The long weekend had left me in a daze of tired drunkenness and everlasting dread. Homework had taken over my life and I was just about done with it all. School was such an inconvenience due to the fact that I just hated it. I looked outside at the cold October day debating what to do with it. I finally convinced myself that an education was actually important as I begrudgingly dragged myself out the door. I probably would have skipped if I wasn’t a senior. I slid the key into the ignition of my beat up Honda and made my way to school.
I got to the hell hole and shuffled through the front door. The bitter coffee I had been sipping clearly no longer had an effect on my well being. The bell rung with a piercing scream as I made my way to first period. When I walked in, no one seemed to be chattering uncontrollably like usual. Instead, the room was filled with awkward silence as everyone actually focused on their work for once. The period flew by, and the bell rang again waking everyone from their daze.
I walked down the busy hallway as people bumped me on their way to their next destination. Second period was always the best because my friends Mitchell and Corinna were in it with me. I entered the classroom and my eyes instantly hit them.
“Hey Selena!” Mitchell screamed from across the room. Corinna elbowed him hard in the side making his grin turn into a sneer.
“Hey Mitch,” I said with a slight giggle.
Mitchell had been my neighbor for the past seven years. Corinna was a fresh friend only joining mine and Mitchell’s pair about two years ago.
Class started with the wretched bell screaming at us once more. The teacher wasn’t as upbeat as usual. The entire school seemed to be an anxious mess. Nothing seemed wrong, but everyone thought something was.
“I’m bored,” whispered Corinna.
“Follow me,” Mitchell said with smirk.
One by one we all got up from our seats and met outside of the door. We made our way to the nearest bathroom per Mitchell’s instruction. Once we arrived, Mitchell pulled a blunt out of his bag. Him and Corinna had started smoking about a year ago because they thought it was cool or something. Idiots. They blazed up in front of one of the rusty sinks as I sat back and took in the rancid secondhand smoke.
Time had flown by again. Second period was about to end when the principal came over the intercom.
“PLEASE DO NOT PANIC. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WE ARE GOING INTO LOCKDOWN.”
My heart dropped. I felt the world stop around me as I looked to my friends in disbelief. No one said a word for what seemed like an eternity before Mitchell finally broke the silence.
“We gotta get out of here.”
“We need to stay. No one is going to let us in,” I said, my voice panicked.
“I’m out of here!” whined Corinna, tears rolling down her face.
She ran out of the bathroom full force; Mitchell soon followed. Almost as soon as they left, I heard a noise I will never be able to forget, the horrified scream of the innocent teen, Corinna. The spine chilling sound was followed by two gunshots and silence. This couldn’t be happening.
My heart started racing. I forgot all about my friends as instinct and adrenaline coursed through my body. I swiftly made my way to the far stall, shaking furiously from fear. I locked it and sat on top of the toilet. The bathroom was silent except for a light dripping from the leaky faucet. I sat alone, tears quietly streaming down my hot cheeks. I looked up to the ceiling as a silent prayer had escaped my mouth. That was all I could think to do at the time.
It seemed like days had passed by since I had just talked to Corinna and Mitch. I looked at my watch to realize it had only been about 12 minutes. Out of nowhere, the bathroom door slowly opened with an agonizing creek. My heart started racing once more and I held my breath. The sluggish footsteps of a stranger lingered in the heavy air. As the person made their way to the stalls, my heart beat even faster than before. I could only see the black leather combat boots from where I was seated. I squeezed my eyes shut hoping that would solve the problem. I tried not to vomit from the stench of weed and fear as I continued to silently pray.
My eyes were ripped open as my ears filled with the war cry of the man. He wailed uncontrollably while he threw his body against the tile wall. Tears streamed down my face in torrents as my lip quivered.
All of a sudden, there was silence followed by footsteps and the bang of the slammed bathroom door. He was finally gone. A deep sign had escaped my mouth after being held captive for about two minutes.
I waited in the bathroom for the longest hour of my life. Despair and anxiety continued to live within me as I sat, unmovable, in the prison of the stall.
I was jolted from my fearful trance as a gang of men burst through the bathroom door. My heart filled with panic as I quickly made my way to the stall door. I opened the door with caution after looking through the crack. It was the police, standing in all of their life saving glory. My feet and my brain were no longer connected as they sprinted towards the the nearest person. I clutched his torso as if I was never going to let go.
The man looked down at my tear infested face with a gentle gaze and said, “It’s ok. You’re safe now.”