The Student

I never had that many friends, usually kept quiet and stayed home all through high school, I couldn’t get into the things that they did. I liked reading old books, learning about ancient cultures, and coin collecting. I had hoped college would be different maybe I’d wake up and mysteriously want to go binge drinking or buy a TV. The first semester was great I talked in my classes, went to social events even meet up for study groups. When some of my classmates invited me to a party, I accepted finally feeling like I was fitting in. A few of the girls came by to get ready in my room since I didn’t have a roommate and there is a full length mirror behind both my room and bathroom door. The party was fun, a bit too much underage drinking and the music was too loud but I knew people and stayed for a while.

The next semester I started reverting back to my old ways, emailing in assignments, studying alone in my room declining all invitations. Being a social caterpillar (social butterfly is a reach,) all last semester really took it out of me, eventually everyone I got close to stopped asking me to hangout or stopped talking to me all together. I would try to talk to them on good days but it was like they didn’t notice, my text would stay unread, snaps unopened, I didn’t even get called on in class anymore. I had no one to talk to, my family wouldn’t pick up the phone when I called, and when I walked up to a group of classmates I’d be treated like I wasn’t even there. On a day of feeling my absolute lowest I went to the counseling center wanting to get some help to deal with my funk. After filling out the online form I waited for over a two hours before I got tired and went up to the front desk, the women proceeded to ignore me even when I screamed.

Waking up a few days later I realized I’d stopped being graded in most of my classes. Before I could leave my room to complain I passed a mirror and noticed something strange, I couldn’t see one of my legs. I knew it was there only because I was standing perfectly fine, but it wasn’t showing in the mirror. Laughing at the obvious trick mirror someone had snuck into my room I reached to rub my thigh and almost fell over from the lack of limb. Not understanding how I could be standing on two feet but not have a whole leg I threw on a blanket and grabbed my laptop to figure out what was happening but googling “missing leg”  or “disappearing limb” nothing helpful came up at all. Deciding to talk to one of my professors I headed out to the science building, going to knock on his office to I noticed that my hand is missing. Well my whole shoulder is no longer visible. I started beating harder, pounding on the door and still receiving no answer I jiggle the knob. Nothing happens the either so I head back to my room to send him an email, since he’s one of the only professors left accepting my work, maybe I can schedule a meet or gather his opinion that way. Of course there is no way you can send “hey I know I’m not the best student but I think I’m turning invisible would you like to not see me” without being sent to the crazy house so I had to find a way to ask without being to suspicious.

“Dear Professor,

I came by your office today to discuss a thesis idea but you were out so I figured I could approach you this way and receive an answer. I would like to write about the theory of invisibility and peer perception i.e. do you become invisible if you don’t get attention, recognition, basic peer interactions. I’ve taken a real interest in this topic so please get back to me soon.”

Sitting there waiting on a reply I decided to go for a walk to clear my head and be free of this nightmare. The campus was absolutely beautiful and full of life, flowers blooming, people reading by the trees, bikes everywhere and still no one noticed me. After an hour of still not being seen I headed back, opening my laptop I notice my other leg is also fucking gone, I’d probably be completely gone by this evening. At least I had received a message back from my professor.

“Good afternoon,

I don’t think that a biology thesis should have such a philosophical outlook but if it is for a philosophy class I say go for it. I noticed that you have been sending me a lot of your work but I can’t find you on my student list. Being as I am busy with this semester my office hours are for my students and ta’s only at this time.”

I wasn’t on the list, how was I not on the list, I know I stopped going to lectures but I always read notes and showed up for test. He didn’t even say my name, maybe I wasn’t in his class, I could have just seen him while checking out the science building. I’ve lost my midsection. I can’t remember the last time someone even looked at me here, what if I never really had friends. Just a head and one arm now. Maybe I’ll call home and they can tell me what’s happening here, but they don’t answer. Do I really have a family if I can’t see them or remember what they sound like? Just a head now, hmm I wonder if I can come back if someone finally remembers I existed once.

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