September 25, 2012
The chapel wall was hard against my back, but I was glad for its support. After so many minutes of standing and waiting, fearful of what I knew had happened, I needed that support. Several more people I knew passed by. I said hello. Cindy’s hair looked the same as it always had; Matt shied away, still wary of little girls. They disappeared through the glass doors at the end of the hall and I was once more alone, listening for the sound of footsteps, waiting for the faces I longed to see come around the corner of the hall.
The scent of popcorn wafted to me from the fellowship hall, stirring my knotted and empty stomach. Enviously, I wondered which class had enjoyed my favorite snack. I was beginning to feel very hungry. A glance at my watch told me that I had a right to be. 12:45. More than half an hour late.
My feet hurt. Dress shoes were not made for comfort. With a sigh, I gave up on appearing ladylike and slumped down on the floor, my skirt ballooning around me. After that, when people passed, I merely smiled. I could tell some of them wanted to ask if I was all right—I knew I made a dejected figure, sitting with my knees drawn up against my chest in the church hallway. They didn’t ask though. It was just as well; I didn’t know if I was all right anyway—at least, not until I looked at my watch again.
It was nearly one o’clock. The way the seconds had dragged past it seemed like it should have been later, but that was late enough. Trying not to cry, I knew I had to face facts. What I feared was true. I was not all right. I had been left. Forgotten.

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