Jan 17

try not to stare

there they were, in my public library.
i wasn't quite sure if it was,
but it was later confirmed as i saw them walking with a teacher from my school.
i sucked in my breath as i passed them,
and looked at the ground.
and behind the fiction section,
a clear veiw in between two books,
i tried not to stare.

before it came out,
they were a normal person in my school.
i didn't know them.
i didn't really think much of them,
and by that i really didn't have anything nice to say about them,
or really any reason to judge.

but they had a secret.
one that made me wonder
how on earth all the anger and hatred in our world has come to this.
one that kept the clock ticking in my head,
my eyes on my paper,
but at the same time,
very far away from it.
one that made local newspaper headlines burst.
one that kept us on the edge that whole week and beyond that,
with police fully armed in the hallways,
one that kept our heads spinning with information
that we were never sure was true.

all of this had gone on a few weeks ago...
the news on fire,
the bullet proof vests and guns secured in belts of the police,
the weight of all of this dumped on every single 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 year old in my school.
the teachers as well.

with that secret passed on with whispers and news headlines,
all coming at me at once,
i was afraid.

i was terrified.

not only of what could have happened,
but of what could happen tomorrow,
next wednesday,
any day that in the morning,
i would think was normal.

i didn't really know how i felt when i passed that kid.
all of these feelings of terror, disgust,
but also shame, that our society hasn't become one
that would keep kids safe,
mentally and physically.

so i just stayed quiet,
walking closer to my mom,
trying not to stare.