Turning

November 16, 2007
By
I race out of the double doors, down the manila staircase and slam myself against Ascension High school's glass front doors. Turning leaves swirl my navy skirt, peppering me with disapproval as I race across the front lawn. November 12, 2007 is the day I lose my mind.

Slowing to a crawl, I consciously control my claustrophobic lungs and ease some space between the rush of freedom and the panic settling slowly through my body. I reach for my head to soothe the nervous spasms of pain. I turn slightly to look behind my shoulder at the formidable glare bouncing off the windows of Ascension and glancing off my shell-shocked face. I can't leave school.

Yes, I can. I could not sit one more minute in study hall. I could not tuck in my shirt and sit comfortably in silence while the girl across the table smacked her gum and Mr. Bonder paced back and forth behind my chair. I was trying to write an essay on a place that changed my life and I realized that if I cared so much about one place, there was no reason I should continue sitting in my town, desperately waiting for inspiration to hit me in the face and tell me what to do with my life. I remembered the Thames River, the gaping waves breaking into barriers on either side, sweeping boats under magnificent bridges and past the original city.
I remembered the freedom of calling adults by their first names and being treated as an equal.
I remembered eating crunchy M and M's while spiraling underground on the Tube.

Now I stand at the edge of reality and watch the choir room window where a fidgety freshman pauses to shoot a jealous look at my wavering structure. If I am happiest when I am eating pineapple in Wandsworth Common then I’ll be damned if I waste another minute in study hall. Darting behind a tall oak, I whip out my cell and call a local taxi.
“Take me to Louisville International Airport,” I gasp into the receiver. I’m going back to London.





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