It is a typical Wednesday morning, the middle of the week, and I’m running late to school. It’s 7:43 and most students are making a mad dash to beat the morning bell, others linger around the green courtyard, catching up with friends, dreading going to class. I make my way through the maze of students, and I catch my best friend, Lauren, in the stairwell at the top of A building, both on our way to the history class we have together. We do not say a word, just share a look that says “we want to go home and we need more coffee,” before we head into class.
Our class is always in chaos in the mornings. The boys compare what they have for breakfast today and discuss last night’s baseball game play by play, while the girls get together and share a bit of gossip they heard last night and begin to make plans for the weekend. Today was no exception. Just as the tardy bell rings, I sit in my seat at the corner of the room and notice that Kaylin, who sits behind me, is crying. Her face is red and blotchy and she is staring at her phone. I choose to act like I do not notice, because it must have been a rough morning and I would not want anyone bothering me if I were in her position. Then Abbie, who sits in the desk beside Kaylin, comes in a few minutes late, also crying. Lauren and I exchange confused glances, and I suddenly realize our teacher, Mrs. Hendrix, isn’t in the room. How strange, I think to myself, she is almost always here to greet us when we walk in the