I sat in (TC/N)s class, looking over maps for the exam coming up. As I scanned over the continent of Asia, my mind began to drift, thinking of everything I had to do. In the coming week I would have to take 3 EOCs, 4 Semester Exams, complete 4 projects (all due on the same day), and continue to maintain my current A’s in every class. The stress, the dread, the thought of imminent failure…
Hot tears suddenly were streaming down my face. Before I could try to stop it, my entire body was shaking. I looked around to see if there was anyone staring. A couple people were, but it felt like the entire world was watching me break into pieces. I started sobbing uncontrollably, hyperventilating, continuing to shake. I just wanted to fade away, to remove myself from this moment and not exist.
Someone wrapped a warm jacket around me. “Shhh…everything will be fine,” I heard (TC/N) whisper in my ear. He walked over to the door, opening it up wide. “Everyone go to Ms. Beth’s class. You’ll study there for the rest of the period. And I swear to God, if I hear a single thing about this from anyone, you are all getting referrals.” (TC/N)a tone of voice was eerily serious.
As the last student left he walked over to his desk and messed with some stuff. I didn’t pay much attention, I couldn’t.
“I’m sorry,” I said between sobs, “I ruined your class.”
“No, you didn’t,” (TC/N) said, walking over to me again, “as a matter of fact, I think it’s the other way around.”
(TC/N) sat a cold bottle of water in front of me. “(Y/N), take a slow, deep breath, and drink some water.”
I nodded and slowly tried to breathe in. My breath was shaky, sounding similar to the propeller of a helicopter. I took a sip of water before letting my breath out, this time sounding more even. (TC/N) pressed his thumb and finger on either side of my chin, and turned my ace towards him. He took a cold, damp cloth he had prepared by his desk, and dabbed it against my face. The cool soothed my nerves, and almost instantly I stopped shaking. I started to relax, my breathing evening out.
“There we go,” (TC/N) smiled, “see? Everything’s gonna be ok.”
“Thanks,” I said, rubbing my nose against my sleeve, “but it doesn’t really feel like that right now.”
“This is probably a stupid question, but…do you wanna talk about it?”
I looked over at (TC/N), prepared to say no, but the look on his face…the desperate look of wanting to help me. For once I made an exception.
“I just…I just feel like I’m not good enough. I’m always tired, I’m stressed out about all exams and projects, I put other people first when they put me last…I just feel like a waste of space that doesn’t belong anywhere. I want to grow up and help people, to change the world and succeed. But I’m so pathetic and useless that I’d…” I hesitate on finishing my sentence, but I’ve gotten myself deep enough already, “I’d just rather die now and not have to worry about it. To just leave and not have the weight of my responsibilities hanging over my head like knives dangling from thin strings. I hate my life, I hate my emotions, I hate my body, I hate my mind, and most of all I hate me.”
(TC/N) sat there staring at me. I thought it was emotionless disbelief, but soon enough it changed, with his eyes glossing over with tears.
“(Y/N),” he whispered, “there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better. I wish that there was just a magic word or something that could just make all of that disappear and give you everything you want. But the only thing I can do is be here for you, and let you know that no matter what I will protect you, and I’ll stop everything to make sure you are ok.”
By this time I was too tired to feel any emotion, let alone reveal it, so I just smiled slightly. “Thank you, (TC/N). That means the world to me.”
He smiled widely, “Well, let’s try and get you thinking about something else now that you’ve mostly recovered. Have you been following Paul’s tour lately? He’s supposed to be coming around here soon…”
For the next hour we talk about everything and nothing all at once. Paul McCartney’s tour, the football game, Honor Guard, the military, my childhood, his childhood…at one point we even talked about the weather. And for once in my life, I felt as though everything was perfect.