A student who came running into my office once. I saw her again on Friday morning. Petite and powerful. Concerned, restless brown eyes with fairy eyelashes. Olive skin. A forehead all crinkled up with anxiety. Dark hair which is mahogany in the sunlight. Nervous. Vulnerable. Determined.
She hurried into my office on a quiet Thursday afternoon. She was a gust of energetic intensity waving papers and throwing questions into the air. I wondered when she was going to breathe. An anxious hour passed. And I am not even sure what questions I really answered. Every time I tried, her words were stumbling out of her mouth as she asked me a new question. Reflecting back on that moment, I think she probably just needed someone to reassure her that everything would be okay. I wish I had done that. I was too busy trying to make sure that I taught her all she needed to know. The sad part? She knew all of her work already. She left my office with a heavy backpack and an even heavier heart.
I saw her again on Friday morning. I was sitting on the steps outside our Humanities building when I saw her rushing towards me. She sat down right next to me and began unloading. I took her load away from her and put it on the steps next to me.
We put our arms around each other and remained still amidst the bustling throng filtering out of lecture halls.