September 27, 2007
By jessica Teeter, Charlotte, NC

The grass seems to sparkle in some areas of my backyard, but is surrounded by dry, dying plants or bare spots on the hard, orange-brown earth. The ground is rough and cracked, and the grass is fragile and coarse. My jeans and my shirt are orange and dusty from sitting on the ground for so long. I look around in dismay at the land on this boiling-hot summer day. I can feel the afternoon sun radiating off my skin.

There is no way to describe the heat. Today is just one of those days where you’ll go as far as to drown yourself to end your misery and cool off. The sky is a deep, extravagant turquoise, and there isn’t a single cloud. I’ve been constantly looking up at the sky, praying for a dark, purple-gray rain cloud. I patiently wait for the loud, booming clap of thunder, and the brilliant flash of lightning. I glance around at my surroundings, and notice that everything seems a bit more like the Sahara desert than North Carolina. Everything reflects light, and I have to squint to see clearly.

Sweat drips from my forehead, and my face feels like it is burning. My throat is practically on fire, and my empty water bottle sits next to me. The smell of the chalky soil and the thick dust that is in the air makes it difficult to breathe. My dog rests her head on my lap in sympathy. She should know how I feel, considering she’s a Siberian Husky and has tons of fur. She gets up and walks to her water bowl, takes a sip and then looks at me expectantly. I smirk and scratch her ears. “No thanks, I can wait,” I whisper to her. She glances at me again, and gives me a look that makes me think if she were human, she would’ve shrugged and said “You’re loss.”

It’s only been half an hour, and my father should be home in another fifteen minutes. That means I only have to wait a little while longer before I can get back inside. He’ll probably be annoyed with me for losing my house key, but to be quite honest, I don’t really care. A smile spreads across my face as I try to imagine myself in another state, like Arizona or Texas. I can almost picture myself, practically dying from the heat. My dog’s ears suddenly perk up, and she begins barking and howling. I turn around to see a white truck pull into the driveway. Finally.

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