Vignette III: 2007

March 3, 2008
By Tessa Eihausen, Park City, UT

The classroom is generic. Double-paneled white boards, a wide desk with a bulky computer, thirty or so smaller desks, chairs attached with solid metal pipes. Little light shines in the window, but false fluorescent suns light up the room with a headache-inducing glow. There are thirty or so high school freshmen, as well.

They’re just about as headache inducing as the lights.

Their murmurs fill the room, choking the air with flavorless conversation.

A blue-eyed brunette, only a year older in age but decades older in mind and appearance, sits, perched atop a chair rather than in it. She slowly slides into the desk, her slightly overlarge behind making a soft “thump” as it collapses into the seat. Her hair, now cropped to her chin, falls in front of her face as she stares blankly at the piece of paper that has been handed to her. As before, her only thought is “No.” Her mind is void of rationalization or acceptance; it is filled solely with the simple, fundamental word.


As the world floats in front of her, the grade bringing her grief yells and shrieks, only adding to her shame. It screeches insults with a high-pitched voice that reminds her of a sadistic cheerleader, leading a pep rally of self-induced abuse. The girl, staring at her cheap Converse high tops, curses herself for being so stupid. She curses the grade for being so deafeningly pitchy. And, most of all, she curses the fear and disappointment she possesses that allow the world to swim before her river-filled eyes.

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