I am sure nobody has ever been alright on their first day of senior year in high school. I am no exception, except my anxiety is probably a thousand times more than an average student’s. Racing heart? Check. Fast breathing? Check. Fumbling steps? Check.

Walking into the new school, I pull the sleeves of my shirt, bringing the hem up to my fingers. I repeat my mantra in my head: Do not let them see. Do not let them know. 

The day ends smoothly; nobody bullies me, nobody calls me a freak, and nobody sees it. Instead, I make new friends, but again, you never know.

One day down, about 364 more to go.

The next day, I walk to class, my eyes on the white and blue floor tiles. Do not let them see. Do not let them know. Do not – Slam! I crash into a solid wall, lose my balance, and fall. Ugh! Could this be more embarrassing? It turns out to be mortifying

The solid wall – Mr. Smith – gasps as his eyes fall on the raised scars on my wrist. I quickly pull the sleeve lower and look away.

“Ms. Johnson, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”

“No, I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking.” My eyes focus on my boots.

“I’d like a word with you. Let’s go to my office.”

I silently follow, digging my fingers in my fist, the slight pain from my nails not even registering in my mind. I tried. I tried to stay away from their judgement. Moving, changing schools, it was all for nothing. They saw. They know.

“Please take a seat.” His voice breaks through my thoughts. “Ms. Johnson, Mrs. Miller is the school therapist. I would like you to schedule an appointment with her.”

And that is how my life changes a second time, but this time, it is for the better.

About 364 days later, on my first day of college, I am nervous. My heart races, but my chin is up. My breathing is fast, but my lips curve in a smile. I am alright.

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    Melissa Taggart
    Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
    3 years ago

    Great story about resilience! The first paragraph was also my experience in senior high. You’re so talented!

    Eric Radcliffe
    Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
    3 years ago

    I think about the times I have had to step into the Great Unknown. It was never as bad as I first thought and here it is in your story – but my chin is up – you made it.
    I liked your story very much. It is a true to life story.

    Katerina Bizirtsaki
    Katerina Bizirtsaki(@katerina-bizirtsaki)
    3 years ago

    I think this story can reach every reader! It’s so bittersweet and inspirational.

    Sandra James
    Sandra James(@sandra-james)
    3 years ago

    I love how you made the situation relatable. So many of us have gone through similar emotions although this person clearly has a more difficult situation to deal with. I like how you repeated the 364 days and gave a good but realistic ending.

    musing mind
    musing mind(@musing-mind)
    3 years ago

    Your story is very relatable. I am glad you were resilient till the end.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    3 years ago

    What a beautifully crafted story. You get a real sense of how your character’s confidence grows over the period of the story. A very satisfying read.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    2 years ago

    I am happy to see that the “like” I put in for your story changed the number from 364 to 365, just like the number of days between the beginning and the end of your story. I especially like the elements of surprise in it. The solid wall turns out to be the headmaster (?), the secret which, at first, is well hidden turns out to be scars on the wrists, and… Read more »

    Tejal Doshi
    Tejal Doshi(@tejal-doshi)
    2 years ago

    This story is from May but I remembered reading it a short while ago and came back because it really stood out to me.
    I love this one! I could almost feel the anxiety in your character’s head, and the “I am alright” in the end. Your story is an example of how things can always get better no matter how bad it gets.

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    2 years ago

    A powerful story that cannot help but stir the emotions with an ending that was reassuring. A really good read.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 years ago

    Congratulations again for this another win, Shreya. It is a very relatable and inspiring story. You are so talented in writing. 

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