This story takes place a few years after I moved to Texas. My mom and I moved out of an apartment and got into a roommate situation with someone we had befriended there. I still wasn't transitioning from living in Iowa to living in Texas well, but the house was a lot less awful than the apartment had been. I was also in a different school district, so I met new people, including my best friend, in an actual high school. The place I was in before had ninth grade in the middle school, so I finally got to go to a real high school after I moved.
For the life of me, I can't recall if this happened in 10th grade or
11th grade. I want to say 10th grade, but I've tried pretty hard to block most of high school out. I won't get into why because that would just be a rambling mess, but high school was not a great environment for me.
One particularly awful class was dance class. I took that class to get out of P.E., primarily because I didn't want to shower in front of other girls. I was, and am, extremely self-conscious about my body. Dance was the only other option to get that credit. For dance class, you still had to get changed in front of other girls, but it was in the actual classroom, in front of the lockers. I was able to make that work.
Plus, the way to get into the classroom gave me a little piece of mind that someone wouldn't just walk in on us all half-naked and junk. You see, the first door of the room led to very short hallway. It was just wide enough that the teacher would store a couple props or mats along the wall and they wouldn't get in anyone's way. While each door had a narrow window, the inner door (the second door) was always covered up with white printer paper. There was also a sign on the door that mentioned that girls get changed in the room and that boys were not allowed in during that time.
One day, I was on my way to class and I peeked in through that first window. I always did because even though the door opened outwards, I still didn't want to walk in and run right in to someone. In the corner by the other door, I saw a girl I didn't recognize. She looked like she might be Hispanic because of her skin tone and she had really dark hair. She had her head lowered, like she was upset or maybe crying, and that shoulder length hair obstructed my ability to get a good look at her facial features. She was wearing a white shirt and black yoga pants though, which is what we wore to dance. I also noticed that she had a blue bag next to her and white tennis shoes.
I felt for her and I was in a less-than-depressed mood. That was huge back then. That was almost happiness. I pulled the door open and geared myself up to say hello to her. I was going to make a point of talking to her, of extending my friendship because I really didn't want to be in that class either. It didn't hurt to make a friend. By the time I opened the door, she was gone.
It startled me. I figured she either moved very quickly or she somehow wasn't there at all. I walked into class and I looked around for her but she wasn't in sight. I asked if any of the other girls knew about someone joining our class and they looked at me like a dog that just learned how to talk. That sometimes happens when you don't talk during class.
When no one could tell me who she was or where she was, I figured she might have been a spirit, but I decided to take one more chance. This girl looked so sad and I was worried that I had somehow just missed her. There was a door to the outside in that classroom, a loft overhead, and the teacher's office was in there. It was possible that I just didn't see her around. As such, I went to teacher and asked her about this girl. I described her and this lady's mouth just fell open. She looked around and she shook her head before grabbing her teacher's assistant by the arm. They went into the office in a hurry, so I got ready for class.
When they came back out, the teacher decided she was going to tell us a little story of her own. She mentioned that people have complained about someone knocking on the door that leads outside the building but not finding the source. She then went on to tell us that some years prior, a girl hung herself from the loft up above our heads. After letting us know that there are better ways to handle our problems than suicide, she told us about a time that she encountered this girl's spirit.
Apparently, she stayed late one night to finish up some paperwork and ended up having to go to the bathroom. The closest girls' room was actually just down the hall. She said the place was really quiet and kind of spooky, but she went in and did her business. When she was finishing up, she heard someone come in. It startled her, so she asked who was there and she didn't get a response. She waited, asked again, and eventually looked under the stall, only to see a pair of white tennis shoes. She told us that it was weird, but she figured that maybe a janitor was wearing them, even though black shoes are part of their uniform. She left her stall, walked by the other, and noticed that the door was open and no one was inside. She told us she ran straight out of there and used hand sanitizer in her office instead of washing her hands.
After her story, she gave me a pointed look but, happily, she didn't call me out. After discussing how scary that must have been for a hot moment, she told us why she was telling us about it in the first place. She said that if we saw anything scary in the dance room or the bathroom, that it was probably just that girl. She was a sad person and that we didn't need to be afraid of her. After that, it was dance class as usual.
The girl wasn't scary when I saw her. She really just looked how I felt most of the time. I wished I could help her, but I didn't know how or if I could.
Later that year, I decided to actually sit in the lunch room for lunch. I usually hung out in the library or a teacher's classroom instead. This time, I went where I was supposed to go. I sat down at a table in the back and watched the other people around me. It was loud and I didn't have any friends in the room. I didn't have money for lunch, so I just sat there and looked around.
That's when I noticed a golden light circle above of the lunch room. It caught my eye pretty quickly. It swooped between the actual ceiling and the students' heads and blinked out. I thought maybe it was a reflection at first, but I noticed that there were plenty of those on the surface of the ceiling. They didn't look like this gold light had. They were flatter and less solid in color.
I tried to shake it off but all of the sudden the sound of the cafeteria was deafening. I just wanted out. I got up and made a beeline for the nearest restroom, which was the one next to the dance room. An assistant principle stopped me at the door to interrogate me about where I was going. I had to argue with him for almost five minutes just to get him to agree to let me go to the bathroom that was right behind him. That school was really ridiculous.
In any case, I won. I went to the bathroom with every intention of taking my sweet time in there so I wouldn't have to spend so much time in the lunch room. It was pointless for me to be in there. I didn't have a lunch and I didn't have anyone to talk to. I picked a stall, read all the graffiti inside it, checked my homework, and when I thought about how that assistant principle might get on to me for taking much longer, I stepped out to wash my hands.
I placed my books on a ledge in front of the door. I don't know why there was a ledge there, but it was handy for keeping books dry. I went to wash my hands and I kept my eyes on my stuff using the mirror. In my mind's eye, I could just see someone rushing in and taking something, so I felt the need to keep an eye on it.
Here's how this ledge thing was set up. When you walk in the bathroom door, the ledge is in front of it. It's about chest height and it has a poorly cleaned mirror on the wall behind it. There is a very slight corner and that's where the sink and stalls are. From where I was standing, I could see the ledge and into the mirror to see the bathroom door.
While I was washing my hands, I saw a large brown orb come through the door. It was probably about the size of a basketball and it was translucent in the middle. I could actually feel my heart beating in my chest as I watched it slowly move down the short hall.
When it got to the point where it would have to turn the corner, I turned to see it, but I didn't see squat. I hadn't ever heard of a brown orb before. I could barely breathe or think. I just grabbed my stuff and ran out. I went straight back to my table without one word from that assistant principle and vowed right then and there that I wasn't going to go in that bathroom again.
I think it was probably that girl I saw before but something about only seeing that orb in the mirror really freaked me out. I wasn't going to tempt fate. Plus, she had shown herself to me twice and I couldn't think of a single thing I could do for her by the time I was due to graduate. That whole bathroom ordeal was just way too much for me.
For the record, I have tried a couple of times to look up information about this girl the dance teacher said committed suicide there. I can't find anything about her. You would think that that would be big new, right? I couldn't find anything while I was in high school and I still haven't to this day. I know what I saw, but I suspect that teacher wasn't being honest with us at all.