“You see, the thing is,” the irreverent student mutters to himself as we wait for teacher’s arrival, “This life thing is hard. I mean, I know there’s a reason for all of this, but why the heck do we have to wade through all this crap?”
I am not usually the one who answers these types of questions. This is the teacher’s venue, and I would only be repeating his words, but my classmate’s restless pacing makes me think he needs this now. “Teacher says this life is graduate school for souls. We choose our classes and our professors, knowing we may need to pull some all-nighters, but expecting to earn a degree after it’s all over.”
“Then, what if I quit now? People have done that, right? I’ll just drop the course.”
“Um, I’m not sure how that works.”
A flash of iridescent blue catches the corner of my eye and I know Teacher has heard my classmate’s distress. In a blink, blue and purple wings unfold to reveal the man we know to be our teacher. He passes by me toward the classmate we know as Irreverent Student.
“The school of life was never meant to be easy for you, my son,” he says, leading him to take a seat on the steps that lead to Teacher’s stage. “The peaks and valleys that require our attention are the things that make this life such a magnificent learning experience.”
“But why do I always feel so alone?”
His sadness creates a lump in my throat that stops my voice. Instead, I sit next to him and place a hand on his. I would wrap my arm around his shoulders, but Teacher is already doing so.
“You are never alone, my son,” Teacher says. “Even when you feel as if you are in a dark pit of despair, you are never alone. You have friends from the other dimension. They hold you when you cry, they lead you when you are lost –”
“Why won’t they talk to me?”
Teacher glances toward me, nodding. It’s my turn.
“They do talk you, my friend. You hear them when you feel a chill or get a sudden urge to take the bike instead of driving to class –”
“You hear my friends?”
“No, I hear my friends. They tell me your friends want you to invite them. They want you to understand that before they can help, you have to call them to you.”
“How do I do that?”
“Talk to them.”
I look to Teacher for advice, but he only nods as if I’m heading in the right direction.
“You need to be alone,” I pause, knowing how contradictory that sounds to what he wants. “Only alone in this world. They will be with you. Just go away from the world you know — no music blaring from your ear-buds, no fake reality playing from the television. What’s best is probably going for a long, quiet walk, in the park is best, but the beach works great, too.”
“How about if I go for a drive? I like going for drives on long, lonely roads.”
“Well, I guess, but no music. No distractions is best. Then tell them what you need. I always say hi first. Kinda like, Hello, my friends.”
Teacher nods in agreement and steps back. “Why don’t you take him through your walks?”
When my classmate agrees, we step through the doors of our classroom into the gloriously beautiful grounds of our school.
(To be continued …)
The Dragonfly’s Student