Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Yellow Footprints


It had been nearly twenty-four hours since we woke up and our final destination was at last outside the windows of a well worn white bus. I had never been on a bus ride that was dead silent, packed to the gills but no one said a word.

The door suddenly opened and a thin, foul mouthed man jumped onto the bus and just started yelling. I'm not sure what he said but he was angry. After adjusting to his speed and pitch all he really wanted us to do is call him sir and move like lighting. He wanted us to move and stand on some yellow footprints outside the bus in the dimly lit area next to a building.

The stress began to mount as he had us stand and then sit over and over again. We did not move fast enough. We did not yell loud enough. No matter what we did it just wasn't good enough.

Once outside and on the footprints we faced a sign that held a number of new laws we were subjected to. I really had no clue what it really meant other than I would be held accountable in some unseen and unfamiliar court if I violated some obscure law. 

I had a vague understanding of the pain and suffering that would soon follow. I could tell some deeply regretted the choice they made to land them here. I just had one small movie clip running through my head, over and over again. There was one scene from An Officer and a Gentleman where Gunny Foley was trying to run Mayo out of the military. Mayo stated that he had no where else to go. 

I had no where else to go. I really had no options, no future, nothing. If this didn't work out there was no where to really even send me home to.

Backed into a corner like that powers you to move forward or cower in the corner. I chose to move forward.

Little did I know then these footprints were the first steps to living life and not just surviving it.

7 comments:

  1. I was instantly hooked by your "hook" on the Two Writing Teachers website, but now I want to know more--where are you?? what are you doing?? I have to read your previous posts to figure it out. Clearly, this is a great, suspenseful slice and I need to know more. Right NOW.

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  2. This was the first few minutes of Marine Corps boot camp. I had dropped out of high school to go. Life was... not very good. I was renting a room in a pretty unhealthy house, working until 2 AM and then waking to walk to school at about 6AM. I knew life could be better and it was up to me to make it so.

    When I singed up I made a mental shift, no longer was going to just accept the short end of the stick. I was going to change my fate.

    It wasn't easy but I would do it all over again.

    Looking back I'm confident that not one teacher knew anything about my life. I wonder how many of the students in our hallways are facing battles we will never know about.

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  3. Such a powerful story! I love the ending. Your comment above is such a good point too. We should try our best to truly get to know our students and gain their trust so we can help them with their battles.

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  4. I'm with Jennifer, reread her comment because that's what I thought. So glad you responded to Book Mama. I was afraid you were in a foreign country and about to go to jail. The tension was unreal. WOW!

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  5. After rereading it kinda sounded like I was headed to jail!

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  6. This is an incredibly powerful story...I love the image you've shared along with the words. Your last two lines are absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing this story!

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