Chapter 3:

Before Dawn

A Place of Our Own


I awoke with a thin sheet of sweat encompassing my skin, my loose blouse clung to my torso and was bright with the shininess of my polished sweat. I grabbed my cell phone and the screen displayed 4:00AM.


At 9:00 AM I would be meeting the principal and teachers of the middle school I would be teaching at. My plane had arrived on Marine Day, July 20, the first day of summer break. It's surprising that after a week of vacation the schools, or at least my school would still be occupied with teachers. What could they be doing?


The room was dark, the window displayed that the sky was dark, I was awake in pure darkness. Damp and sticky, this was not the cool silence that I knew. It was not like the darkness of home, where the bed I was in was mine, and where the room that I occupied belonged to me.
It was a darkness filled with uncertainty and a silence that carried fear, straight into my heart.
I was completely and utterly alone.
Not one friend, not one family member, everything was foreign to me, and all my steps were filled with caution. In my younger years I remember how I felt loneliness, and teenage me liked to believe that had made me special . The selfish sixteen year old I was once had resurfaced, but only this time did I truly understand what loneliness was. It was a mirror that didn't pretend or wallow itself into the angst that accompanied youth.


The linear blinds that sliced the light into thin lines, were a pearly white. I couldn't help but skim my fingers through each one, up and down, back and forth, the sound was dull and yet it was captivating. Nothing else in this room was as interesting for I had no furnishings, just my futon and in the far corner of my bedroom the stacked suitcases of no return.