The story you are about to read is my story. It is a story about a complete stranger and how he reached out to save me, in a time that I could not save myself.
A few days ago I found myself waiting with one of my friends, in her little sister's school, tapping our feet and twiddling our thumbs; waiting for the dismissal bell to ring so we could finally go to the movies.
As I waited I was walking up and down the halls, looking at the art posted up there. I glanced across the hall to where my friend was standing. Behind her was a classroom, blocked off by a closed door. As I passed the room, I faintly heard singing.
Silently my friend and I stood outside the door listening to the children sing. I looked at her and caught her eye. I giggled at the screwed up face she gave me as one of the kids hit a ....er.... rather high note. Finally the bell rang. We caught up with her little sister and headed off to go see our movie.
I can't remember much of the movie, because my mind was still back in that hallway, outside that closed door...I could not help myself. I started to hum a song that I remember learning, in a classroom with a closed door...And about the person who helped me find my voice, not so long ago; one moment in time....
It was September 13 2001 and I stood alone, on a crowded school ground, beside crowded play-equipment. I stood alone... I faintly heard the school bell ring somewhere in the back of my mind...Slowly I looked around at the people passing me, hoping to find some sort of comfort in their eyes, but they just kept walking. I pulled a hair-tie out of my coat pocket and pulled back my hair into a neat bun, before following my fellow classmates into the school.
I entered the classroom and took my seat near the back of the class. As soon as I sat down our teacher, Mr. Godecki, took attendance and started our first lesson. Sometime during that lesson I remember looking up from my books at the faces around me. I looked at each person in turn. And as I did so memories came flooding back to me...
Suddenly I felt hot tears build behind my eyes, and soon felt them falling on my face. I quickly lifted my textbook to cover my face. By this time tears were flowing freely down my face and burning my cheeks silently. I thought to myself, "Look at them! Not one of them cares that I'm here, NOT ONE!"
A sob escaped my throat, "Oh well, today will be the last day I'll have to put up with this because tonight, tonight I am finally gonna do it! Tonight I am finally going to die......".
Yes it's true! That night I was going to commit suicide yet again. That's right, again. I had tried many times before but I always woke up, threw up or passed out before I died. It was as though something wouldn't let me die, as though I was meant to live for something.
Soon the recess bell rang and everyone left to go play with their friends; everyone except a few people and myself. Instead my hand was dancing across my paper at lightning speed...drawing...erasing...shading...creating.
Sketching was one of the few things I found pleasure in doing. And in order to do so, I needed silence and complete concentration... Little did I know that I was not the only one concentrating hard.
When you first look at Mr.Godecki, your first impression is probably something like, "Oh man! Not another boring teacher! OMG!!! If he talks about his amazing cat, or his old rich grandma, then I'm getting a transfer!!!!"
But to tell you the truth he is the total opposite! He's a fun, witty, and a caring, person plus a humorous, bright, understanding teacher, who can always bring a song to your heart. All in all he is exactly what I think a teacher should be. And he is exactly who I found myself face-to-face with moments later.
I never heard him approach me until he was practically standing on top of me. "Nice drawing", he said in his usual happy way. "Thanks....", I mumbled, while fumbling with my pencil sharpener.
Before I knew it he had launched into the "I'm there if you need to talk", comforting pep-crap they spoon feed you from first grade. I politely looked at him while he said the same speech that I had heard sooooooooooooooooo many times before. While quietly thinking "OH MY GOOD LORD!!! You can't be serious! I can't believe he's actually saying this crap", but then he said something I'll never forget...The four most powerful words you can say to someone: "I Believe In You."
Later that night, as I lay on my bed, rattling my mom's prescription pill medicine and thumbing a knife, I reflected on my life. Nothing! I popped the lid to the pills and dumped them into my mouth. As I was preparing to swallow, I raised the knife to my wrist and looked in the mirror... There I saw my reflection. I saw my long blond hair, tangled and messy. I saw my young self, scared and alone.
The pills felt huge as I swallowed them. Then I looked into my eyes, a tear escaped them; the words, "I Believe In You", echoed soundlessly in my head.
I dropped the knife and ran to the washroom and threw up the pills. Then I walked back to my bedroom and cried.
It was Mr.Godecki's words that showed me that I was not alone. It was those words that brought me love, even if they were only spoken by a grade school teacher.
Regardless,, I am now happy to say I am back to normal, (or as normal as a teenage girl can be:)) I have a wonderful boyfriend who I love, many wonderful friends who I hold above everything else, and...er.....pretty good grades!
But, there is one thing this has taught me and I would like to share it with you:
"No matter how hard life may get, or how impossible it may seem...never stop believing in yourself, never stop loving yourself, and never stop being yourself. Because as soon as you stop that, you just stop living..... ...And remember I believe in you!"
And to Mr.Godecki, if you are reading this, I want you to know that I am sorry. I'm sorry that it took me this long to thank you...And I thought, when I actually wrote this, I would have a million things to tell you. But, now that I have, all I can say is thank you, because the gratitude in my heart exceeds all the words I know.
A Happy Student, Age 13
I submitted this story because I felt I needed to. I needed to tell my story, and I needed to tell teens, and anyone else for that matter, that there are people out there like Mr. J. Godecki who can inspire, even fallen angels, into flying once again! And so I have written my story....