBIE” D screamed.
“ Wait, what, why are you yelling at me?” I asked.
“ You are starting to tear up and cry; are you ok babes?”
“ Yeah I just… never mind.” I so badly want to tell him that I just want to cry and have a day off and just lay in bed and talk and just pretend not to be in this school. I just want to pretend that I am a normal 15 year old girl.
“ Please tell me I want you to trust me”
“ I do. I just want a day where I forget that I haven’t talked to my parents in 8 years. And I just want to stay in my dorm and wear comfortable clothes and eat ice cream and mashed potatoes.” I feel like a huge weight was just lifted off of my chest.
“Then let’s do it. Tomorrow we can go to the campus store and get all the food you want. And we can call in sick tomorrow!” D said the most perfect thing that he could have said!
“Thank you that sounds like music to my ears. Let’s get this pizza and go”
We got the pizza and walked to his car. We drove back and met up with Liza and Cody. They both looked like they had just been in the most boring class in the world. But to be fair they kinda were, it wasn’t as bad as Mrs. Diaz’s class but it was up there. They had math. It was not that bad for me because math is my best subject. But for a regular person it was legit hell. Excuse my french. We took out a blanket from D’s car and sat down.
I don’t really remember the rest because… well I don’t know why I just like blacked out. I think I went to my classes but all I remember is waking up in the middle of the night in my bed with my Pjs on. I wish I remembered but I don’t. I called D in the middle of the night freaking out, told him what happened and he said he would be right over.
When he arrived I was freaking out and hyperventilating because I couldn’t remember the last 8 hours of my day. He told me that I went to all of my classes and that I seemed normal, then he said that I probably had too much on my mind. I started to believe him and I asked him if we went to the store and got the snacks and he said yes. This was so hard for me to understand because I have a photographic memory and how could I not remember what happened a few hours ago. Anyway, he said to go back to sleep and that when, in the morning, I told the school I was sick, to call him and he would come back over.
In the morning I called the school first thing. I followed a tip Cody told me. If you’re trying to sound sick, you lay on your bed and have your head laying off of it, this makes you sound more congested. Anyway, I did that and said that I had a really bad cough. They believed me, maybe because I’m a great liar or because I’m never sick. I called D and he did the same. I was starting to convince myself that I could remember and that this was all just a dream. Maybe I did have too much on my mind; maybe I was just overreacting; maybe I was just crazy. Regardless, I needed the day off and was happy that it was today.
When D came over he had all of our snacks that we got yesterday. We put the food in the microwave and made a big fort out of pillows and watched Netflix. But NO Christmas movies because it wasn’t even December!! We decided to start a show called Grey’s Anatomy. When we heard the ding of the microwave we looked at each other and jumped up with JOY! That meant the mashed potatoes were ready. I know it sounds weird but mashed potatoes are my favorite food. When we opened the microwave the most delicious smell ran out and flooded my small room. They were cooked perfect, we added garlic salt and pepper. I filled my bowl with the magic white fluff that us simple people call “taters.” I know I sound like a weirdo but they were so good! Then we moved back to the fort and turned the show back on. We watched some more TV and did some homework. But then he stopped me and said this is your day off not a work at home day. I was kinda mad because I need to finish that work but happy because he was right. Then the worst thing happened… a knock on the door! That means that the school nurse was at the door. Drew knew exactly what that knock meant and he ran into the closet. Luckily for us the door was locked so we had time before she unlocked it. When she came in she saw the pillows on the floor and said “ why are these here?” The only thing I could think of was “I had a pounding headache and just couldn’t get comfy” she seemed to believe me. She took my temp and I was normal, then she checked my blood pressure. She looked worried when she looked at the results. I asked her why she was so worried ad she said that my results were 140 over 100… then she said that she was going to take me to her office. I was so mad, my day off turned into my day in the nurse’s office!
Before the nurse left to go get a wheelchair (they have to do that when we are sick) she called the office and said “blue.” Now in my mind I’m thinking ‘crash cart’ because in Grey’s
Anatomy that is that what code blue means. On her way she said I will be back in 10 please put shoes on and ‘real clothes’. When she left Drew came out and said that he was going to run to his dorm before the nurse was there.
When Nurse Jackie came back she knocked and said “are you decent?“ I replied yea and she came in with a HUGE wheelchair made for a 300 pound person and I sat down and had like 2 feet of room on each side. I asked if I could bring a blanket and she nodded. When we got to her office she closed the door and asked me, “are you eating normal?” I replied back with “of course’ why?” “Are you feeling ok, been unfocused, not remembering things?” “Actuality yes.
I have a photographic memory and I don’t remember anything after lunch yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night with my PJ’S on and my homework done, and I don’t remember ANY of it.” Her eyes grew as big as tomatoes and she asked ”you really have a photographic memory? Like I could give you a random test from your first class here and you could tell me all of the questions?” “I think so, why is this such a big deal… I am getting worried.” She said don’t worry and then asked me who was my first teacher at this school? “ Mrs.Harrison” I said. Then she went to her phone and called Mrs.Harrison. About five minutes later Mrs. Harrison walked in with a test and said “here you go Jackie.” She also said hi to me and asked me if I was okay. I just shrugged. Fast forward 15 minutes. I got all of the questions and answers right. I thought that taking the test would make her less worried, but in reality it made her more worried. Then it made me more anxious.
Having done well on that memory test I asked her what is the next step, are we going to do a blood test or like a CAT scan? “Yes we will first take a blood test, and if that doesn’t give us the answers we need we will regroup and see what we need to do next. But don’t worry we WILL figure it out.” She tried to tell me in a calming tone of voice.“ “I can’t do this right now.” I said. “I need to talk to my friends, I can’t make this decision by myself. I am not letting you take anything until you get Liza Mendosa, Cody Fulken, and Drew Hallmark in here.” The phone rang but she didn’t answer it. The she proceeded to say “then that’s what we will do, you shouldn’t have to go through this yourself.”
About 10 minutes later they walked in. Liza, with no doubt, was the most worried. She ran right into my arms and even though she didn’t know what was wrong she could tell that it was something big, she always seems to know when things aren’t going great. I hope she doesn’t find them. If she finds the eggs she will know I am not from here.