He figured that if he sat in the most remote corner of the dining hall, there was a smaller chance of anybody seeing him. He felt invisible, but he liked it. Things weren't going so badly. Everybody on the floor was nice, even those who had been there last year when he had his little meltdown. Nobody made him feel uncomfortable or ill at ease, but he still hesitated from joining in with them when they were gathered in their rooms or going to meals together. No, not for him. Not yet.
His mother had called him the night after Rose had dropped him off.
“You’re okay?” she asked.
You ought to know ma, you’re the nurse.
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’m just getting back into things.”
“It’s not too weird?”
“No,” he said. “In fact, it’s easier than I’d thought.”
“And the team? You’re going back?”
He’d let a pause go through, to let her know that he had considered everything.
“I thought yes but now I’m not sure,” he said. “I’ll know in a few weeks.”
“All right,” she said. “Just make sure to call at least once a week. Leave a message if I’m not home.”
“I love you,” she said.
“You too,” he said and hung up. If he didn’t call once a week, she’d drive to campus herself to check up on him. That was overdoing it. He hadn’t even done anything last semester; there’d been no suicide attempt. He just felt down and had a hard time finishing things. From what he’d seen after two years at school was that students broke down all the time; he was a mild case.
He’d been sitting at the table for nearly twenty minutes and his food, which he had barely touched, had grown cold. Who knew where all the time had gone. He could go back for seconds but it didn’t make sense to waste what he had. Besides, hot or cold, food didn’t have much flavor to him anymore. But it was also a shame to waste it. He dug in.
The plan was just to stay invisible for just a short time longer.