That Vicious Door
The entire ten minutes it takes for her to walk to the school, her mind focuses on one thing, at the back of her mind: the moment she enters the door of the classroom. She may think about other things–the song she listens to, the story she is writing, the embarrassing run-in she had with the cashier at one of her favorite restaurants–but she knows that the thing which really jump-starts her day is the moment she sets foot in the classroom. Everything can change based on what happens when she swings that door open to reveal the classroom with all its seats and whoever may have already arrived. That decides how the rest of her day unfolds.
As she approaches the door, she starts to wonder. Who is in there? Have any of her friends arrived yet? Is the professor already in there? How much time does she have before class starts? Her mind wanders, hitting on all the questions she can think of which revolve around that one pivotal moment of her day.
She just barely hesitates. No one would notice; no one typically does. Her hand grasping the handle, she pulls the door open to reveal the room and her mind goes blank. Searching, searching, searching, her eyes land on the row of seats where she and her friends normally reside. Where a few of her friends already do reside. With a small breath and an even smaller nod, she steps foot into the classroom and claims one of the seats, hoping that a friend will take the seat beside her. Otherwise, she will become the outsider among her own people.
She sets her bag down at her feet, her hands resting in her lap as she waits for her friends to notice her and greet her. One of them does, turning in their seat. She lifts a hand in greeting and says, “Hey, guys,” her words directed at everyone else in the group, not only the one who greeted her first.
And she leaves it at that. No “How are you?” No “How’s your day been?” No “What have you been up to?” Just a simple “Hey, guys” and nothing else. They didn’t ask her first, so why should she ask them? She would just be intruding. If they wanted to speak further, they would have asked her first.
Or so she thinks. That’s how she’s always thought, always to her recollection. More often than not, it results in her being pushed aside in favor of someone else, because she doesn’t engage them, so why ought they to engage her? She has herself trapped in a vicious, vicious cycle, one that she can’t seem to find a way out of, and it’s killing her. She wants to reach out. She wants to connect with them. But she simply can’t bring herself to overcome her fear, to push herself outside of her comfort zone, and be the one to start the conversation.
Because if they don’t want to talk to her, she can’t be worth that much.
Prompt: Describe how you walk in the door.