By Cydnie Day
Sophomore at Redmond High School
One of the most horrific situations I can think of is when a place you feel most comfortable becomes the very source of all your fear and anxiety.
School, already stressful with high expectations from teachers and endless amount of work, includes a whole new stressor—the reality that at any moment your school could be the subject of horrific violence.
The screen shines on my pale face as I watch the news in front of me. The story is about a school where a man shot children with no remorse, horrifying, really. I tasted pure fear and disdain in my mouth as I watched the middle-aged man talk about the event. It makes me think about how I truly feel walking into school every day.
I pretend I don't feel a small sense of dread each time.
I fear that maybe one day I'll hear the gunshots ring throughout the halls. I feel that maybe one day I'll see my classmates, my friends, dead on the cold tile floors. I fear of sitting in a dark classroom huddled next to my fearful classmates with no other protection from the cold silver bullets than a wooden door. I fear that the shooter breaches our wall of protection, taking away the only hope we had for survival, and the feeling of a bullet piercing my skin.
I think of how my family would feel. My mother and father would weep at the loss of their little girl, gone too soon. My brother would be filled with regret at the fact that he was rarely ever with me at Christmas or on my birthdays. My sister would get high and forget I ever existed. My Papa's heart would stop beating. My grandma would mourn the deaths of a grandchild and a husband.
I think if I had managed to survive. The guilt I'd feel standing by my deceased friend's casket and the fact that I lived and they died. That guilt only being exploded into pure shame when I see the sobbing faces of their families. As I lay a white rose on the glossy wooden lid of the cruel chamber of death, I cry. I cry for not only this life that was lost but the countless others.
And if I didn't survive.
"Here lies a soul that left this earth far too soon." That's what my gravestone would say. I'd lie cold in a fancy wooden box as my family and friends stood around and mourned my young lost soul. My father would say my eulogy. He'd say how determined and full of hopes and dreams I was, how I could make a whole room laugh with one quick phrase. He'd say how I was gonna change things, no matter how small. I'd get buried under heavy dirt next to people who had fallen before me.
School used to be my safe place, but no matter how much I try to convince myself, that safety is gone. We're all too busy fighting over what the best solution is when things are only getting worse. These events really put into perspective how in one moment your whole existence can change.
As a student you learn to live with the fear, you push it to the back of your mind and tell yourself that that'll never happen to you. The truth is, it could happen to anyone. It really shows you how much we fight over things. Even when that solution someone is fighting against could be the difference between life and death.