Slammed, p.37
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       Slammed, p.37

         Part #1 of Slammed series by Colleen Hoover
 

  To never regret.

  She taught me to push my boundaries,

  Because that's what they're there for.

  She told me to find a balance between head and heart

  And then

  she taught me how…

  I got schooled this year

  By a Foster Kid

  She taught me to respect the hand that I was dealt.

  And to be grateful I was even dealt a hand.

  She taught me that family

  Doesn't have to be blood.

  Sometimes your family

  are your friends.

  I got schooled this year

  By my teacher

  He taught me

  That the points are not the point,

  The point is poetry…

  I got schooled this year

  By my father.

  He taught me that hero's aren't always invincible

  And that the magic

  is within me..

  I got schooled this year

  by

  a

  Boy.

  a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with.

  And he taught me the most important thing of all…

  To put the emphasis

  On life.

  The feeling that comes over you, when you're in front of an audience? All those people craving for your words, yearning to see a glimpse into your soul…it's exhilarating. I thrust the microphone back into the emcee's hands and run off the stage. I look around but don't see him anywhere. I look at the booth we sat in on our first date, but it's empty. I realize, after standing there, waiting to be swept off of my feet-that he's not even here. I spin around in a circle, scanning the room a second time. A third time. He's not here.

  The same fleeting feeling I had on that stage, on his dryer, in the booth in the back of the room-it's gone. I can't do it again. I want to run. I need air. I need to feel the Michigan air against my face.

  I throw open the door and take a step outside when a voice, amplified through the speakers, stops me in my tracks.

  "That's not a good idea," he says into the microphone. I recognize his voice, and that repetitive phrase.

  I slowly turn around and face the stage. Will is standing there, holding the microphone between his hands, looking directly at me.

  "You shouldn't leave before you get your scores," he says as he motions to the judges table. I follow his gaze to the judges who are all turned around in their seats. All four of them have their eyes locked on me; the fifth seat is empty. I gasp as I realize Will was the fifth judge.

  So he saw me. He watched me do my piece.

  I sense that I'm floating again as I make my way to the center of the room. Everyone is quiet. I look around and all eyes are on me. No one understands what's happening. I'm not so sure I even understand what's happening.

  Will looks at the emcee standing next to him. "I'd like to perform a piece. It's an emergency," he says.

  The emcee backs away and gives Will the go ahead. Will turns back to face me.

  "Three dollars," someone yells from the crowd.

  Will darts a look at the emcee. "I don't have any cash," he says.

  I immediately pull the two dollars in change out of my pocket and run to the stage, smacking it down in front of the emcees feet. He inspects the money I laid before him.

  "Still a dollar short," the emcee says.

  The silence in the room is interrupted as several chairs slide from under their tables. There is a faint rumble as people walk toward me. I'm surrounded, being pushed and shoved in different directions as the crowd grows thicker. It begins to disperse just as fast and the silence slowly returns as everyone makes their way back to their seats. I return my gaze to the stage, where dozens of dollar bills are haphazardly thrown at the emcees feet. My eyes follow along as a quarter rolls off the edge of the stage and falls onto the floor. It wiggles and spins as it comes to rest at my foot.

  The emcee is focused on the pile of money before him. "Okay," he says. "I guess that covers it. What's the name of your piece, Will?"

  Will brings the microphone to his mouth and finds me in the crowd. "Better than third," he says.

  I met a girl in a U-Haul.

  A beautiful girl

  And I fell for her.

  I fell hard.

  Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way.

  Life definitely got in my way.

  It got all up in my damn way,

  Life blocked the door with a stack of wooden 2x4's nailed together and attached to a fifteen inch concrete wall behind a row of solid steel bars, bolted to a titanium frame that no matter how hard I shoved against it-

  It

  wouldn't

  budge.

  Sometimes life doesn't budge.

  It just gets all up in your damn way.

  It blocked my plans, my dreams, my desires, my wishes, my wants, my needs.

  It blocked out that beautiful girl

  That I fell so hard for.

  Life tries to tell you what's best for you

  What should be most important to you

  What should come in first

  Or second

  Or third.

  I tried so hard to keep it all organized, alphabetized, stacked in chronological order, everything in its perfect space, its perfect place.

  I thought that's what life wanted me to do.

  This is what life needed for me to do.

  Right?

  Keep it all in sequence?

  Sometimes, life gets in your way.

  It gets all up in your damn way.

  But it doesn't get all up in your damn way because it wants you to just give up and let it take control. Life doesn't get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it all over and be carried along.

  Life wants you to fight it.

  Learn how to make it your own.

  It wants you to grab an axe and hack through the wood.

  It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through the concrete.

  It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it.

  Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together,

  stir it up,

  blend it.

  Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your little brother should be the only thing that comes first.

 
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