Waiting Anxiously

May 29, 2008
By Katie Kolster, Delafield, WI

Bernie is only a little bit younger than me but already he is starting to get nervous for graduation. His father taught him how to ride a bike and fix a car; his brothers will go that way too. Bernie is scared because his hope is hopeless. Every morning and every afternoon. And tries. But when his father is asleep after he has finished the basketball game, he nervously studies for his finals; he reads and re-reads textbooks flipping the pages that smell of fear.

He lets me help him study. I let him help me. He is always frantic like a cat near a sprinkler – something is always making him nervous. He has many struggles, but the big one is not passing English. Without English, graduation is not possible.

One day he knows it might be over and he now knows being lazy wasn’t worth it. Out the door his dreams go. Hopes, dreams and courage. Out the window and the door is locked. But that night, his courage comes back and makes him realize he can do it. Then he realizes its possible and gives it another shot. Same story.

Next week he sits in his English room, sweating and asks what more can he do? Bernie, I don’t know what will happen. Pass or fail. There is nothing I can do.

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