The Guidance Councelor
CHAPTER
1
The Beginning of Everything
The car hit me as I was crossing the road while I was peacefully listening to my favourite group Lighters. The song “Maniac Drive” was all I heard before all I felt was the agonizing pain from my broken bones. The doctors told me I would need to stay in a wheelchair for about a year. I didn’t really mind since I despised getting sweaty in gym class anyways, but I couldn’t help but wonder who that girl was.
The whole reason why I was crossing the road in the first place was because there was a girl who was weeping on the other side. But by the time I got hit, she was gone.
Now back to present, here I sit in Mrs. Cranny’s boring lesson on the lifespan of a worm. I look up at the clock and how time has been taunting me, as it had only moved about five minutes forward in what felt like five hundred. None the less, my classmates and I were finally saved by the annoying bell that chimed for too long.
I wheeled away into the hall, not caring that almost all the students who were making way for me were also staring annoyingly with their mouths hung and eyes wide. I ignored them and looked straight ahead with my face in a scowl saying ‘leave me alone’.
I guess ever since my accident two months ago, I’ve become a jerk who’s sour, over confident, a pain in the butt and judge mental. But you’d think people would’ve gotten over it already - I know I have.
I knocked on the door to Mr. Franklin’s office - he’s the schools Guidance Councelor. Every day, I spend about half an hour at lunch with him talking about my accident. More times we would just start talking about life and how we wish to live it. When he opened up, we started our routine. We nodded at each other, I wheeled to my corner, he grabbed his “ I’M A big GUY” mug and sat in his yellow chair.
“ So Jeremy, how was your day so far?” he asked.
Now Mr. Franklin, this old man who has lived for a total of seventy years, still looks good for his age. He doesn’t look a day over sixty! We got on to talking about my accident. I told him about the girl I saw and he thought that I was just confused since I did get hit by a car. Afterwards, our conversation went in the direction of what our favourite foods were and what sports we liked to watch on T.V. - his hockey, mine lacrosse.
Then suddenly, he said something odd. “Jeremy, if i were to die soon, would you do me a favor?” I looked at him for a moment then laughed as if it was a joke. “Yeah sure Sir. What do you want?”
“Become the new Guidance Councelor,” he said.
The look on his face when he said this was as hard as a stone wall. I hesitated to giggle but I knew this wasn’t a laughing matter. Mr. Franklin was dead serious. I stared back for a moment before answering.
“Sir, are you okay? Why are you asking me such a foolish question? Your not actually going to die soon and even if you did, why ask me to do the job?”
He sighed. I could tell he was tired and needed to sleep. When he didn’t answer for a while I said “Look Sir, I don’t know what’s going on but I can tell that you’re tired and need some rest. So I’ll just go on before lunch is over and leave you to your—-“
“Wait Jeremy, please come back.”
I rolled back to my original spot and sat quietly. Mr. Franklin took a deep breath and started to talk again. “Look Jeremy, I haven’t told anyone else yet so you’ll be the first to know. I recently discovered that I have a tumor in my brain that has been there for a while. The doctors said that it was the reason for all of my reoccurring migraines and my constant forgetfulness. The reason I ask of you to become the next Guidance Councelor is because I have never encounter a student like you before. You know more about me and my life than any other person so it would be easy for you to work like me. You are also more than qualified to work as a Guidance Councelor with your PhD in Psychology and medicine. But more than that, you are like a son to me. You are the only one who can help the other students when I am gone.”
I took this all in as if I had gotten hit by a car again. Even though everything that Mr. Franklin had said made sense, it made no sense to me why a healthy old man suddenly became so fragile. I mean, he was right. I did have a PhD in psychology and medicine, so I was qualified. And I guess being a seventeen-year-old had its perks when trying to understand the problems of people around the same age. Yet I still can’t believe he’s going to leave. Mr. Franklin was the one person I could be real with. It’s like I’m being struck all over again.
Before I realized it, I felt drops of water fall on my hand. I had been crying for some time, but I could not stop thinking why this happened. Was it me? Did I along with other students put too much stress on him? I started to wheel away.
“Jeremy, please hold on a minute. We aren’t finished.”
I opened the door and without a second though i rushed out, not looking behind me. I felt too frustrated and annoyed at him to even look at him again. But above all, I felt guilt creep over my shoulder like it was breathing down my back.
I closed the door and told the next person who was waiting to go in. Before I could even leave the Guidance office which suddenly felt like four closing walls, I heard a loud thud that shook the ground beneath my feet. The guy behind me gasped and said ‘oh my gosh’.
Before I turned around, I already knew what I was going to see. Poor Mr. Franklin’s tumor got the better of him a lot sooner than expected. I wheeled past the guy not caring if I ran over his toes and bent down to Mr. Franklin. “Go call the ambulance!” I yelled.
While watching Mr. Franklin lie on the floor, I started to think how I might actually have to become the next Guidance Councelor of this desperate school.
Just then, I heard the ambulance siren blare in the midday air outside. I looked at my friend and my friend looked at the ceiling. I bent down as far as my wheelchair would let me and said, “Sir, you can`t leave like this. You need to fight a little longer! Come on!” I shook him, using bits of my anger and frustration to power every shake. Just then the EMT`s rushed in and pushed my me, and carried him out.
I sat there still for a moment, taking in what just happened. I wheeled my way towards the ambulance, ignoring all the pitying looks and muffled whispers that stopped when I passed and began again once I moved on.
Finally I reached the ambulance. I looked around the giant red and while vehicle, wheeling to the back where the doors were...where they loaded Mr. Franklin. I wondered why a large white sheet covered his whole body. I took me a moment, but I imagined the worst and suddenly tears filled my eyes.
“Young man are you the one who called us?”, asked an EMT.
“Ye-yes, I s-s-saw everything,” I said while stuttering. “He-he has a brain tumor so he’s very sick and doesn’t have much time left. That’s why he collapsed in his office. Bu-but why does he have a sheet covering him?”
The EMT bent down and put his hand on my shoulder. He gave me a sympathetic look before letting his head fall. I already knew what he was going to say.
“Sir,” I asked.
“This may be hard to hear, but I’m sorry buddy...you teacher is dead.”
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