As the final minutes of the session drew near, I watched the hands of the clock intently, giving mental sounds to each tick of the second hand.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
It’s almost time, I tell myself. I feel my heart beat a little fast. My body feels warmer and my mouth is dry. I could choke and die right here, I remember thinking. They would laugh at me, I also remember thinking.
It has become all too familiar. The laughter that makes no attempt at being subtle. The same sounds you hear each time you walk away from the rowdies. Yes, I suppose that is what I will be calling them. The rowdies and the loudies, the perpetually cheerful and boisterous them, and then there’s me. Me, the resident gunk that lives under their feet – and noses. Oh how they stick them up real high so you never really see eye to eye with them – literally.
So I came up with a plan. I anticipate the end and I prepare for it. I stuff my belongings in my bag a little quicker than everyone else. I waste not a second lingering inside with careless, redundant chatter. They do that all the time. It is their strength, their super power. The same conversations that are recycled daily with a slight change in context. It still entertains and intrigues them.
How fortunate, and unfortunate.
I count my steps to the door. I feel the stares weighing down on me. Focus, I tell myself. One, two, three, four, five, six. This is it. The moment of reckoning. The longest seconds in each day. The time has come where I have to walk by them. Do I pretend to smile? Do I look away? I never really know what to do. I hold my breath and clear my head. I can’t deal with these thoughts. I just can’t.
Just keep moving. Come on. Almost there now.