Lunch period. A high school courtyard.
A 15 year old hovers over a bound book-
while at school.
The book is thick; full of receipts, stickers,
the occasional leaf or two.
The bell rings- she packs up her stuff and leaves.
At the end of fifth period,
she has trouble finding her safety net in her bag.
She panics as the bus drives off
with her on it.
Her secrets, everything,
from filthy gossip to entries about cutting,
was now lost in the world.
She hadn't seen it since lunch...
she tries to remember if she ever wrote her name in it.
What if they figure it out regardless?
Terror! Alarms! She feels the air pulled out of her lungs.
She doesn't eat that night.
Her texts to her best friend are short.
That was one of the worst parts.
Not long ago, her friend confided in her about being molested
and she wrote about all of it when nobody was supposed to know.
She even wrote about her own father's addiction.
It needed to be found...
She got to school early to find it,
starting with the courtyard.
There, she ran into the counselor,
a youngish brunette with a kind face.
"Hi, Maddie. I'm Ms. Jen from the office."
Ms. Jen or whoever flashed a warm smile.
"Oh, hi." Not now, she thought.
Then, Ms. Jen held up something. The worst thing she could have.
"Someone turned this in. I believe it belongs to you?" Followed by
a stammered "Yes."
"I'm kind of concerned about some of the things in here.
"Can you come talk in my office?"
Obeying, she walked blindly, staring at the tiles.
Stomach in knots, tears in her eyes.
Her worst fears had come alive.