I'll Never Know

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I think a lot. Well, generally everyone thinks a lot, but I mean I think about the past a lot. About the most random things. Then I continue to convince myself that obviously these things will follow me around for the rest of my life and I will never be able to think about not thinking about them. Ever.
     

For example: the other night while I was tossing and turning, knowing I shouldn’t grab my phone to google who plays Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who (I could not for the life of me remember his name) because this of course would lead to hours of internet time I simply couldn’t spare, I began to remember all of those embarrassing things that happened three or five or seven years ago. You know, you’re laying there staring at the ceiling and you start to think about how you said that one stupid thing in front of the entire class and you know people thought about how it was stupid, but no one said anything and that bothers you.
     

These memories then lead me spiraling down a path of wondering what people must’ve been thinking every time something like that happened- or, actually- what people were thinking about my existence during every moment of it.


I can’t help but wonder what people are actually thinking when they read what I write, or if they’re being honest when they tell me about it.

     

Now, here’s where things really begin to bother me.
   

 So a few months ago I left my "second home" (a school I was used to) and began the semi-fabulous adventure that is high school (I was disappointed when it was extremely lacking a certain Zac Effron.) I make a habit of comparing my new school to my old one, and something that always comes to mind are these stupid assignments I never got back.
     

I’m that person who keeps all of their everythings. You know, receipts, shoe boxes, and in this case, graded assignments. Especially when it came to my English class. My first trimester of high school is lacking such a class, so I’ve been forced to settle with writing that isn’t for a grade- which I do anyway. However, sometimes I’ll look back on old assignments and re-write them, or edit previous essays.
     

But I’m missing a few key puzzle pieces. All of my middle school teachers had to do this thing where they take student work and, I don’t know, turn them in to prove they can teach. Anyway, I distinctly remember sitting in my English class on the last day of school or the second-to-last day, somewhere near the end. My teacher talked about how he had to prove he was a good teacher, etc etc, and then he asked if anyone in the class wanted their papers back. 100% of me wanted to say "yes! Me! I need them!" To raise my hand, but there’s this really weird thing called peer-pressure, so I didn’t. Simply because he’d have to dig through all the papers, then hand them back to me, and that would take a lot of valuable time just for me to see how I did. I reasoned that this was an unnecessary hassle that no one should have to deal with, so even when class ended I kept my mouth shut. I looked down at the stack of papers under his desk, and one of my assignments was on the top. It had the word ‘fantastic’ written on it in green ink. There might’ve been an exclamation point. I don’t know which assignment this was. And I’m absolutely positive I had maybe three or four other papers with comments on them.
     

What were they?! I’ll never know! And it’s going to annoy me every other Tuesday for the rest of my life. It’s probably too late to ask now, isn’t it. I’m sure. Positive that it is. Even if it isn’t, how weird would that be to ask for assignments back? After an entire summer? Who does that? NO ONE. No one who’s sane, that is. What am I going to do, send a casual email with no particular reason as to why I need these damn assignments. Not knowing is going to drive me INSANE. What was so fantastic? I’ll NEVER know. EVER. Even if I wanted to make an estimated guess as to what that particular assignment was about, I’d have nothing to go off of. The school already deleted the graduates grades and assignment lists- I checked. I’d have no way of even assuming what it might be.
   

 What about that last book report? I was pretty good at book reports, that one in particular was especially amazing in my opinion. I remember what it was about, but I don’t remember specifically what I wrote. I can’t remember how I described the author's purpose. Every time I sort through papers, I can count seven book reports but I’ll never have the satisfaction of counting “eight.” Plus, I get comments on all of my book reports. What was said?! Did I “nail it” when I wrote about the author’s purpose? DID I?! What if I didn’t even GET comments. I. WILL. NEVER. KNOW. *Internally screaming.*
     

Does anyone else have this problem? I can’t be the only one. These type of things keep me up at night. You know when you send someone a message that you weren’t sure about and they’re typing.


     And typing.
     Then the typing bubble goes away.
     Next, they’re typing again.
     It seems like it’s going on forever.
     What will they say?
     This is just like that.
     I’ll. Never. Know.






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chipped_graphite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm
This is so relatable! I can definitely empathize with your late night ramblings and worries, and I'm actually the exact same way with my old papers. I'll grumble and groan along with everyone else when another essay is assigned, but I secretly look forward to completing it and getting feedback. Maybe that's because my teachers have always seemed more straightforward, more accepting, more... I don't know, honest? Easier to understand? Than high school girls. But maybe that's just me.
 
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