a million different things I could have done...
"In English class, Ms. Rosemary smiled at me with unmistakable pity. With that look that makes a person’s eyes shine and their lips tilt into a smile that isn’t quite a smile: quiet, distant, remorseful. She thought I didn’t notice how she looked at me every time we discussed a character’s death in Literacy class. She assumed that suddenly, I was that student who she had to take into her wing. And it wasn’t just her, it was everyone from the students to janitors. Once your mother dies, you no longer stay the bad-ass athlete with an astounding GPA. You become that kid.
You know, that kid. The kid with the rain cloud that floats over his head. The kid with the dead mother. That kid. And it doesn’t matter who you were before it happened, you just become that kid.
Here’s the catch: despite all of this, no one utters a syllable about it. The smile at you with that unmistakable pity, with that look that makes a person’s eyes shine and their lips tilt into a smile that isn’t quite a smile: quiet, distant, remorseful. They assume you don’t notice. They assume you’re too buried in your grief. But you’re not and it still hurts to constantly be reminded. "