I heard a funny noise in the stall beside me, like something spilling onto the dingy tile of a typical high-school bathroom, or something ripping. I didn’t think anything of it; I swung my messenger bag onto my usual shoulder and stepped out. Two girls at the sinks were staring at the stall beside me, that had emitted the strange sounds. Upon looking down, I saw a pool of vomit forming around two beige cowboy boots. There was a whimper.

The girls that had been doing their hair at the mirrors hurriedly asked if the girl was “okay,” and then stole away quicker than one would usually leave a restroom when the response was a faint “mmhm.” I asked the stall if I should go get the nurse. A pitiful affirmative responded, accompanied by another harsh slapping sound. The pool got bigger. Then again; bigger still. I ran out of the bathroom, past the math wing, took a right.

The nurse looked at me sort of like I was stupid, then told me to go find a “maintenance worker.” I was confused; did she think she wasn’t needed? Before I could leave or protest (I wasn’t sure which I was going to choose, unfortunately), she said she’d call for one herself. Still confused, I just decided to go back to the restroom and wait with the girl.

I had no idea what to say; she wouldn’t come out of the stall and I didn’t want to force my way in. Sitting with a half-crying, half-vomiting girl (still vomiting; I was beginning to fear for her condition) is awkward, especially when you can’t see her.
Footsteps, creaks – the nurse with a wheelchair. So she decided it’d be a good idea to check up on things, hmm. “Baby, what is it that you need?” she asks. Only a squeak in reply, followed by another spill. The nurse asks for a name.

The voice comes, finally, and the nurse’s face changes. She begins to move faster, opens the stall door; the girl is covered in filth, slumped over her knees on the toilet, hair cascading in front of her face. She looks up slowly. She is one of our special education students. I begin to wonder if, had no one said anything, she would have ever gone for help herself.

The nurse runs out of the restroom again. I decide I have no choice but to wait. The girl closes the stall door.

Upon the nurse’s return, I am told that I can leave, after being thanked. I back out of the bathroom, and resume my walk out of the school, worried.

I am sitting on the large, granite tablet that is engraved with my school name. I look up from my phone, and the first thing I see is a girl in a large, red truck, leaning over something someone in the driver’s seat is showing her; or so I assumed. I smiled to myself; I remembered when I had a boy to sit with in his truck. I guessed they were a couple. But before I could turn my attention back to my phone, the red door opens, and the girl steps out. Her hair is in her face. The truck begins to move away before she has even shut the door. She hurriedly slams it closed and then watches it leave. He does not look bothered.

She climbs into another truck, her own (gotta love Arkansas) and adjusts herself in the seat. Then she puts her head in her hands. Looks up; sinks her head back down again. And while I’m sitting there, watching her, I really wish I could talk to her. Because I felt I knew exactly what she was dealing with. I remembered a truck peeling away too, taking part of me with it. I wanted to tell her that she would either receive a phone call explaining about what a complete jerk he was, or she wouldn’t hear from him again. And that either way, things would work themselves out.

The ignition turns over and the girl drives away.

I am left to recall my own memories, and how hard it is to not think of them every day, even when we’re both over it and separated and fine and dandy. It’s funny, how we remember things, and the little things that make us remember at all.

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