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  • the bathroom is so close.

    "almost there, almost there." i quietly tell myself as i sprint up the decrepit stairs of my English department.

    so old, that ivy covers full windows. it seeps into our classrooms by way of the ceiling. at times, i find myself looking up and seeing a green, constructed sky.

    then i smile and realize that soon, i will be like my beloved building.

    elderly, feeble, perhaps i will smell faintly of cat piss, and covered in ivy. as i ponder the natural, but hopefully distant end of my life, i reach the bathroom. while pushing the swinging door forward, i hear something strangely familiar.


    no, not sobbing.

    wailing. wailing is much more appropriate. sobbing implies sadness, wailing implies pain. i heard real pain in those tears and shouts: a heart being ripped out, a stomach being shat out, the worst kind of feeling that could ever be inflicted upon a human being.

    and there she was, the owner of the suffering that weighed so heavily in the air. tears and mascara streaming down her inconsolable, yet beautiful face.

    instantly, our eyes met. i felt my brain shut off, as it usually does in awkward and difficult situations.

    but why? why is it awkward? it should not make me feel uncomfortable that she felt agony, which had piled so high within her mind and soul that she just had to let it violently pour out. i had felt that before.

    "connect," i told myself.

    what can i give her?

    "water," i thought. WHERE did this irrational idea that water will cure crying fits come from?

    "do you want some water?" i asked, hoping that maybe it will rectify whatever had ailed her so tremendously.

    "no!" she screamed.

    silence hung over the putrid bathroom. the girl was in my way to get to the stall. if i wait one more minute, i WILL have pee rolling down my leg. without thinking, i walked towards the girl. my body was propelling me forward even though i had not asked it to do so. i was not ready, at 21, to have an accident 2 feet away from the toilet. i figured that my body was afraid of such an idea, and went into autopilot.

    before i knew it, my arms lifted, and i wrapped them around the girl. at first, i felt her fight my unintentional need to help, and then i felt her crumble beneath it. reducing her grand being to tears- to water.

    "it's okay," i told her.

    everyone needs release. but more importantly, everyone needs another person to help pick up the pieces when the disaster is over.

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