I feel like I haven’t really blogged a lot this year and there has been so much to say. So let’s start with the beginning…
So, Jake is this guy who was in love this girl also in the drama department. His heart was broken and smashed into a billion pieces when she lead him on and practically rubbed it in his face when she brought her new boyfriend to a cast party. At this cast party, I noticed and he talked to me about it. He started to open up to me from that night on. We became really close. I told him about my past and slowly opened up, too. He became my best friend (He’s the guy best friend I mentioned in Everyone Has Three Lives)
So, it’s January, and our drama department went to International Thespian Society Convention(ITS) in Lincoln. I hung out with Jake a lot, because I saw that it was hard for him to see the girl and her boyfriend together the whole weekend. In the course of the first day, I guess Jake realized he had developed feelings for me. My friends asked me if I liked Jake, and I replied no. They told me it looked like I was leading him on and that I liked him. This worried me. At ITS, there’s a formal dinner and a dance. So, after I as ready and had down time before dinner, I looked for Jake. I found him hanging out with some of our friends by the elevator, and I pulled him aside to talk to him. I told him that I was sorry if I lead him on, because that wasn’t my intention. I could never hurt him. He told me he understood, and we hugged and continued to be best friends like nothing happened. All weekend, he kept looking over at me when he thought I wasn’t looking. He told me later he still liked me. This altogether scared me. I never want the opportunity to hurt Jake, and when he makes himself vulnerable by having feelings for me he makes it too easy. I could never look at myself if I hurt him.
So the next couple weeks after ITS go by, and I still feel horrible about accidentally leading him on. I hurt him by not returning his feelings. I hurt him by continuing to be out of his reach. He liked me, and I friend zoned him. We were still best friends always becoming closer. Sometimes I would feel this huge feeling of gratitude and joy and wonder if I liked him. I would shrug it off. When he and I hung out the first time, I remember getting really nervous and excited when he was on his way to pick me up. All we were going to do was hang out and maybe watch a movie. When I got home, I asked myself if I liked Jake. I told myself no, because if I did I could hurt him. I could never hurt him like that. Over the next month, I kept finding myself wondering about it. I let myself try to figure it out, but I wouldn’t let him know until I was sure. I didn’t want to hurt him by getting his hopes up, leading him on, and then following my heart if it turned out I didn’t.
In the midst of this all, my life was not going very well. Not a lot was going right, actually practically everything was going wrong. I became so lost in coping I became numb again. In becoming numb, I not only shut out my feelings of being lost and depressed and hurt, but also my potential feelings towards Jake.
I didn’t realize when he became interested in a new girl, that I was hurt because I was jealous. Nor did I acknowledge the constant nagging in the back of my mind that made me feel ashamed that I put him in the friend zone. I failed to notice the reason why I kept asking myself if I had feelings for him. I was terrified to realize why it was so easy to open up to him and why I wanted to let him know me. I never took a second to see that I thought about him constantly, that I would look for him in the morning, that I enjoyed being around him, that he made me smile, or that he was everything I have ever looked for in a guy if not more.
It wasn’t until I hung out with him and realized that if he were to make a move, I wouldn’t do a thing about it. I would be happy with staying there in his arms or holding his hand if it were to happen. It never happened that night. When I got home, I thought about it more. My life had cleared up a little bit more, and I wasn’t numbing myself as much. My feelings for Jake were becoming more clear. Over the next week, I noticed these signs. I noticed how I acted, and how he made me feel, and how his words mattered to me more than anyone’s. By the next weekend, I knew I did and I had to tell him eventually.
Sunday night I called him to tell him my feelings. I stalled and just talked to him for an hour. We were about to hang up, and I hadn’t told him yet. I stopped him quickly from hanging up before I lost my chance. I told him how I felt and I’m sorry about my timing. He’s a senior and I’m a sophomore, and he will be going off to college in four months. I told him about me fighting myself about this since ITS, but in more detail. I told him I’m sorry that I am really selfish by telling you this, but not wanting a relationship right now. I wanted something between us, just not yet. I wanted things to stay the same, and I was on the verge of tears, because I was so scared of having feelings, of getting hurt, of him leaving for college, but mostly of me hurting him. It took us a half hour to figure out what we were going to do next. We said we would take it slow and let it happen on it’s own.
So this past week, we have been liking each other. Things are going great so far:) he’s definitely a keeper. I don’t love him, not yet. My feelings aren’t strong enough and uncontrollable and indescribable like that yet. Maybe later in the future, but not right now and that’s okay because we’re taking it slow. I feel so dumb for not seeing my feelings for him. I mean he makes me smile when I think the world has lost it’s splendor. I can be my complete self around him, which is hard for me. I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself, because he thinks it’s cute. He sees more good in me than I will ever see in myself. He jokes with me and accepts my sarcasm. He’s practically the only thing on my mind lately, and it’s distracting me in class. He puts me in the best moods, and just makes me feel pretty. No matter how much I push him, he doesn’t leave because “I’m stuck with him:)” He’s still my best friend above it all. And even though it scares the shit out of me to have feelings, he’s definitely worth feeling terrified, and he hasn’t disappointed me yet.
I really really like him..
I once read somewhere that everyone has three lives; a public life, a private life, and a secret life. Once I read it, I agreed. I interpreted your three lives as the life you want people to think you have, the life you let those close to you know about, and the life you keep from everyone, even yourself at times. Your secret life is how you live when you are alone in your room at night or the thoughts, actions, words you put aside in front of your friends. I believe it’s the part of you that you hold back. It’s the part that is constantly fighting “secret” battles inside of you.
I have a secret life. I have a secret side of me that eats away at me everyday. I have found this talent for smiling through it and keeping it hidden away from those outside of my mind. I have walls that not only protect me from the people around me but from myself as well. Within these walls are the pieces of a secret side of me. Up until now, I have been perfectly fine keeping “her” a secret, but I have met an amazing guy who has come to be my best friend. The very best friend I have ever had. I push him away to save him from the mess that I am, but he doesn’t budge and stays there for me. He waits patiently to peel back my layers and really get to know me. He listens and tries to understand. He genuinely cares and I fully trust him. His willingness to listen to me and his relentless patience has motivated me to tear down these walls I have built and let go of who I was to grow as a person. I want him to understand the mess inside my head, because someone needs to. I need to, but I can’t do it on my own.
So, I have opened up little by little throughout our friendship. Slowly, very slowly. It was going fine, but I realized yesterday how much of a mess I was. I didn’t think it was a big deal how terrified I was to lose people, or how I push people away to keep the ones who can’t handle my mess away (to save them so to speak). I thought it wasn’t unheard of when people push a little to see who really cares enough to hold on tight anyways. Or to be terrified to be attached to someone in case of being let down. I showed my friend a glimpse of that side my mind yesterday and he was so worried. The thoughts in my mind must be much scarier from a person who sees me as happy. I thought it was easy to understand, but to him he was worried that I have been thinking like that. That I am so scared of getting hurt that I have built so many walls to keep so many people out. He was worried about who I really am and how alone I really felt and the side that he doesn’t know. As much as I tried to explain, he couldn’t grasp my complex thoughts. It terrified me. This is my best friend and this is what I was scared of.
He’s starting to see the side that scares most away. He’s starting to see the darker parts. I’m scared he’s going to feel overwhelmed and feel like he got himself into more than he can handle or wants to handle. What if he doesn’t understand and he can’t handle with the worry that comes along with me? What if he does understand and realize that I am a wreck that can’t be fixed up? What if he realizes he bit off more than he can chew? What if decides I’m not really worth the trouble? I would have opened up to another person that yet again could not handle who I am inside. I would question why would I try to handle who I am if no one else deems it worthy either. I am absolutely terrified that I will be disappointed again. That I will trust yet another person who only let me down again. I am absolutely afraid that my fears will be confirmed and I will be yet again alone with myself and my thoughts. Left to figure it all out and deal with it all on own. I’m torn between keeping him as a best friend who doesn’t know me fully, or risking losing him for showing him the side of me I fear.
A year from tomorrow, January 5, 2011, a troubled student named Robert Butler Jr. came into Millard South with a gun with muddled intentions of violence. The school was on code red, and two assistant principles were shot. Dr. Curtis Case was hurt, but survived. Dr. Vicki Kaspar was rushed but died on the way to the hospital. The school was on code red for hours. Around 230 or 3ish, classes were escorted out towards the back parking lot, and students were safe and sound with their parents. Robert Butler Jr. commited suicide after leaving the school.
I was one of those hundreds of students hiding within that school. We weren’t told anything during the code red. My class hid in the dark for hours before getting a call about the news about Dr. Kaspar and Dr. Case. That day was… indescribable. The whole time, we had no idea what was going on, or if someone could come in to our room and try to hurt us. All we knew was the school was not safe at the moment. We were in potential danger at the time, and the only thing we could do was sit and wait. Not a lot of people know what it’s like to hear someone is in the same building as you with a gun with the intentions of hurting someone with it. Not a lot of people know what it’s like to feel like you’re world has been tilted out of order because a place you expected to be safe, wasn’t. Scared doesn’t come close to describing how I felt that day. For hours, I sat(sometimes laid) there numb of thoughts at times and others racing with worries and fears. I will never be able to explain the shock I felt when I realized that this is actually happening to me. When thinking that a shooting in your school could never happen, was no longer the truth. I could never accurately explain the emotions and the thoughts of mine or my fellow students as we waited in silence. No one dared to speak. In my classroom, there was no service, so we could not contact anyone out of the room. I could never explain what is was like to be isolated from the rest of the world outside of the building and at times just outside our room. I could never quite tell anyone how I felt to hear the words, “CODE RED. This. Is. Not. A. Drill.” It’s hard to explain how I felt when we were told Dr. Kaspar and Dr. Case was shot and that Dr. Kaspar had died. Sometimes it’s just hard to think about.
I may not have actually met Dr. Kaspar, but she was a part of my school. She died for what she believed in, and that’s so inspiring. Her death, and her sacrifice, and that day, brought our school together stronger than ever. Two days later, our first day back since the shooting (our second day of school that semester), we all waited in the front of the school to walk in together as a school at 7:30 a.m. We had vigil ceremonies. We showed our pride. The first day back was emotional and numb at the same time. Tuesday was Dr. Kaspar’s funeral and the whole school was invited. We were let off of school for the funeral. For me, her funeral made it more real. I realized that she truly was a hero. That only a brave person would stand up and continue to do her job. The choir department raised money to have a song composed in dedication of Dr. Kaspar. It was premiered at the spring concert in March by the Varsity Choir. It’s called the You Are the Fearless Rose by Randall Stroope. A plaque was placed by the conference room in the main entrance closed to where she was shot. There is also a plaque on the seat she seemed to always sit in the auditorium during concerts. I will never be able to explain how we healed, or really how long it took, because I just honestly don’t know.
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary. It’s the exact date and our first day back. I’m sure we will all enter the school together just as we did last year. We are also having a moment of silence for Dr. Kaspar. I have not in depth thought about this day since it happened. I will always take the words “Code Red” seriously and to heart. I will never forget the look on my teacher’s face as she choked to tell us Dr. Kaspar had passed. You Are the Fearless Rose by Randall Stroope will never fail to give me goosebumps and chills. I will always remember that anything could happen to anyone at anytime like that day. It honestly scares me to go back to school, but I know I have to in memory of Dr. Kaspar and because as a Patriot, it’s my duty to show my pride and be there to comfort my fellow students on this hard day.
I’ll never forget that day. I’ll never forget Dr. Kaspar, but if I could talk to her right now, I would tell her, “I’m one of the many students you swore to protect that day, and you have inspired me. I feel pain for your family and for you. I wish we had the chance to meet, and for you to see me graduate because you were more than just a teacher or a principal. You cared for all of us, even though you did not know us al, and for that, Thank you.”
Rest In Peace Dr. Vicki Kaspar
You will never be forgotten.