So the new semester (really, a new quarter in high school language, but once you get used to semesters that’s what you want to call it all the time) was supposed to start. I got into school and got myself situated and ready to go because that is what a good teacher does when they are not prepared. And then, they called a snow day. And I did nothing productive at all. I could have (and maybe even should have) done some reading for class – and I still might a little bit. I could have (and maybe even should have) done some more planning for my creative writing class that will begin when our bout of weather is gone. [On a side note: I was already at school when they had closed and was a little upset because I don’t get paid for snow days since I am only a long term substitute. I did appreciate that I got in a good 5K run before I went home and got at least a little bit of work done]
So, I’m teaching creative writing. And I’m thrilled about it. Creative writing is something I love. Something that I want to nurture. I’m not sure how I’m going to be at teaching it, but I hope that my passion for it will make up for my somewhat lack of knowledge and really gets the kids to realize and understand it.
My plan for this week is going to stay the same, it will just be pared down some. I want the kids to get used to writing. Because we will be doing a lot of writing this semester. We will be writing every day. And I don’t think they’re used to that. And they’re going to have to get used to it. So, this week we are going to do a prompt-a-thon. I’m going to give them three sets of prompts where they choose one to write on for 10 minutes before moving on. Their final prompt is a reflection on writing for the day – what was easy/hard/etc? I’m excited for it. So I figured I’d do one of the prompts right now so that I was in the mindset and ready to go as well.
Pick a person who has betrayed you. Write a story about the moment that this occurred.
I can still remember how I felt as I sat in the living room for the first time in months. It was my living room, technically, just like it was her living room and our other roommate’s living room. But I had been avoiding the apartment and spending all my time in my tiny room. I always felt like I was invading their space and that it didn’t belong to me at all.
But as I sat in the living room, replaying the conversation we had had – the one about hanging out with her more and being more present – I knew that I was doing the right thing. I knew that at that moment, I had made the choice to try to fix things and to be more present. I had chosen to be sitting the living room instead of sitting in my room and keeping myself away from them.
I heard their voices in the hall before they entered the apartment. They didn’t sound happy. I made brief eye contact as they came in and, without acknowledging me, both walked right past and into one of their rooms. My heart sank and tears sprang to my eyes.
It was hard to put yourself out there and not get the response that you wanted. It was hard to feel like you had lost a friend. And it was in that moment that I knew our friendship was gone.
I made my way back to my room and let the tears fall down, locking myself away again and realizing that I had made a mistake. This time was different. And as I continued to replay the conversation that I was sure had meant that I was supposed to be in the living room, I felt the worse betrayal I’ve ever felt.
I didn’t talk to them again for a long time. And when we saw each other things were strained and not pleasant. It was not how I had seen my senior year of college turning out with one of my best friends.
Since then, I have found that there were factors that were outside of my control. There were things that both she and I could have – and probably should have – done differently. There will always be that lost time. And things will never be the same – even if we pretend like they are. I didn’t make my way out to her wedding in Arizona, and before this that would have been a nonquestion – even if I had to go and sell my soul to get there. So many things changed on that day.
I never thought that a moment could be so life altering. But that is the exact moment that I remember actually feeling betrayed. Earlier, I had felt hurt and I had felt bummed a little – almost like a child that didn’t get their way and was pouting. But this moment was a moment that would forever stay with me. A moment that would leave its mark for a very long time.
That was almost four years ago. And I can still remember it. I can still feel the tension in myself during the time. I can still remember how I felt like I was constantly invading their space and that my space only consisted of my tiny room, which is why I spent so much time avoiding the apartment. I can still remember that day, thinking we would sit down to dinner together – the three of us, like you picture yourself doing with college roommates and the intense ache that filled me as they ignored me.
That moment of betrayal will probably stay with me forever.
As a note to this – it is mostly true. I’m sure that there are parts that aren’t as true or dramatic as they seem in my mind – seeing as I associate this moment with betrayal. I am friends with this girl again – I mean, I was invited to her wedding last year (that I couldn’t attend for monetary and timing reasons). It’s a different way of thinking of things.
If anyone has some ideas for creative writing and the process and how I should lay out the class, please let me know. Enjoy my little rambling.