JASMINE

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Chapter 6-I Am Sorry Sir


After History class was over, Mr. Cerillo asked me to stay back. I stayed in my seat and he sat at his desk and made a phone call. A few minutes later Mr. Enrique walked in.

Ready, Jasmine? Signaling me with his head to come in his direction.

“You don’t have to do this; I am perfectly fine.”

“Jasmine, I attended high school in Puerto Rico and my best friend committed suicide because of situations like yours.”

Mr. Enrique’s face suddenly turned dark. His eyes changed from hazel to a color I could not explain. His motion even changed. He walked slower than he’d been a few minutes earlier.

“I am sorry, Sir”

“No need to be. It is what it is. But if I can save one person from such a dreadful fate, I will do what I must.”

“But Sir, I am fine, honestly.”

Mr. Enrique became deaf to my “being fine” remarks. Clearly, he knew better.

“Jasmine, have lunch in my office. You don’t need to go to the cafeteria if you don’t want to.”

“Sir, I have a banana in my bag. I don’t really feel hungry.”

But I can watch your fine self eat whatever you have. Come on, Jasmine, he just feels sorry for you.

Mr. Enrique insisted that I should hang with him during lunch, and I did. He went to the teachers’ quarters.

There were others there having lunch together. I looked at these grown adults. Some of them looked tired and old.

But not Mr. Enrique. Everything in him was perfect. His walk, his talk, his smile…wow! What a sight to see!

I stayed there looking at him having lunch and doodling in his phone at the same time. He didn’t mind me being there. As he said, he didn’t want me to become a suicidal case like his best friend.

After lunch Mr. Enrique walked me to my Bio class. And just like he’d done previously, he whispered something in my Biology teacher’s ear.

Same script, different cast. After class Miss Reid made a phone call and there was Mr. Enrique escorting me to my next.

This happened for the entire day until it was time to go home. Surely, Mr. Enrique could not keep this bodyguard crap up for the rest of my year at this school.

I have to face my demons, and he can’t and won’t always be with me. Tomorrow, I am telling him to stop trying to protect me.

Mr. Enrique stood in the school yard waiting with me until my father came to collect me. I could hear whisperings while Mr. Enrique escorted me to my classes.

No utterances were loud, but you could tell the gossiping was going on. At least I made it through today. Tomorrow will have to see for itself.

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