That look on my face is me wondering what the hell I’m going to do.

In every panicked situation I go into a singular mode of locating the path that leads to the least amount of humiliation &, or pain. When you start hearing voices in your head & you’re cognitive enough to know that what you’re hearing isn’t coming from your own brain, that’s what the professionals would call a "break." Oh there, you see that furrow in-between my eyebrows there, that’s the moment. That’s the moment I thought, "Well, what the hell? Maybe I can just answer this… thing… in my head" ...& yes, my shoulders relaxing & me leaning back is the moment I said, "screw this… "

"Um, hello… strange voice in my head… what exactly can you end?"

Your suffering.

"Suffering? I mean, sure, life is a constant series of disappointments & reasons to be paranoid… but suffering? Are you sure you called the right brain? You might actually be looking for Meredith Butterfield, she’s a few desks over crying on her Rob Lowe notebook."

You have to admit, for some reason, in the face of what should’ve scared the pants off me — I was pretty brave. I mean, come on, I’m talking to a disembodied voice in my head claiming to have the power to end suffering so... clearly I’m bad ass, right? If only I knew how to shut my mouth… fortunately for you listening to this story, I did not.

The next response came as a thunderous, continuous reverberation in my being — & I don’t say in my head or in my bones or in my soul, I can only say in my being because it was everywhere. Everywhere in a way like your body in the vast openness of everything to ever exist, & that to say it was in you would be the height of arrogance.

It spoke slowly & clearly & said:

I know your suffering. I can end it. Follow me. Tonight.

It was like the world fuzzed out for a second, like the static on the TV, & I felt all the matter in my body warp & re-configure back together in an electric swirl, but apparently I was the only one who felt this & I re-smashed my knee into the bottom of my desk & yelled out my favorite expletive, on reflex of course.

"Jane! The office. Now."

The Principal was literally the very last of my worries.