The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 20

I turn the faucet off. I think about leaving. But I can’t go back to Ms. K, back to Melanie. So I twist the knob again and for some reason, a whole stream bursts out. I am so happy I want to cry. Maybe I do cry. Maybe I am crying now.

I get the soap and put it in and the bubbles grow and grow. They overflow.

Then – because I have to – because it’s the only way – I start counting bubbles, lining them up with my breath so I can calm down.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

It isn’t working, so I start over.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Again:

1, 2, 3.

And again:

1, 2.

1. 1.1.1.1.

I’m stuck at one, holding fast to the speed-beating pulse of my heart going 50 in a 20, dragged along for the ride.