A Cold

By , Aurora, Canada
Sitting at her large desk, Isabella looked around the room, checking to see if any of her fourth graders were cheating. It had been ten minutes since she handed them their science test. Bored, she grabbed a pen from her purple mug that was placed in front of her. She placed the tip of the pen on the sheet and began to draw.

“You’re good at drawing Ms. Michaels,” said a voice behind Isabella.

Isabella gasped and clutched her chest. “Edgar, my goodness, you scared me,” she said, looking at the student standing beside her.

“I had my hand up because I had a question. You didn’t see me though because you were too busy drawing,” he said, scratching his arm.

Isabella was unsure of what to say to her student. “Well, what’s your quest–”

“Ms. Michaels, I never knew that you have kids!” exclaimed Edgar, looking at his teacher’s drawing.

She could feel her eyes widen, her face turning red. Trying to hold her embarrassment, she quietly said, “Edgar that was inappropriate. Your classmates are trying to write a test and you are disturbing them. Now, please take a se –.”

“You’re not even married! How could you have kids?” Edgar interrupted.

She tried to hold back her tears, hold back her embarrassment, trying to find the right words, “Please, take a seat Edgar.”

Six hours later, a curly-haired, skinny, white woman was seated across from Isabella. “How are you doing today, Isabella?” she asked, writing in her notebook.

Isabella took a deep breath, wiping her hands against her legs, trying to remove the excess sweat that accumulated in her palms. “My day was fine, thank you, doctor.”

Doctor Martha looked up from her notebook and removed her glasses. “That’s not what your dear friend, Veronica, told me. She told me that you had a rough day in class.”

Isabella scoffed, looking into Veronica’s eyes. “Veronica is not my dear friend. She used to be my friend until she sent me to you. You know very well that she threatened to fire me if I didn’t receive your so-called help. My parents and friends think that I am a psychopath all because of her. Do you have any idea how it feels when I get a phone call from a close one, asking me how I’m holding up, or if this psychological help is curing me? And the money is coming out of my pocket – not Veronica’s. So she’s actually wasting my time, money, and making me look like some damn fool.”

Martha gently smiled at Isabella, looking at her as if she was a child. “Isabella, your parents, friends, and Veronica want you to feel better. I don’t want you here because I want your money; I want to be here so that I can help you–”

“I don’t need any help,” Isabella interrupted with a cracked voice. Tears began to well up in her eyes, looking away from Martha. “I don’t want any help.”

“Isabella, your loved ones thought that ever since the accident –”

“Stop it! I don’t want to talk about this!” Isabella looked at Martha, feeling tears stream down her cheeks. “I don’t want to talk about the accident, because it wasn’t an accident. I was supposed to die with my family. I didn’t them to leave without me. I was supposed to go to David’s first soccer game, but I had a cold. It was because of my cold that I wasn’t in the car with them when they died. Now, I’m alone in my house with their toys scattered on the living room floor, with the aroma of John’s cologne sprayed in the bathroom, and yet, their bodies are still engraved in their unmade beds. I don’t even know why I’m still here – alive, that is. God forgot about me and I want to leave so badly so I can join them. But for some reason something is holding me back – I don’t really know what – but something is holding me from my own death; from killing myself. I’m ashamed that I don’t have the courage to join my family. But now, here I am with you in this claustrophobic room. I’m with my parents, friends, students, and Veronica. And, I’m alone, forever.”





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Molly11 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm
Wow. I was really surprised by the ending, not to mention how well written it was. Usually I'm pretty bad about reading the whole story, but this had me from the beginning. Keep writing!
 
Odessa_Sterling00 said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm
Great job on the emotions.  Please, if you have time, check out some of my work.
 
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