I sign in to the tablets. The same young lady that was avoiding eye contact last time has now taken Olympic qualifier courses in avoidance. She barely even acknowledges my existence. As I sign in the same lady I just had felt guilty over walks up to me.
She says “Thank you, for doing what you did.” “No one knew what you were doing at the time until the young man explained it.” And “ I just wanted to say thank you for being willing to sacrifice yourself for people you do not know.” As I choked up a reply of “No worries it not that big of a deal”
I turn and go sit down. She still is standing at the counter. I overhear her and the young lady talking and I hear her say “I cannot believe he did that last week”. Then to my amazement I hear the young lady say, “ Told my mom about him. And she told me that never in her life has she ever wanted to hug a stranger more than him”
I sat there not knowing what to say or how to react.
It was unique in regards that everyone started to come up to the counter. And just wave to me or look at me in surprise. The most humorous was the young man came up front and saw me. He had to double take before he waved and asked how I was doing. I gave him the head nod and said “I am good.”
Then I am sitting in front of the financial aid aide again. You can tell I am making her uncomfortable by being there. It’s reminding her of last week.
Where do I go from here or what do I do? I am making things worse here for these people. So I just leave and forget my dream again to live in my comfortable prison. Once again to never change my station.
After all, I know all the songs and I can afford free, it is just now I know that my fears own me and cannot seem to stir up the bravery to make the change at that college.
Illustration by author. Used with permission.
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