Claire’s Commencement

Claire leaned her weight on the balls of her feet, and the rotted wood mushed beneath her. Indentations speckled the floor; the rot was everywhere. Behind her lava sunlight oozed through the windows baking her classroom. The humidity inspired nervous sweat to pool at the base of her neck soaking her collar.

Eyes closed, she swallowed air that tasted of paper and dust as the first bell echoed through the lavender hallways. Her solitude ebbed. Students flowed in, voices clamoring while they ignored the “Welcome Back” message chalked across the board.

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