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Wait Chapter Six: Define Depression

*Beep, Beep, Beep* Mandy’s alarm went off Wednesday morning at 5:30 A.M. She slapped the Snooze button to make the alarm shut off. It was giving her a headache. She tossed off the covers and stood up. Her head may hurt, but at least her sense of balance wasn’t affected. Her ability to walk was fine too. She opened her closet doors and looked at her clothes. She picked up her black Converse, a green t-shirt that had a recycle sign on it, gray skinny jeans, and white socks. She laid everything out on her bed and went into her bathroom to take a shower. She put on her slippers and her robe and went back into her bedroom. She got dressed and looked in the mirror. She looked the same as always. But she felt different. How different, she wasn’t sure. She felt brighter. She decided to do natural makeup today. She usually did her makeup to match her outfit. But natural makeup matched, so she didn’t care. She pulled her hair into her usual ponytail. Putting on all of her jewelry (which she had gotten back when she left the hospital), she went outside to the kitchen.

“Well, we’re glad to see you up,” Jack said as Mandy entered the kitchen. “Alex came by and told us what happened. Are you feeling ok?” Mandy nodded. “My head hurts a little. But I don’t need any ibuprofen.” She grabbed a bagel out of the fridge and put some cream cheese on it. “I am going to school today. If I need to go home, I’ll call you.” “Ok,” both uncles said. The doorbell rang. Mandy opened the door to find Jeremy standing there. “Hey Jeremy,” she said in a happy tone. “Hey back to you,” he said. He walked inside her apartment and shut the door. “Hi Chris. Hi Jack,” he said to her uncles. “You’re here really early,” Chris said. “You guys don’t need to leave for another hour.” “I just wanted to make sure Mandy was ok,” Jeremy replied. “Well, that’s good,” Jack said. “We’ve got to go to work early this morning. Take care you two.” Jack and Chris grabbed their jackets and briefcases. They both hugged Mandy goodbye and shook Jeremy’s hand, then left. “What do you want to do now?” Mandy asked. “How about we watch TV?” Jeremy replied, taking off his shoes. Mandy put her bag and shoes by the door. Both sat on the couch. Jeremy turned on the TV to MTV. They ran music videos at this time in the morning. Mandy leaned her head into Jeremy’s left shoulder. He stroked her head like it was the most delicate thing he had ever seen. He truly wanted to marry her. But he knew that they were both too young and that the relationship would fail if they did. He decided that when she turned 17, he would ask her if marriage was an option for them in the future. If she said yes, he would ask her uncles for her hand in marriage. If she said not yet, then he would wait. Mandy fell asleep, still somewhat exhausted from her head injury. Jeremy heard her breathing become slow and steady. He didn’t even realize when he had fallen asleep either.

*Ding, Ding, Ding* The clock in the living room chimed 7 A.M. Both kids woke up. “I guess we should go,” Jeremy said. Mandy looked up at him. “You look really cute when you wake up,” Mandy said. “So do you,” he replied. “Your hair looks perfect.” “That’s good,” she said. They got up off the couch and put on their shoes. They put their bags on and walked out the door. Mandy locked the door and they walked, holding hands, down to his car. They got to school early because there wasn’t much traffic. He parked the car in the student parking lot. He got out, went around and opened Mandy’s door for her, taking her hand to help her out. She smiled and thanked him. Both walked inside the school.

Mandy was talking to Jeremy by his locker when Alex and Jake came in. They greeted each other and Mandy was asked about her head. “It’s fine. A little sore, but fine,” she told them. Jake and Jeremy left for math since it was across the school. It didn’t take long to get there, but they needed to study before their test that day. The warning bell rang and Alex and Mandy headed off to their classes. Mandy was happier during PE. She ran faster, played better, and just seemed to be overall doing better. Everyone noticed. More people talked to her, making sure she was okay. Word of her accident had gotten around school. Nobody usually talked to her. But they decided that since she seemed happier and they were concerned about her head, they decided to talk to her. In the rest of her classes before lunch, everybody only asked her about her head. She told them that it was sore, but she was fine. The bell to end fourth period rang. Mandy put her binder and books back into her locker and walked to the cafeteria to meet up with Alex.

“Hey,” Alex said when she spotted Mandy at the end of the line. Most kids hadn’t arrived yet, so the line was short. “Jake told me to tell you to sit at the football players’ table today. Everyone will think that you’re just sitting there to be with Jeremy, and me to be with Jake, and then everyone will get told.” She grabbed a tray off the stack. “Ok,” Mandy replied. Mandy and Alex paid for their salads and slowly walked toward the table where the football players always sat. Lunch tables weren’t assigned, but everyone had that particular lunch table that they sat at. Mandy and Alex always sat at the end of a table in the corner where the light wasn’t in your eyes. But today, that wasn’t the plan. Some of the football players had already sat down, including Jeremy and Jake. Everybody knew that Jeremy and Mandy had been going out for over a year. Many girls were jealous and thought that Jeremy should ditch her for one of the cheerleaders. But Jeremy had his eyes on Mandy. “Hey guys,” Jeremy said. He scooted over so that Mandy could sit next to him and Alex could sit next to Jake. The rest of the football players sat down and also said hi. They didn’t know Mandy all that well, so they didn’t talk to her that much. But from what they heard about her from Jeremy, she seemed nice. “You know I’m friends with Mandy,” Jake started. “What?” the table replied. “I am friends with Mandy,” he repeated. “Why would you want to be friends with her? She’s a loser,” Evan, the football player known for being the world’s rudest jerk, said. Mandy became slightly depressed. She knew that that’s what most people thought about her. Jake stood up and leaned over so his face was inches away from Evan’s. “She is sweet and kind. She cares about others and has a great personality. She is better than you will ever be,” he said, his voice showing anger and defensiveness. “If you have a problem with that, than leave now.” Evan shut up and shook his head no. The entire cafeteria heard what Jake had said and watched in amazement. No one could get Evan to shut up like that. Jake just had. “You should all just get to know her,” he continued, speaking to the entire cafeteria. “She’s a little shy and has been through a lot. That’s why she’s so sad all the time. But she is truly happy all the time. That’s why I’m her friend.” He sat down and continued to eat. “Thanks, Jake,” Mandy said. “No problem,” he answered. After a moment of dead silence, the cafeteria filled with the sound of clapping. People came over to talk to Mandy. Everyone got to know her better and found out that she really wasn’t an outcast like they thought she was. Jeremy smiled as he watched her become more outgoing. He was happy that she was happy. For the rest of the day, people came up to Mandy in the halls and in class to talk to her. By the end of the day, the school had pretty much decided that Mandy was now part of the popular crowd. They had also decided Alex was popular too since she was best friends with Mandy. Jeremy dropped her off at home. She ran up the stairs and danced in the living room after she got in her apartment. She felt like she was on top of the world, weightless and flying in the sky. She had never felt that good before. She did her homework and watched TV. The sad feeling washed over her again for no reason. She got up and found the dictionary. She decided to look up depression. She read the definition out loud. “Depression: An emotional condition characterized by feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy etc.” Mandy put the dictionary back in its place and sat down on the couch. Depression. She had depression. She wondered why she hadn’t known it all along. She ate dinner alone since her uncles usually worked late. As she got into bed later that night, she still wondered why she hadn’t known before.





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