Ten days ago I was released from a rehabilitation center. After finding out that I was addicted to pain medications, my mother put me on lock down in my room until the center was ready for me. I spent half of my freshman year and all of my summer there; I am finally sound enough to go back home and back to school.
My mother believes this to be good for me; it undeniably won’t be. I lost all my friends when I started dating James. He was the one who introduced me to the meds. After my friends found out each and every one left. Then they spread it around. That’s what made it worse. School became insufferable, except when James was there. But after my mother found out everything, I was forced to leave James and my old life behind to get better. As soon as I got to the center I had finally seen what was wrong. I made myself a promise that I would forget about James and the drugs he got me addicted to. But knowing that I’m about to start school once again, I can’t keep my consciousness clear of the thoughts of him any longer.
One last night of thoughts of school and James before I fall asleep to wake for tomorrow…
“Mara, wake up! Its six o’clock. You need to get up.”
My mother’s voice awakens me. I slowly draw myself out of bed and into the bathroom. I examine myself in the mirror. My shoulder length hair is disheveled from a deep nights sleep. The purplish bags beneath my eyes look as if they’ll never wane. My cheeks have a slight rose in them, though only evident if one looks closely. My skin has returned to its healthy golden-brown shade, just as my hair has gotten thicker and stronger; also returning to its light auburn color. I’ve also put on weight, recovering from my weak 110 lbs. to a pleasant 130 lbs. My rehab counselor rewarded me with a Snickers Bar; classic.
In all my months at rehab, I’d forgotten how it is always such a hurry to get out the door on a school morning. Run this way, run that way, don’t forget this, almost forgot that. I’m almost ready for bed again.
As my mother drives me to school, she gives me a pep talk for the day.
“Regardless of what happens, keep your head up. Everything is in the past. If anybody says anything, then it means they have no value of themselves or for others.”
I sigh. My mother turns to me with exhausted eyes.
“I just want to overlook all of it,” I say coolly, “I don’t want to have a discussion about it. I would like to get on with my life like everyone else and leave the past in the past… where it belongs.”
Now she heaves a sigh, but doesn’t have another word to speak until she swiftly declares her parting as she leaves me flirting with disaster.
With schedule in hand I stumble upon my homeroom. I’m early, but not the earliest. The eyes that I meet are large and probing. I steer clear of them at all cost. The bell rings and the class is full of gossip and rumor. I notice their fleeting looks back towards my direction. Never before have I ever wanted to vanish so terribly.
The teacher begins to call attendance. As soon as my name is called the room is hushed and all eyes are resting on me. I redden, softly call, “Here,” and put my head down. The bell for release rings and I flee from the room as swiftly as I can.
The next three classes continue as the first. All eyes land on me when attendance is called. I saw Jacelyn in second hour. It seemed as if she stared at me the entire class with her great blue eyes. I didn’t think her eyes could ever be so immense, but I was mistaken when I looked into her eyes for the first time since I last saw her.
Jacelyn was the last of my friends to depart, though she didn’t really. We still talked from time to time, and she came to the center a few times to visit me. I haven’t seen her in a couple of months; since her final visit.
The bell rings for release after third hour and my heart drops. Lunch hour, I have no idea where I’m going to sit. I have nobody to sit with, and it’s evident from the stares that I’ve...
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