Once my mom found the unfinished poem at my desk, it was a done deal. She misinterpreted it as a suicide note and it was a wrap. That had been the decisive moment, and now, here I was. As I pass Teach on my way out of the lecture hall, I hand her a flash drive with my latest chapter of my “over the summer” assignment. Teach fires off that dismantling smile of hers and I can’t help but smiling back at her.
“- It’s a little rough around the edges Ms.Bowham, but I just couldn’t chop it up. Sorry.”
-“Don’t worry about it Mark. I’ll have a look and leave notes on what I think you could leave out.”
“- Thanks Teach, really. I appreciate it.”
My assignment is to write this extensive, intrusive and open poem about myself every week. I have to make sure that the pieces can be connected to each other and at the end of it all, I’m supposed to have written my first book of poetry. I like that. Teach has been great as an editor too, really helpful and stuff. Never as much as a drop of judgment in her eyes either. I write some pretty dark stuff too, so that means more than you think. At the corner of my eye I notice how Monica hands her flash-drive in and then she squeezes her way through the mass of our classmates and rush out of the room. Still embarrassed I guess. Monica wasn’t like me, notoriously late and mute in the back of the room. She was a good girl, always punctual and eager to put her two cents in on whatever we discussed in class. Not my kind of girl. Not at all. I never took her as one of my few allies in this place either, so the fact that she decided to sit down next to me today worried me a bit. An image of the two bad students, in the back of the room, silently beating themselves up over their tardiness pops up in my head and makes me laugh. Humans can be so predictable at times. Of course that’s why.