My students kept me going during those first few weeks after the shooting, and gave me the will to fight. Before long the time had come for me to go home, and move on with my life, but it was going to be a different kind of life. I was paralyzed from the waist down, shot by some kid who held a grudge against the world, and the truth was I was afraid, but I was going to get back to the classroom I was going to teach.
I owed it to my students, especially to Jessica who had been so worried about me dying. I had to show her I could fight, just as she had shown us when she was thirteen that she could fight her way back from the accident that left her blind.
I was Miss Jessop to these students, I taught them English and Creative Writing showed them what a good story could do, how it could move you. I had to show them that I believed in those things, and I had to show them that I was alive, that the good Lord had a purpose for keeping me here.
My life was not over, no matter what that kid who shot me had tried to do.
I was alive and he was sitting in a jail cell.
I had managed to be strong enough for the trial, but each night when I went back home I was a mess. Reliving what happened to me, the face of horror on the kids face.
I couldn't look at a gun without cringing.
To Be Continued