Today, the atmosphere at school was different from usual; it was more somber, to the point of being stifling.
A teacher has died.
He passed away on Friday of a heart attack, after a basketball game. I heard about it from my school's online news and from talk around campus - I wasn't there and I don't know the details. In one way, it's really jolting. He'd been plenty alive just a few months ago. I only remember one thing about him, and that was when we were taking a survey in the cafeteria. (Ha! The only time I get to sit in the cafeteria is during PE CLASS. I never actually eat in there. There are a few people who do, but most of us are outside, rain or shine.) He'd been barking at us, something about putting down the pens, or passing up the papers...I don't remember clearly.
I wish I had something else to remember about him. But I don't. And I never will.
It's startling in another way, too, to think that someone who was there one day would be gone, dead, so quickly. It wasn't like cancer or some slow terminal illness where you could see him weakening by the day. No, it was just like that. So fast. It takes so long for people to truly live, do more than just exist. Yet it can be taking away so quickly.
And at the same time, somehow I wasn't surprised. I almost feel as if I'd expected it to happen. I'd known since late 2010 that once my guidance counselor, who'd been on maternity leave, came back, then the lady substituting for my counselor would take over as a PE teacher (the teacher who died was only teaching for the first semester this year; I don't know why, maybe one of his students does), which was a little funny because the substitute counselor/new PE teacher is now pregnant herself. (And that was sudden too. I hadn't realized she was pregnant until she said so recently.) Not knowing why the teacher was not going to teach PE anymore, I wondered if perhaps he was planning to go away...But I didn't think that death would be his vehicle.
In fact, I HAVE seen a similar thing happen before, with my fourth grade teacher. I don't remember too much about her anymore, just that she had short blonde hair, was sometimes in a pretty bad mood, and had a jar of butterscotch candies to give out as a reward. She got injured a couple of times - one time I think a box fell onto her face and she wore sunglasses to cover up the bruise. The last time I saw her was on the day of our field trip to a museum. I thought she'd seemed fine.
After that, she was gone. And I later found out that she had died. The school never told us why exactly she died. Some students came up with all sorts of ideas. I recall that one classmate of mine said that perhaps her boyfriend had murdered her. I know nothing. Just that she is dead.
So the recent death of that teacher makes me feel queasy. I wonder a little if I might've caused in some way. A lot of things in my life have followed cycles. Is it an odd coincidence? Was it all predetermined? Have I, by speculating, actually set things in motion? Am I just reading into it too much? This isn't an anime. I'm not Haruhi Suzumiya.
Or am I?