I am not permitted to say those three words out loud (shhhh, I'll whisper them, looking left and right and left again...Back to School...shhh!).
Cassie and Caroline don't like school. Neither do I. We know it's necessary and once it gets going we give it our best. We even enjoy most days, but summer is summer and we love it. We hate to say good-bye to outdoorsy days, barefoot playing, blue sky, gorgeous sunsets, starry skies, gardens bursting with color and produce, short sleeves, and all those carefree, beautiful, easy-living type things.
We none of us like sitting at a table and going over information that someone has declared we need to know.
BTS - Back to School.
Last night I had my decades-long nightmare again. Seriously, WHEN is it going to stop revisiting and smelling up my peaceful Sleep-Land? I've had this demonic night vision since I was in junior high! Maybe you've had it, too, or some other such horrific version of your own?
It goes like this. It's the first day of school in September and I'm sitting at a desk in a classroom when the screeching bell blares (I cringe at the very thought of that sound). I'm out of my seat, everyone is laughing, filing down the halls in good order, I am caught in the rush, but I don't know which class is next. Where am I supposed to go? Oh no....think, Cherie, think! I search through my denim binder: new pencils and erasers in my plastic-zipped pouch, plenty of binder paper, pastel-colored separators, no class schedule. Anywhere. But I find my locker number.
Three minutes have passed. The You'd Better Be in Your Classroom or ELSE! second bell blares. I'M NOT IN MY CLASSROOM! Panic!! The halls are empty, their emptiness makes a sickening, echoing sound somehow. Cold metal lockers. Shiny white tile floors. Buff-colored walls. Too-bright, merciless fluorescent lights in a row overhead burning into the top of my skull, "Get to class! Get to class! Get to class!! You're late late late!" Uh. Uh. For lack of anywhere else to try, I head for my locker. Yes, yes, here it is. Number 326. Okay, Good. Open it and find your class schedule.
But WHAT'S THE COMBINATION??!!?? I have no clue. Think. Think. Think. Blank. Blank. Blank. More panic. More screaming overhead lights, metal coldness, aloneness, failure, stupid, what-am-I-going-to-do?
To the office I head. Where's the office? Flushed cheeks, and sweaty-palms. Aren't you glad you use Dial? Don't you wish every body did? I wander around trying to hold back my tears. Finally, the office door appears in front of me. I walk up to the high, dark wood counter and stand behind kids and adults who are happy. Laughing. Oblivious to my presence. I speak. No sound. I am invisible. I search my binder again. Panic seizes me hard, I gasp for air, I can't breathe, the 'others' look at me, point at me, and laugh louder, harder. Tears pour out of my eyes and drip onto the hard white tile. No one cares......I can't get out of the office, the door is gone, I can't remember my locker number, what class am I supposed to be in, laughing pointing people...........
And I wake up, sobbing, gasping for air, clutching my throat, sitting straight up in bed, tears are on my cheeks, sweat is plastering my hair to my forehead, and my pillow is damp.
"Can't remember your locker combination again?" Tom murmurs.
"Yeah. Yeah. That's it," I answer acting brave for I really am terribly upset. My emotions don't know that the nightmare is a poser.