Regret And Recovery

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Why are you even here, Micah? You’ve already embarrassed yourself enough today. You should just go back to the gym and relax, play some basketball. You like basketball, right? I know you do. I know everything about you because I am your mind. I am you.


Micah knew his mind was right. He had no reason to be here at this dance. He had no reason to even be at this conference. He was a failure to his region, his school, and himself. As he trembled, staring across the dance floor as the lasers flew, he felt as if the angels were crying through him as he began to feel tears of sorrow well up in his bloodshot eyes…
???????????



“The amendment to the amendment to the resolution is now open for discussion.” How many times had Micah heard those words? He took a deep breath and contemplated long about how he was going to present what he was going to say, reminiscing over the entire debate. When he felt ready, he tapped lightly on Sadie’s shoulder. “Let’s go.”



As they began to walk towards the front, Micah got ready to do what he always dreamed of doing: being the one to represent our school. Whether the board had recognized their school or not was taking a backseat to being nervous. He was shaken back to his senses by Sadie gently directing him to the microphone. This was it, no turning back now.

“I totally agree that Alaska should have a required Sex Education course, but by the time many people in our region get into high school, they’ve already messed up.”


A few people in the back attempted to muffle a giggle. Micah realized that he had made a huge mistake when a few people’s faces went red with embarrassment. His fears were confirmed when an explosion of laughter shook the activity center. This cannot be happening! Try to continue.

“I’m not meaning anyone in particular.” Shut up, Micah. You’re digging yourself into a deeper hole. “I make a motion to amend whatever level amendment we’re on to make the age for this class a middle school class.”

As they began to walk towards their seats, Micah glanced back with fear for one never-ending moment to see how Jessica, the Region Seven Representative and someone he looked up to, had reacted. His heart sank like a boulder in water. Her face suddenly burst into a cherry red color as her jaw dropped to the floor. Oh man. You embarrassed your role model. He would never forget that…
??????????

The jagged rocks were the only place he had ever felt safe while here, but since the darkness of the outdoors would just remind him of how he felt right now, the huge gym would have to do. He was trapped, a prisoner in his own mind, until a voice caught his ear. “Hey Mike, are you okay?”

It was Ethan Doer, a friend he had made at this conference. Ethan had been a guy that Micah looked up to in terms of confidence, since he wasn’t afraid to embarrass himself. He seemed to always have a knack for reading Micah’s emotions like a book.

“Yeah.”

“You’re not.”

Micah knew there was no hiding the fact he was upset. Maybe the dead giveaway was the wet cheeks. “It’s about the incident in the GA. I let down every one and made our region look bad.”

“Why is that upsetting you?”

“It’s really the look on Jessica’s face that killed me. Her face went red, and when I say red, I mean insanely red. I really look up to her, and seeing her like that just made me feel like I had let her down.”

“Forget them. You are the one who stuck your neck out for what you believed in. I wish I could do that. I look up to you.”

This statement shocked him like a defibrillator. Ethan, someone he looked up to, looked up to him. How does that even work? Ethan wasn’t done yet.

“You should go to the dance and forget about it.”

Micah saw the logic in the idea, but he wasn’t quite ready to rejoin the group so he said that he would come over in a minute after wiping his eyes. As Ethan walked off, Micah decided to shoot some hoops. He grabbed his MP3 player and headed for the court, head hung in shame even in his solitude. The gym was vacated by the news of the dance, so music began to blast out of some speakers. As the first few pulverizing beats of his favorite song began to pound, he sensed a chilling hand on his shoulder. He turned around quickly. No one was there. He felt another hand. No one was there. At this point, he was scared beyond belief. Who wouldn’t be? He was beginning to calm down until a mysterious figure appeared right in front of him. He stood about 6’4” and had a dark cloak that hid his face. His hands were like a man’s but much thinner and bonier, and his frame was not much different from his hand. Up until this point, he hadn’t screamed. He let out a scream that would have made demons cry and make even the devil afraid. All of the sudden, it was gone. Shrugging it off as just a figment of his imagination, he turned around. It was right in front of him. Once again, he screamed like a little girl. This time, the mysterious visitor held a device of some kind.

“I am Regret and Recovery. I have seen what you’ve done and your regret. This device is your prescription to recovery.”

He placed the device in Micah’s hand. It was a small, metallic disk with only one button that reminded him of a detonator.

“You have made a mistake you may never forget. People back home may hear about this and say it wasn’t that bad. Some will probably even mock you. They weren’t the ones who had to go through the pain of embarrassment. They weren’t the ones who stuck out their necks for what their goals, hopes, and convictions happened to be. You’re the one who did that, you were the one who stood up and shared your idea. They laugh at you because you messed up; you laugh at them because they are afraid of messing up.”

He disappeared in a blinding flash of light brighter than a thousand suns.

Don’t press the button, Micah. You don’t know what this is. For all you know he could be the Grim Reaper.

Micah’s soul was at war. His mind told him not to press the button, but his heart screamed at him to do it. His heart won.
??????????

He found himself in the sweet, salty air outside of the gym, being shaken by the thumping of a synthesized bass drum.


Is this some sick joke? You’re supposed to go to the dance and suffer more humiliation? Go back to the gym and relax.

“No. That visitation was for a reason. I have no idea what it is, but there was a reason. I can feel it.”
He began to stride towards the door of the activity center, head still hung in shame. He stopped short, taking in the invigorating scent of the salty sea air. There was something about this place he would miss when he left. He only wished there was nothing he wanted to leave behind.
He pulled the handle. He stepped through the door.
After you are in there, there is no going back. This is the choice that will affect the rest of your life.
“Well, welcome to my world,” he said to himself.
He saw his friends inside, some seated around a table and some letting loose on the dance floor. The one thing that wasn’t there was criticism, mockery, or scorn, and that’s all Micah could ask for.
As he joined his friends, his mind continued to process the day’s events. Well it wasn’t that bad. You messed up last time and no one mocked you about it. It’ll be okay. For once his heart and his mind agreed. He sat happy in knowing that he was past regret and on his way to recovery.





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