You sit at the table closest to the podium, and I see the way your face struggles every morning to form straight lines instead of curved ones. Your grades are impeccable. You seem much older than you are.
When you told me you’d been together for three years, since high school, moved away together, it’s only after you tell me there’s something in her skull. Something inoperable. She only has two months to live. I tell you miracles happen. I tell you to keep your chin up, to wait for a second opinion. Medical technology improves every day.
What I don’t tell you is what I do after class. What I don’t tell you is that I turn off the lights, lock my office door, and swipe through your Facebook photos under my desk, wet cheeks lit by the backlight of an Android phone. What I don’t tell you is that I sob for you, that it takes everything I have to look you in the face and smile.
What I don’t tell you is that I don’t know how you can be so young and so strong.