I looked out the window in the grief counselor’s office of Northstorm High. It was on the second floor of our school building overlooking the courtyard which was now filling with students.
“Ara, I think that writing down what you’ve been feeling lately is an important part of the process of healing. It’s okay to grieve, we all do it. I know it must be hard for you since Ashton…”
Silence. Everyone always gets silence when referring to what happened to Ashton, as if not saying anything will save me from a reoccurring wave of emotions.
“Since Ashton killed herself,” I finished for Ms. Lina while internally wincing from my forwardness.
Ms. Lina studied me quietly to see how I would react, but I continued to stare out the window without showing a single emotion. After a while, I turned away from the window and looked Ms. Lina in the eyes.
“Can I ask you a question?” I asked in a very serious tone.
Ms. Lina nodded, “Of course, I’m here to help you.”
I searched my mind for a way to ask the question I had in a less morbid way, but I could not think of another way to put it.
“Have you ever watched someone die, or have you ever had someone’s blood on your hands?” I asked.
Ms. Lina looked uncomfortable as she stuttered an answer. “I…um, no. I haven’t, why do you ask?”
I leaned back in my chair with the unsettling knowledge that she would never know how I felt.
“No reason,” I said as I fixed my gaze back on whatever was out the window with my arms folded over my chest.
Ms. Lina and I sat in a moment of awkward silence until she turned to her desk and pulled something out of the top drawer.
“Here,” she said as she turned back to me and held out a journal.
I looked at her and hesitantly took it then placed it in my lap.
“Many of your classmates are worried about you, Aria. A majority of them have told me that you have had a few incidents in class and—”
I gave a convincing fake smile and cut her off by saying, “I’m fine, and thank you for your help, but I have to go.”
Ms. Lina looked at me with a very concerned look but then nodded and handed me a signed hall pass slip.
“If you ever need me, I’m here to talk,” Ms. Lina said in a last attempt to reach out to me before I left.
I nodded and thanked her again while putting the journal she gave me in my backpack.
“I will,” I said with a smile and then I walked out of her office.