The clocked ticked on and on as the glossy posters with iconic faces stared back me. I can't believe I’m actually back here I scoffed to myself as the all the countless days of practicing math swarmed my mind. Those were the days I hated. Going to school… and learning. I despised class and only wanted the thrill of skipping it, never of gaining new knowledge or getting involved.
“So when a customer asks you a question not specified to your department--” my manager, George, blabbered on as he drew extensions we should call on the board. Sitting in this mid-term meeting in my old classroom really made me upset. Why did I not try harder? I never pictured myself being back at this dreaded school, but then again never did I see myself as a Lowe’s employee either.
All the nights I spent out late, thinking I had nothing but time. Mornings I faked being sick to stay home and play video games. Days when I could just slip out of class, and never return for the whole day, thinking I was missing just classroom nonsense. The anxiety ate at me. I could've done something more... If only i cared more. My breathe started picking up pace, and it felt like a brick was sitting at the bottom of my lungs.
“Trevor, you okay?” my friend held a hand at me, looking spooked out at my break out in deep breathing and sweat.
“I can’t do this dude, seriously, the walls are closing in,” I gasped for a breathe, but the thick, coarse air that fills the cold classroom filled my failing lungs. An anxiety attack started catching up with my breathing.
“Mr. Catch?” my manager scolded, turning from the board as he explained the emergency drill route in the store. I pushed my chair from under and stood up with such force, you could hear my body cut through the air.
“Sorry… uh.... Mr. Thomas, I just need to like, step out really quickly, I think.” my throat would barely let me speak the words in my mind. I knew I was losing air.
“Hurry back…” he raised his eyebrows, and I sprinted out of the room, leaving my friend still at the table alone, dumbfounded and confused.
Taking a seat on the bench outside the front door of the school, I tapped my foot wishing to catch a gasp of what I wanted to feel like was natural air.
“Trevor man, what was that!? Are you alright?” my friend, Adam, said as he ran out towards me on the bench.
“I don’t know man, just being in that classroom… I couldn’t be in there,” I gasped.
“I know man makes me think of math class too. Triggering isn't it?” he said chuckling and hitting my arm lightly. Adam of all people knew I hated this school, and was the only guy that who would skip class with me and complain constantly about homework and classes.
“We were never in math class dude. Nothing to be triggered about” my monotone voice scared him, and even myself. I was the last person to be talking about missing school; my serious tone was disheartening.
“Trev, you can't be serious right now. You were the king of skipping class. That stuff was fun! We had fun!” Adam was trying to make me feel better but it wasn't working. The thoughts of something greater blanketed over my brain, and I was suffocating under them
“But where did all that get me?! Where did it get us? Were working at Lowe’s dude we did nothing with our lives and it's because we didn't care, not even a little. It might have been cool then but wow, it is not cool at all now.” My voice was raising and I have never sounded so out of character. I thought of all the college applications I pushed aside. Rejected every offer to play football in college because I never wanted to put in the work. All the “ill do it tomorrow”’s.
I ripped off my Lowe’s vest and started strutting away from where Adam sat on the bench outside the school.
“Trevor!” he tried yelling after me but all I was focused on was getting as far from the school as possible. I slammed the vest in the trash can to my side and strutted away.