Frederick climbed the worn stairs to his room quickly but stopped just before the door. A lot had happened since he had been away. He wondered if a broken heart would change his memories of the place. When he had seen his mother at the airport he had only wanted to climb into her arms and never leave. When he saw his friends he had almost decided not to go back to London. He ultimately knew that neither of these were options he had, but his sadness made them viable. It wasn’t until he was faced with his childhood from only a semester ago that he truly realized how alone he had felt across the miles of water. He wondered what his room would do – help him or act as yet another battering ram to his psyche.
His eyes roamed the coarse wood grain of the door as his hand reached almost regretfully toward the handle. He shoved it gently inward and took a step into the room. He stood quietly.
He felt nothing. He looked around at his possessions, his things, and felt not one emotion. He threw his bag onto his too-small bed and whirled around, trying to keep everything in his sights. Every corner was filled with a memory of him, his family, his friends, and he forced himself to recall them, stretching into the recesses of his memory and expelling every happy thought, every sad moment, but he was shocked to find that he could no longer relate. He sat wearily on his bed, clinking the zippers of his suitcase together rhythmically, realizing finally that he could feel nothing.
The stress of the past year, the sheer drudgery of class after class and nights spent alone because he was never invited to a party had emptied him of feeling anything but that sameness. The only emotion that rescued him from his apathy was anger, at Maci, at school, at the people who never looked at him because he was different, the people who stared for the same reason.