I was wandering around the hallways, remembering the good times that the last 3 years had held.
I came upon the double doors that I had opened so many times. The front of them was covered in pictures and posters advertising different shows in the area.
Behind these doors was the one room I spent more of my time in than nearly any other. Behind these doors was the place where I learned who I am and what life is and what the hell I'm doing on the planet earth. Behind these doors sat the man with the glasses, probably at his desk, annoyed at something or someone. Behind these doors were those black chairs with the fold out desks (I've sat in every single one of those chairs at least 20 times). Behind these doors was where I found myself. Behind these doors was where I learned to be passionate about life. Behind these doors were so many memories and some of my best and proudest moments.
Behind these doors was home.
I grabbed the right door handle and pulled the heavy hunk of wood toward myself. The scent of the room that I know so well hit me for one last time. I smiled and walked in.
I walked right up to the desk where the man with glasses was sitting, with his eyes on his computer screen.
His official title is "Drama Teacher," but his students knows him as "The man who saved my life."
He looked up at me and back at his computer. While typing, he said in his favorite sarcastic voice, "OMG you graduate toniiiiiight. How ya feelin'?!"
"Soooooooo pumped!" I responded, following the sarcastic theme at hand.
He finished with what he was doing and closed his computer. "So what's up?" he asked.
"Nothing, really. Just walking around on my last day as a high school-er. How are you feeling about the year being over?" I asked in response.
"Relieved and stressed. Another group going. It happens every year. It goes too quickly and then we say goodbye."
He removed his glasses and wiped them with his sweat shirt.
I've learned more from this man than anyone else. He has taught me everything I would ever need to know about life. And this was the last moment that he would hold the title as my teacher. My stomach knotted at the thought.
"You won't be my teacher anymore after tonight," I said.
He looked at me with a slight smile that held a bit of sadness.
We made eye contact for a few moments and I piped up again.
"I'm wondering if you have anything left to teach me."
He held my gaze for a few seconds. Just as he opened his mouth, the tears started rolling out of both of us.
"Well, I'd like you to know that you've done more than I ever expected out of the little red haired girl that walked into my room three years ago. You're strong, Mallory. Remember that."
He went on, for minutes and minutes, with a speech that sent more tears from my body than ever before.
He knows me almost too well.
He knows my problems, and my biggest struggle in life.
I know he knows this because of the advice he ended with:
"Remember to trust. It's okay to trust other people. Always trust God. And most importantly, trust yourself.
And remember that I love you."
I'll never forget it.
So here I am. Moved out. On my own. An "adult."
And as crazy as it is, and as fast as it all happened, I will remember the man with the glasses.
I will remember all the days where he picked me up and helped me along. I'll remember the times we cried together. I'll remember the times we disagreed and fought and yelled. I'll remember the times we spent working together. I'll remember when he sang that song just for me. I'll remember everything.
Above all, I'll remember the things he taught me.
He's helped me through all of my toughest times.
Everyone has that one teacher.
The one that cheers for you on the sidelines and let's you know that you're worth it.
Because, to them, you are.
He was that for me. And I love him.
And because of him, I can trust myself. I can BE myself.
"Like the color purple."
"I don't think us feel old at all. I think this is the youngest us ever felt. Amen."