April 5

Katrina Kaye

Adrian Garcia was in a car accident this morning.

Apparently there were four cars piled. Apparently the whole front of the truck was missing.

I’m sure he will be alright, but they don’t know yet.

I don’t know him well. He sits in the front of my fifth period. He was so excited to get a B last quarter. I was proud of him too. He sold candy out of his backpack and would sometimes offer me a free snickers for looking the other way. I always declined. He has been absent the last two days.

I only met his parents once. They asked me: Do we need to worry about him?

I told them, no.

He’s a good kid. He will be fine.

The whole school is tense because of it. I can see it in the halls. He had plenty of friends, although perhaps not exactly popular. He was on the football team.

The girls in my second period don’t know who he is. They are trying to find a facebook page and talking about people they know who have died in car accidents. But you aren’t dead and you won’t die. You will pull though. I refuse to accept anything different.

I think of hospital visits and creating a get well soon card that the class can sign. I think of how I will assign him a good book to read while he recovers. Something specific to his interests. Something I can’t do with a whole class, but he would enjoy on his own. I think of having insightful conversations and reflections they I rarely have the chance to experience teaching public education.

I can’t help but to think of the significance of Easter weekend. Perhaps this fall will only last three days. Perhaps by Sunday we will all be saved.

The internet tells me his is dead before my administration does. I still have four classes to teach. The pictures are insane, the crumble of the wreckage, the glass, the plastic. It was head on. The two kids in the other car went to the hospital. I wonder who they are and what could have happened.

The scenarios play in my mind. Teenagers driving too fast, cutting each other off. Mild road rage turned deadly. It’s easy to get up to 80 on that straight away.

I am helpless and time is moving slowly.

He had a good smile, that kid. So many white teeth. He didn’t want to be in my Pre AP class, I know. He was stuck here, struggled for a while, but he was a good kid.

The students say the cruelest things. They didn’t know him so they don’t care. It was his fault. He was trying to pass someone on a hill. Kids are quick to excuse their behavior. Those who did know him have come in with bloodshot eyes and red faces. More quiet than usual. I don’t feel like talking either.

Pain should not be a selfish thing. One should not keep it inside, strangled and suppressed. It shouldn’t be ignored. I try not to be selfish with the pain I seethe through my pores.

They turned the library into a counseling center for students who want to talk, I keep my room open for students who don’t. I play a movie, let them read, let them talk among themselves. I do not know what to do but I continue. All I know is continuance.

He was just a boy like so many others. Angry at times, frustrated. He sometimes wrote in his journal about how he was angry, how he hated school. Other times he would write the lyrics to rap songs that I didn’t know. He was a good kid. I wish I knew him better.

The day is quiet and surreal. No one knows what to say or how to act and an awkward uncertainty hangs in the air. We all grieve differently. Everyone is exceedingly kind today. I feel I need to be here for these students. They are confused and some of them need to talk, so I let them. I listen. I cannot be selfish with pain.