Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a text


After all this time?

You're gonna send me a message now?

Not fair. Not fair at all.

Here's to another stupid boy.

Thank God I have a good one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday Letter #2

A letter to a former student ...

Dear Bella,

I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me but after what I saw, I knew I had to write. I don’t know what I even need or want to say. I just know I have to do something.

I’ve known you for 5 years now. Ever since you were a freshman in high school. 14 years old with the whole world ahead of you. I remember hearing all about you from your big brother. He was in the first class I ever taught. He talked about you all the time. He told me how proud he was of you and he made it clear just how protective he was of his little sister. Then, I remember the day I met you … you came in with your big brown eyes, bright smile and you glowed with the kind of innocence so many of us wish we could have once again.

Over time, I came to know you well. You were so incredibly talented. You could act. You could dance. You could sing. You had the voice of an angel, the face of a child, and the heart of a saint.
I knew about where you lived – the same place I worked. I knew what life could potentially be like for you. Yet, I remained hopeful. That you would magically find a way to rise above all that was laid out before you.

But, sometimes, life just happens. No matter how we plan, how we hope, how we dream.
I knew about the first abortion. And then the second. I knew about the abusive boyfriend. And what happened at home … behind closed doors. I watched you perform monologues based on your life. I heard you sing about your pain in the lyrics that you wrote. I read the journal you turned in. I saw your story play out right before my very eyes.

I was your teacher, first and foremost. I did what I had to do to fulfill that duty. But, my heart was breaking for you. As a teacher, you want to save souls. But the job is to teach minds. You want children to embrace lessons about life. But the job is to share lessons about subjects. I’d listen when I needed to and even when I didn’t want to – overhearing your conversations with friends about things so unbelievable. Sometimes we can’t just shut it out. It’s like a train wreck for our ears.

I offered advice, hoping you would do what was best for you. Not for him. Not for them. But for you. And then I prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

Then, one day, everything changed for you. It was as if you woke up and put your innocence right back on. You came into my classroom with the same smile on your face from the first days I met you. You had a college application in one hand and homework in the other. Life was looking different. Life was looking good. For you.

Time went on. You went to college and I moved away. Keeping in touch was infrequent though I did receive updates. You were happy and life was carrying on well.

Then, one day I came across it. It was through a “People You May Know” tool on Facebook. I didn’t know that person though I knew it was you. It was not the same young woman that stood in front of me with pure excitement about the days, months, years ahead of her. You had next to nothing on. You were suggestively standing next to someone. My eyes perused the words on your page … I knew what I felt deep inside was right.

Now I am all about sewing your wild oats, having fun and being crazy. But, I know that whatever you are getting yourself into can’t be good … then, I heard from one of your former classmates. He told me you’re stripping these days. Now, sure I know that sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do but it isn’t that. It’s what I heard along with that. It wasn’t just about your clothes coming off … You are selling your body. You are giving away your pieces of innocence for pieces of paper. You are into even more hardcore drugs. The number of abortions is up to four. There is no way that life is good for you now. I know you better than that. What I don’t know is what happened.

Where is that smile?

Did someone stop believing in you? Did you stop believing in you? I didn’t. I haven’t. I won’t.

You are too good for this. Too beautiful. Too talented. Too smart.

Please, I beg you; start believing what I already know. And what you already know, too.