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Trust Remains Underneath The Hood
They lived normal lives, or so it seemed, but in another “world”, another time that was slow and weary, their vices were revealed with more clarity. It started like every other day; wake up at 6:00 a.m., get dressed, eat, and drive to school. My I-pod sat on the dashboard in my car blasting as I drove along. Half way to school a song came on that I had never heard before. I let it play for a minute to see if I would recognize it but I had no idea where it came from. I looked to see what it was titled on my I-pod and found a picture of two hands shaking. Two hands shaking is a greeting we all knew well…
My mind wandered far before I realized I was parked at school. I turned my car off, looked at my I-pod then grabbed it and carelessly tossed it on the passenger seat. The bell rang as I ran to class.
I was bewildered to find kids I did not know in my class. There were quite a few familiar faces, but none of which I considered to be close friends with. I made sure I was in the right class. It was not a new quarter or semester in which our classes could have changed and it was already Wednesday, the middle of the week. I sat down and the teacher retraced her steps to where she had left off on her lecture the day before. I took notes like the good student I always am, respecting the teacher while she rambled on about interests she found magnificent. I heard whispers from behind but did not mind it till I heard more voices join in. I glanced back quickly to see only the people whom I knew chatting quietly. I heard traces of “She did what?”, “he likes…”, and “I heard…”. Then blackness overtook me.
I gained consciousness in my forth period class. Two of my teachers were sitting at the front. I looked from side to side and saw the same familiar faces and few who I could not remember. The male teacher stood and announced he was retiring. I shook my head. I could not see him leave. He was my favorite teacher. I had learned so much from his presence. My heart dropped as the recognizable faces began to whisper.
He reasoned that he had more to life and he wanted to settle down, to find someone he can spend the rest of his life with. As he said these words, tears distorted my vision. I looked up at him and saw something I can hardly explain with words. His eyes shaded into complete whiteness. He kept saying he needed a break, that he was tired and overwhelmed with life. He spoke of nonsensical activities he wanted to do, and as he spoke with eyes crystal white, grotesque cockroaches began crawling out of his mouth. Every word he formed threw penny sized insects out.
I looked around in disbelief, but only the three students I recognized and I felt this way. Those familiar faces looked at him with no concern and continued their whispers. I turned to them
“Do you not see what is going on?” I said.
They merely shrugged. One opened his mouth and said
“So what?” Cockroaches began to crawl out of his mouth.
I looked at the others talking about me, talking about drugs, sex, and violence. They all had disgusting insects crawling out of their mouths.
I turned to my teacher who continued.
“I love my job and all that I do, I truly do.” As he said this, his eyes faded to their normal blue color and the remaining cockroaches crawled down and off his body.
“I love many of you and see a wonderful future ahead for you. Stay true to yourself and nothing can stop you. Let God lead the way.” He ended as he coughed “All is good, all is good,” with one last cockroach crawling out.
The rest is vague in my mind. I knew I ran, but for how long and to where I am not sure. I just ran. A few tears ran down my cheek not primarily out of sadness, but mainly out of fear. Then I realized there was nothing to fear but fear itself. I screeched to a halt, turned in a field, and sat under a beautiful tree.
The imagery of what occurred in the classroom a few minutes ago replayed in my head. The phenomena dawned on me once I remembered the odd picture and song on my I-pod earlier that day. When those familiar faces spoke only sometimes did the roaches crawl out of their mouths. The things my teacher said in the beginning, the harsh and inconsiderate words the familiar faces said were when the transformation began. When the rumors and false ideologies were flung from their mouths, so were cockroaches.
Those words in which I never wanted to hear were the ones that triggered the grotesque scene and that odd picture made all the more sense. I knew what they did not want me to know, what they thought only they knew.