For the Love of a Student: Dear Mrs. K

Dear Mrs. K,

You were the first person I ever told about the abuse. I don’t know what it was about you that felt safe. Maybe it was the way you made me feel welcome from my very first day at a new school. Maybe it was the way you stood up for me when the bullies were relentless. Maybe it was the way you looked at me, like a person worthy of love and attention.

Whatever it was, I’m glad I felt it. I’m glad I had you.

I remember passing you the note. I walked through the hallways after school, clutching it tightly in shaking hands. I remember the way you looked at me when I held it out to you, my entire body shaking. I remember having panic attacks about it, one right after the other all weekend. I remember you coming to find me in my first hour class on Monday.

You hugged me like no one had ever hugged me before. I was sure that your hug was capable of molding all my broken parts back together.