The Truant Classmate

It’s kinda weird, you know? The way I wander the grounds of this university, aimlessly looking for focus … I keep hearing Teacher’s voice. I see my classmates heading off for class, but something always keeps me from attending. I don’t mean to, really. I just …

“Breathe, my child.”

This time his voice is so close I almost feel him standing behind me.

“Do not turn yet,” he says. “Do as I’ve asked. Simply breathe.”

I close my eyes and inhale deeply.

“Count slowly until you have reached five and then release the breath. Again, to the count of five.”

I do as I’ve been told. I’m so happy to be close to him again.

“I have always been around.”

“I know,” I say. “I just haven’t been able to reach you.” I inhale again, slowly letting the fresh spring air expand in my chest before releasing the air, leaving my lungs empty.

“Let’s try to change that now.”

I feel his presence approaching just over my shoulder. He is so near the hairs on my neck stand at attention.

“You are not ready yet, my dear student. Tell me, what has been bothering you?”

“I don’t know. Nothing, really. I’ve just been busy.” I stop and breathe, letting the answer come into my head. “Questions, sir. I guess what’s been holding me back have been the questions.”

“What questions do you have, my dear?”

“Where am I? Who am I? How did I get here? What am I supposed to be doing here?”

He places a hand on my shoulder. “I’ve been wondering when you would start wondering.”

The weight of his hand reassures me. I am not imagining things now. I hold his hand and turn to face him. “I guess I just woke up one day and the questions weighed me down. Can you help me answer them?”

I stare up into eyes that remind me of that Crayola Crayon called Cerulean Blue — the blue of the Caribbean Ocean.

“Please?”

Holding my hand between his, he shakes his head slowly. “Only you can answer your questions, my dear. All I can do is lead you closer to your own revelation.”

The hope his presence brought me just moments before crashes into a heap at my feet.

“I can only lead you. The lesson will not be effective if the student can’t find it on her own.” He cups my chin and turns my face until my eyes meet his again. “You are who you have always been, and your purpose is what it has always been.”

“What kind of cryptic answer is that? Don’t I deserve more? Haven’t I been a faithful student? I deserve more.” Desperation tears at my voice.

“You already have more. What does your heart tell you?”

I want to turn away and storm back to my room, but I’ve wanted this for so long, wanted to be here, learning from my teacher, feeling his love and encouragement, feeling completely accepted. I’ve missed his classes and the peace that covers me when he’s near.

Then he reads my mind, “Don’t you think that might be your answer?”

“What?” I replay my thoughts before I speak again. “That all I’ve ever wanted is to be your student and to feel loved and accepted?”

“Do you think?”

“I don’t understand. If this is what I want, why can’t I find my way back?”

“Did you, maybe, make someone else’s expectations your own?”

Then I remember that day. I remembered my best friend in high school and how successful she became when all of her dreams came true. That’s the day I wondered why my dreams seemed just beyond arm’s reach. That’s the day I questioned my choices.

“Until you’ve come to terms with those questions, you will continue to have problems finding me. Just remember that I will always be here to love and welcome you.”

My teacher stands with me, holding my hand, answering the questions he can answer, until I’m ready to walk on my own and watch him fly away as the breathtaking purple and blue dragonfly.

I hope I can find my way back soon.

Until then, I remain your ever faithful, if sometime truant,

Dragonfly’s Student

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