Gonna post twice today, that is, this and the Ficly. I never brag about my writing, but this is powerful. Maybe just to me, but if I was going to cry, this was going to do it. Please read.
The gang (my French class) probably noticed that I didn’t share any memories of our teacher, Madame Hiria Kojtari, today. That’s just because I can never find the right words in the moment. As soon as my fingers hit a keyboard though, I’m good to go.
I thought today was going to be much easier than it was. Mme. Kojtari’s French V class met yesterday for Pizza that no one ate. A whole pie and all eight people could do was look, but other than that sobering moment in the pizzeria, it was a fairly entertaining outing. Jake fought with Natalie which added an air of normalcy to the gathering, and we all managed to avoid the subject of our teacher. I don’t know how we pulled that off.
I wrongly assumed that our get-together would be an indicator of how we would fare come Monday. Today, dressed in black, we all headed to a lecture hall which was serving as a temporary place of grieving. It was too weird skipping class to stay with my friends. Could I have gone to my classes? Maybe. I knew I didn’t want to talk to any of my friends who weren’t involved with the situation or who were still blissfully unaware because their ignorance would only serve to anger me. Granted, that isn’t a fair way to treat my friends, but I avoided most of them, so perhaps they won’t ever know what I’ve been through.
In Room 130, the lecture hall, a “crisis team” from the district education center was there to offer help, and I couldn’t have hated them more. Crazy how I so vehemently wanted them to leave when all they were doing was trying to help. It felt like they had walked into the situation expecting to make a difference. I wanted them to get the fuck out of my face, but I smiled a waved like a drone.
Our principal who has a tendency for speaking for too long had nothing to say. He spoke for two minutes and when he got a knot in his throat, the girls lost it. Sitting in front of Jake, Iram, and I, a row of our friends cried their hearts out. None of the guys shed a tear.
I signed the massive sheet referencing our failure to form a decent circle with our desks when she would ask at the beginning of each period. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get our desks in a circle, but I think out L-shape was pretty spiffy. Maybe some day I’ll learn the subjunctive tense.”
Jake drew a picture she would always draw to explain reflexive verbs. The caption read, “Be reflexive, please come back.”
Still doesn’t make any sense that this could have happened to our Madame Kojtari. I told a friend on Facebook that I wish there were words for how I feel, but instead I’m stuck referencing how surprised I am.
The song playing on my computer right now “Thank you for the inspiration/ thank you for the smiles/ thank you for the unconditional love.” Is this a joke? How much more apropos could it get?
The day continued. There was debate as to whether or not we would have the courage to go to the classroom come period 8. I voted yes. We all ended up going. Alina said we should put our desks in a circle. It ended up in the shape of an “L” anyway. I guess we’ll never get that right.
Well. She wasn’t there. She was gone and we all knew it because we weren’t reading Voltaire’s “Candide.” We were dressed in black, some weeping, some watching others cry.
One of the crisis counselors came in and Alina asked indirectly for her to leave. Ashley wanted to play French Monopoly like we had the previous Thursday. Why? Because we asked, and Madame K couldn’t find a reason not to break the rules a bit.
We got three turns into the game of monopoly today. The girls cried and I held a friend just waiting for the situation to blow away suddenly, maybe in the same way Hiria Kojtari up’d and left us.
At lunch my best friend Nick greeted me tactfully. He didn’t bring it up, and did me a huge favor by not saying anything about what I was going through. Makes me remember why he really is my best friend. I said goodbye to go sit with the class in the middle of a sea of loud kids, who were none the wiser. Natalie was crying again, and when Jake gave her a quick hug, I thought I was going to loose it.
We regrouped at the end of the day to listen to the principle deliver a brief explanation over the PA out of a sense of duty, but he could never have done her justice in twenty seconds. He used words like “passed away” instead of “murder”. He is the consummate professional, and I appreciate the way he handled the situation, but it felt like everyone then knew why my friends and I were in black, but no one understood the nature of the beast.
Well, at least my friend and classmate, Iram, looked good in black. When we walked to the bus in the rain, I kept telling him that I would spend thousands on a camera if it meant I could get him at that moment: Black tie, black shirt, black shoes, black slacks, five o’clock shadow like a man who hadn’t slept in days, glasses, and a walk he and I shared like we’d just lost our best friend.