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I used to think I had to save you.

Perhaps that began the morning your basketball coaches knocked on our classroom door, asking to speak with me.

Was this normal? I didn’t know quite how to respond. They were tall, the senior of which wore a dark velour sweatsuit.

That afternoon I asked Tom for an “off the record conversation.” Taking his backpack off a chair, he gave me permission to begin. I somewhat vented and almost cried. Was that morning’s visit a threat to do all I can to help your bad grades so that you, star player, could keep scoring? And was that when I began my savior complex? Is that when the tears began to flow at night as I wondered what more I could do to make your life better?

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