by Franka Lohmann
It feels comfortable and warm. Flowers on the front desk help create a familiar atmosphere. “Last day for Seniors is May 13th” is popping up in red over and over again on the display over the main desk.
People walk in and out all the time, but it doesn’t seem rushed.
Everyone is working on their own things. In the background you can hear a woman talking on the phone, clarifying things about students. Susan Walters, counseling center secretary, tells students who enter to sign in. Other than that, it is quiet. The only noise is the air condition and once in awhile the whining printer in the background.
Suddenly, a girl leaves one of the counselor’s rooms and slumps down in front of the main desk. She is crying. One of the counselors follows her.
“You can’t sit here. Do you want me to write a pass ? “ says the Counselor.
“I can’t do that. I need help. I’ll wait for somebody to help me,” answers the girl.
“We don’t have anybody right now that can help you.”
“I don’t want to go back to class.”
“What do you think when you will sit down for a few minutes and I’ll be right back with you.”
The counselor walks away and the silence is back. Outside in the hallway the water fountain starts cooling.
“Adam, Melanie, please be off your cell phone,” Walter says.
The Counselor comes back.
“Either you go back to class or we will go to the main office now. Let’s go wash your face.”
“Let’s walk slowly.”
In the background people are laughing, but the main noise is the clock ticking and the air conditioning.
A student walks inside and talks to Walter about who she wants to see. Her counselor is still busy, so she sits down and starts knitting. Walter can’t really see her anymore, but thinks that she is on her phone: “While you are down here, please be off your phone.”
The girl is surprised: “I’m not on my phone, I’m knitting.”
The two start a conversation about knitting.