It Was My School

December 13, 2007
By Heather Summerfield, Harrisburg, OR

I’d been to this school a hundred times before. Even before I attended high school, I walked the halls with my older brothers and sister, since first grade when my eldest brother began to go here as a freshmen. I attended sporting events and awards banquets with my older siblings, and then when I was old enough I began school here. For three years now, I’ve come back, summer after summer and break after break, I’ve always come back and I’ve always loved it.

But this time for a second, it was foreign to me. I was only gone a few short weeks, but going back, seemed worse than not finishing. I knew that I knew everyone there, and they were still the same people, my friends, but I wanted nothing to do with any of them. I felt as if I were an alien, like everyone knew what happened and all that I’d been through in the past few weeks, and no one understood. Sitting in class and walking through the halls, everyone went a hundred miles per hour and I was thrown into the middle of it, not having a clue what was going on, everyone running past me in a blur. I was an infant to the world around me.
The day I convinced myself to set foot back in this once familiar place. I immediately felt eyes on me, judging me, feeling sorry for me because of what I went through, whispering, and talking, making up stories, trying so hard to find any physical evidence of my loss, all of them telling a different rumor. I felt like I knew no one. All these people that I once joked with, and laughed with, and occasionally cried with were unknown to me. I felt a huge distance between me and anyone else in the school.
But this was my school; I’d been here a hundred times before. But it wasn’t my school that day. It was a strange place that I didn’t want to be. The people weren’t my friends, they were just people walking and worrying about boyfriends and girlfriends and class and tomorrow, when I was worried about life and why things happen and how I could have never of gotten the chance to ever come back, and about how short life could be. I was lost and so out of place. Nothing made sense and everything was a blur.
Now it is again my school. It is again the place I’d been a hundred times before. The teachers are again my teachers, no one is speaking a foreign language, and my friends are again my friends. No one talks; no one looks. It’s my school again.

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