High school. One more year and it will be over. We’ve just changed classes and are settling into the classroom. Our high school had a communication system so that each classroom could be contacted individually. The tone alerts the teacher, she picks up the handset starts speaking with someone and starts looking at me. She hangs up the handset and instructs me to report to one of the assistant principals office immediately.
They knew at the time I had Red Cross Advanced First Aid and CPR training and was part of the rescue squad explorers. A couple times I’d helped the school nurse when no one else could handle the blood and open wound. Once there was a girl who brought a kitchen knife from home and cut her wrist in the bathroom and a boy lost half a finger on the band-saw. I was amazed by the clean cut it made. Those were the only two time until then.
I get to the principals office expecting something bloody or an impaled object, something. The principal is in an emotional state, it was easy to see he was gravely concerned. He ask me if I knew a particular student or the students whereabouts. I knew her and didn’t know where she was. We left the school building and went to his car.
He had not said anything about what was going on. At the car he said that he wanted me to go with him to the students home address and a few other places to look for her. I was very surprised that he would have me in the car looking for her. I asked what was going on. He talked around the topic and never answered. He kept focusing on where she might be.
We went to some horse stables, a park. I began to suspect she had threatened suicide and he didn’t want to say it to me. We went to her home, she wasn’t there. I told him how I would deal with it whatever was going on because I was getting the sense she was in danger. We had been gone for three hours. I missed a class, lunch and the after lunch class. He realized he had to call the police and did.
Still don’t know what happened to her. Not rumors, nothing. She never came back to school. What an experience to have the principal call me out of class then use his car to look for a student. At the time it seemed odd and thought it had something to do with suicide. Now that I’m older I think its possible he could have been a mentor or possibly a lover. That’s the 1970s for you. -13