You’ve gathered everything you need for your presentation as you sit in class waiting for your turn. A few note cards with a few words to remind you of a few things. You aren’t really worried or concerned about it. In fact, you think every thing’s going to go fine in terms of you doing a presentation. You have everything and you are prepared to go up. In fact, you know you’re next when the teacher calls your name. As she does, you stand and simply walk up to the front of the class. You hold the all cards in your hands and peek at them for one last moment.
Then you turn around.
Everything is silent with everyone in the class looking at you. All their eyes simply staring back into your with unmoving faces as they simply wait. They watch you as you stand there, waiting for you to speak. You open your mouth but there is no words. Your mind tries to seek them but these thoughts are lost in a sea of eyes. The reason your there dissolves in your mind like mist.
You know you must speak in order to get a grade. It’s something so simple, and yet you’re just standing there. It’s not just the students watching you but the teacher just outside the corners of your eyes. She’s watching and waiting in order to start grading and yet you stop without proceeding. You can’t just give up. Stopping is not an option for you. All you have to do is try. Just open your mouth and let the words flow. Your mind is like a dry lake bed and the faucet of your mouth lets off nothing but dry breath.
If you don’t get this grade, what will your parents think of you? Would they want their child to get an F of all things? What would they do? They could just ground you if they wanted. They could yell at you about. They’d raise their voices into disappointing screams of wrath because you got that foul thing. All because you got that F. You’ll get an F just because you can’t open your mouth and speak a few words. That’s not right though. You researched everything! You looked through many books, look into more web sites, and you have every bit of information you could every need for this! All of that is worth nothing but an F if you don’t speak. All of it isn’t worth a thing to your parents. It’s not worth a thing to your teacher.
… What will others think? What will they think as they wait and get nothing? What will they think if you don’t even try? What will they think if they had such an easy time doing it? What will they think as you just stand there wasting time with nothing? How can you even waste something with nothing at all? How does that make sense? How could they have all came up here and spoke so easily? What did they do that you couldn’t? What aren’t you doing right? What are you forgetting that’s so easily said that it’d be done by now?
Everything moves by so quickly, yet your mind runs slow. It reaches to grab those words but…. You don’t even know what you’re looking for. How do you start? What do you start with? What should be the first word? What is even the first letter? Is it “A” or “The” you should start with? What comes after that? How do you continue it and form that though? You can’t give up. You haven’t even started! The teacher gives you a warring that you’re almost done. How you be done if you never started?! How can so much time pass in a matter of seconds?! How…? How? How? HOW?!
You have to do something! Anything! Just start speaking. Start saying words. It’s easy, right?! Just look into your mind and find the right though… But… There’s so many… H-how? How are there so many questions? So many trails of thought that wander off from what you’re looking for? Every thought you try to pull at, you pull yourself further away. You pick one but it’s just the countless eyes of students. Another? The teacher watching and grading. No… One more! Your parents are yelling at you as if you were the lowest of life. Um… How fast time is running? How can things start without going? How is this so easy? How are you screwing up? How can you screw up doing nothing? No – something? What are you thinking? What are you saying? There is nothing in your mind to say but it’s full? How is it full? Why is time moving so slowly? Is it moving at all? No, time’s almost out! I need to speak! I need to do something! DO SOMETHING!
“That’s time,” you hear the teacher say. Your mind clears but lingers.
She asks you to sit down.
… I have to say something.
She asks again.
I stare down at nothing for something.
She ask again.
My body is trembling…
… I can’t speak…
… I need to…
The words in your hands fall to the floor.