Joan Ramos, Staff Writer

Ugh, I hate waking up. First time going back to school in what? Weeks? It’s been too long for me to keep count. 

You stay motionless in your bed for what felt like an eternity, only hearing the faint clanging of pots and pans from downstairs. You sit up and turn off your alarm.

7:30 AM. I’m already 10 minutes late, but at this point I can’t be asked to be worried. 

One hefty sigh later, you put on your glasses and decide to get up and out of bed. 

Not here, or there, or anywhere… Where did I leave my bag and uniform? 

A total mess, that’s the only way to describe your room. Dusty curtains that have never been opened, a desk with your PC that looks brand new since it’s the only thing you take care of, clothes all over the place, overflowing trash can, figurines and magazines strewn everywhere. 

Finally! Since when was my bag in my drawer? 

As you open your door you act as if you are a vampire who accidentally stayed out until sunrise. You peer into the hallway which seems so strange and otherworldly, pictures of yourself hung up, happier days, though you wish your mother took them down due to the sheer amount of embarrassment they emit. At least you could make fun of your older sister’s tooth gap when she was younger. 

This toothpaste tastes horrible, didn’t Dad buy a new brand? 

As you walk out you prepare yourself for whatever your sister has to say about you finally going back to school. 

“Guess old habits die hard huh? Also, you do know you would need to come out at some point right? No way you were seriously thinking about being holed up there forever.” 

That’s easy for her to say, Ms. Extrovert over there. 

“Holly! Collin! Are you guys ready yet?” I feel sick. 

Yea!” you both say. 

“Collin, are you sure you’re ready to go back?” 

I appreciate my dad’s care and all but he’s been asking me the same question ever since I stopped going to school for the first week. 

“Yea, I should be fine, shouldn’t be too tough to talk to my friends again.” 

I really hope I’m right.


On the drive to school you look out the window with gloom written all over your face. You pass through the bustling yet quiet streets of your neighborhood, over the train tracks, and through the sma- 

“Wait…what… since when did they close down that bakery?”As I was saying, through the small yet active part of town where all the shops, corner stores, restaurants, and gas stations are. 

“That place closed down a few weeks ago bud, a bit late to the mourning party.” 

Aw man, I was looking forward to actually going there, I loved their little cakes they would give out in the morning to whoever passed by. 

“Maybe if you decided not to lock yourself away in your sad little room, you could have gone there one last time.” 

You stopped listening to her half-way through her sentence as the view of the rooftop of school came into your view. Although you hate going to school, you actually liked the premises and would often fantasize about relaxing near the garden. 

“Alright, here’s your stop kids.” 

Thanks Dad.” You stand there, looking dead straight at the 2 sets of double doors leading to the lockers. The trees seem to sway more violently, the clouds start to churn, the building starts to emit a dark foreboding aura. 

“Yo! Why are you standing there like a little weirdo?” 

Little weirdo, she loves calling me that, I…find it kinda endearing. Wait, is that weird? 

As you get closer and closer to the ever towering double doors, your heart starts pounding, your palms become increasingly sweaty, you put your hand on one door, and pull.


Everything is the way you remember it with the ever random object that someone left behind. 

“You want me to wait for you or can you go to class by yourself, hm?” “I’ll go by myself, I couldn’t imagine being seen with you.” As your sister goes off to find her class, you stay behind and stare at your locker, a million different things enter your mind at once. 

What if it’s the wrong locker? What if I enter the wrong class? What if my friends don’t remember me? Am I gonna be treated as an outcast loser? Will people pity me? Will people like me? Will… will… I dont have the energy to keep thinking. 

You begrudgingly open your locker and throw your coat inside. Inside is… well nothing, the last time you opened it was…just now? How is that possible? 

Well… I guess it’s time to head to classroom… 154? Upstairs if I remember correctly. 

Your nerves have calmed down a good bit after that mini panic attack you had at your locker, but soon enough you’ll be in full out mental warfare with yourself. As you walk upstairs you can feel your legs get heavier with every step, your vision starts to go dark, and your breathing gets heavier. 

Did someone turn up the thermostat? Why’s it feel so hot here? Is that my class? … 154… 

You take a deep breath in but at this point it doesn’t matter, you can already feel yourself descending into a deep dark place in your head. 

“Hey! Collin right? You must be the returning student! Let me just finish up there and I’ll call you in, alright?” “Uhm… alright… thanks…” 

What if I don’t want to get called in? What if I’d rather stay standing here? 

You become self aware of everything, you start to manually breathe and blink, you can feel the air hitting your eyes causing them to burn, you feel the tiny tears form and the feeling of your eyelids meeting, your tongue starts to feel uncomfortable in your mouth, you look down and all of the sudden everything goes dark. The only thing you can see is a small dim light emitting from your feet. 


I don’t want to go in. I wanna go home “Collin”

 I wanna stay in my room “Collin…” 

I wanna stay home and eat my mom’s cooking. “Collin.” 

Why am I even like this? Why am I frea- “Collin!” 

The teacher puts his hand on your shoulder and lightly shakes you. “Wh- huh, uhm, I’m sorry, I just started, uhm, zoning out.” 

“You need a minute? If you’re ready you can come in.” 

“Uh, I can go in now.” He stands up and turns around, you follow.

“Alright everyone! Attention up here please! This is Collin, just today he’s decided to come back to school. Please make him feel welcome and comfortable.” 

The only thing you could focus on was the sea of eyes looking at you. No friends, no one you know, not a single soul that you talk to. You go to the only empty seat in class. As you sit down, you can feel yourself slowly sink back into that place. That deep, dark, scary, lonely place. You put your bag on the floor and take out your notebook and a pencil. 

I don’t wanna look back up, I’m scared, what am I gonna see? Is everyone going to be looking at me like I’m some freak accident? 

Nothing…that’s what you see. No people, no room, no desk or chair, not even that small dim light.