“You suffered a serious loss this summer, Bianca. The school faculty was concerned, even the principal wanted me to check up on you.” Let me assure you, I did not have time to have a conversation with the school’s psychiatrist. Sitting amongst a sea of throw pillows in a cramped office, I adjusted my Edgar Allen Poe patterned socks. On his desk, a wooden crane dipped up and down, moving on its own accord.
“Oh I’m fine.” Reassuring others that I was fine seemed to become a common occurrence nowadays. Students treated me like I was some tragic mess, fragile and ready to crumple at any moment. Hardly. There’s more to my story than that.
“It appears so.” The therapist shuffled his paperwork. My life condensed in a manilla folder. “Excelling in all of your classes. Writing for the school newspaper. Volunteering in the school play.”
My shoulders bounced. “I try to keep busy.” And Chester always did like the theatre.
“This is a safe place to talk about him.” Mister Raphael reminded. Yes, because the motivational poster of a polar bear climbing a mountain really made me feel safe to express my feelings. “Grief takes many forms.”
Fingers fidgeted with the sleeve of my wool sweater. My eyes kept glancing at the clock. This meeting lasted 6 minutes and 47 seconds, 5 minutes longer than necessary. Why did I give up free period for this? Although my jaw tightened, I forced a smile. “He was my boyfriend since freshman year. We were planning to go to the same college together. Get married. Kids. White picket fence.” Excuse the cynicism, it had been a long semester, with more sympathetic looks than I could count. Some of them didn’t even know Chester.
“He’d want me to keep going.” Not very poetic, but very true, nonetheless.
After a couple seconds of silence, I informed Mister Raphael about the pieces I planned to write for the school newspaper. I had a journal filled with notes and outlines for possible articles. While talking about news topics, an eagerness returned to my voice. Are the tofu burgers in the cafeteria really vegan? Did last year’s valedictorian cheat on his SATs?
“And I’m also looking into the recent disturbances at the graveyard.” Mysterious happenings were happening in the Westminster Cemetery. The reporter in me must investigate. The ceiling light flickered above. “Or maybe I should write about the school’s faulty wiring.”
We share an uneasy, cordial laugh. Then, It was time to leave. “Well, my door is always open, if you need an ear.”
With my chin raised and a sigh of relief, I exited the office. Ponytail swishing from side to side. The halls were mostly clear, except for a few lingering students and a security guard distracted by his smartphone.
“Grief takes many forms.” Those empathetic words felt lackluster on my lips. I stared at my reflection in the vending machine window. “How am I supposed to grieve when you won’t quit bothering me?” One of the metal rings in the machine spiraled, releasing a snack from it’s grip. A bag of honey wheat pretzels, my favorite.
I couldn’t help but smile. What a charmer, even in death.
Hey Writer Bees! Hope you enjoyed this little scene. Lately, I’ve been playing around with the idea of a having fiction series on this blog, updating with a new chapter each month. This is just a snippet of a mystery plot, following Bianca, the school reporter, and the unusual events happening in Baltimore.
Want to read more of this story? How do you feel about a regular series on this blog? Be honest, and let me know what you think in the comments.
Write with heart,