And Again

Custom User Avatar
More by this author

My breakfast pounds against the inner lining of my stomach as my eyelids beg to drop down onto my cheeks. I force my eyes open, refocusing the swirled lines in front of me into a mathematical equation. Deep breath- in, out. I cannot afford to be sick during this class. I need to hear what the teacher will say next. The boring monotone floods into my ears, begging me to sine squared of just take a minute to c times the reciprocal of the square root of take a quick nap. I need to rest my head. I lower the left side of my face onto my arm, turning my head so that my gaze is angled toward the board. Again, my vision blurs as the teacher's face blends with the whiteboard, slowly fading into a nice, comfortable... No! I pull my head up with every ounce of willpower, considering whether it would be worth the stares to just physically hold my eyes open with my fingers. The lockers slamming in the hall build a cacophonous din in my brain, the volume turned too high on a radio station for buzz. Static obliterates all coherent thought, and class drags on.

 

When we’re finally let out, I drag my feet toward the commons. I have a 30-minute lunch break and no idea how I am going to stay awake. I make the dreadful decision to sit in the cafeteria, where the noise of Evan and Graham, two senior guys known to be notoriously good for stirring up a racket, will grind into my skull for a half hour straight. If I try to save myself in the library, I know I am going to fall asleep and miss my next class entirely. I enter the cafeteria, and a half-eaten bag of chips narrowly misses my face as it flies by. I whip my head around, instinctively seeking the swaggering baller-wannabe who just took a shot at the trash bin. With the brisk movement, my brain churns the cafeteria into a Pablo Picasso masterpiece, colors morphing into strange shapes, carouseling around the scene before me. I hear Evan’s voice call out, "My bad!" without a hint of apology, or maybe it’s Graham’s raucous laughter. In any case, I am beyond trying to figure this out. As soon as the flashing colors dim, I squint, find my lunch table through spots of clear vision, and head over. This time, I move slowly.

 

The slush of my brain sloshes around in my head, leaving vague outlines of homework assignments scribbled on the edges of my consciousness. I have to read 20 pages on Andrew Jackson by Friday, right? Or is the project due on Friday? No, wait, the reading is for the project, but that's been pushed off to Monday because instead we're taking Friday to.... I have no idea. The information slides out of my grasp as I rack (what is left of) my brains, desperately searching for the answer to this question. If only my head were a jack-o-lantern so I could carve out holes, reach in, and pull out the goopy, sticky slop inside to find the answers. I wish my head was a jack-o-lantern. I wish I had slept more than three hours last night. I wish I wasn’t about to throw up breakfast over lunch.

 

JJ and Lanie, my friends since the sixth grade, wave hi as I approach our table, and I produce a weak smile to go with my weaker excuse for a wave. A mumbled "Didn't sleep last night" immediately sets off a passionate debate about whether Ms. Coltor is the devil, works for the devil, or owns the devil’s soul. Regardless, her projects are evil incarnate. JJ claims for sure she is the one and only, but Lanie argues that JJ just hasn't had Scharfman yet, and you ain't seen nothin' yet if you haven't done a Scharfman group project. The very thought of Scharfman releases that static buzz again, the unrelenting bang of locker doors closing in the distance as sound completely submerges my sanity. More teachers. More classes. More work. How many periods left? Uggh…. I could go beg the nurse to pardon my sins and send me home…. Sadly, there is no way I can miss the Chemistry lab. I need, and I mean need, that A. Trust me--you haven’t met my parents. Thank the Science gods JJ is my lab partner. She's guaranteed to know what we're doing, which is only another of the long list of facts I’ve lost amid the locker-induced drone.

 

I pull out my phone to text my mom, typing, Not going to stay for math help. I need slep. I send it in the same instant that I realize that slep is not a word, and then I am too tired to care enough to actually send her the correction. She'll figure it out. Visions of my bed start dancing through the haze in my skull. Soft pillows, warm blankets, the sweet relief of the snooze button on my alarm clock. Behind me, the principal calls out that lunch is over, and everyone around me rises in a tidal wave of sound and movement that knocks me back in my chair. I fight the tsunami of reverberation. Standing slowly, I make eye contact with Lanie, who gives me a sympathetic smile before she rushes off to her own science class. I possibly attempt to smile back, forego my usual half-hearted shoulder shrug to avoid unnecessarily complicated thought processes, and start to shuffle my Uggs toward fifth period US History. Technically, it's AP US History, or APUSH for short. Uggh, I could really use a push right now. The slamming of the lockers carries me on a current of humming hubbub, and as the commotion clamors for control of my jack-o-lantern mind, I finally give in to its cry. Inside my head, brain waves allow themselves to be engulfed by static roar.






Join the Discussion

This article has 45 comments. Post your own now!

Ray--yoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 4, 2015 at 9:28 am
I just read this again, and couldn't help complementing you on all these awesome little things you've managed to insert in between (specially in the fourth paragraph, though there are a lot in every other as well). I also hope you realise that some of us are eagerly waiting for you to post something new.
 
BeilaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm
Wow! Thank you! As you know, I really admire you your incredible writing, so this has completely made my day! :) Unfortunately, between a big move this past summer and the college application season, I have not had the chance to finish SEVERAL pieces that are *so* close to completion. They are all on my radar, and as soon as I get free time, they'll be up almost instantaneously and all at once. It's just a matter of finding that time.... But thank you so much again for this comment! This is defi... (more »)
 
Ray--yoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 8, 2015 at 9:53 am
Of course, please do take your time. And thank you for the titles, they all sound very exciting. :)
 
Ray--yoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm
*cough cough*
 
BeilaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Sept. 13, 2016 at 2:29 am
:D You are so sweet to remember me. Yeah, I'm a bad person who gut stuck in a rut. My excuse would be that I moved last year and lost all my editors in face-to-face form (and I cannot stand letting just anyone read my unedited writing), but the truth is that I also fell into an uninspired sinkhole. I'm working on it, though. I promise I will publish more stuff. I guess it's just taking waaaay longer than I expected. Sorry!!! Trust me, I am as bummed about the stalled timeline on my half a dozen ... (more »)
 
Ray--yoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 2 at 8:44 pm
It's alright. Best wishes!
 
thisEmilyda1 said...
Sept. 2, 2015 at 6:56 pm
Sorry it took so long to comment, we were on vacation. This was so awesome, it feels like the reader is actually there and that the character is a real person, partly I think because of how relatable it is. It feels like me in the Mir ing because my bro and I have to get up for an early morning bible study called seminary. Great job keep writing I love it. Thanks for your comment on my poem, it was helpful.
 
BeilaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Sept. 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm
You're welcome, and thank you!
 
SkippyPeanutbutter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 23, 2015 at 10:33 am
I actually read this before, but thought it was flawless so I just rated it haha. It really is flawless though! I especially loved the sentence: "The boring monotone floods into my ears, begging me to sine squared of just take a minute to c times the reciprocal of the square root of take a quick nap." It made me laugh. Also "I need, and I mean need, that A. Trust me--you haven’t met my parents" could've been taken straight out of my head. The piece is so relate-able! Overall I loved it and wou... (more »)
 
BeilaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm
:) Thanks so much for the comment! I love when people read my work and connect with it--so please do let me know! Especially because just as that sentence made you laugh, it makes *me* laugh to know that people are reading it and connecting. And good luck with that A! Sounds like you need it! ;)
 
Kestrel135This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 18, 2015 at 6:31 pm
This was an amazing piece to read! It's such a relatable topic, and you described it in the most perfect and creative ways. I love the analogies you used throughout, such as the static of the radio and the tsunami of students rising after lunch. I felt as though I was right there with the protagonist, and it was easy to feel the weight of her feet and the droop of her eyelids. Really well done! I'm trying to think of a suggestion for this, but I honestly can't. I liked that we didn't know why sh... (more »)
 
Meital.S This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm
I loved it and could relate to every single word, down to the misspelled text to mom. So wonderfully and cleverly written!
 
futurista12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 12, 2015 at 11:07 am
Wow, this is really descriptive. I feel like I'm actually in there with her, trying to stay awake. My favorite lines were "My breakfast pounds against the inner lining of my stomach" and "Begging me to sine squared of just take a minute to c times the reciprocal of the square root of take a quick nap." You really are talented.
 
wordtea said...
Aug. 3, 2015 at 10:16 am
Hi! You write really beautifully. It was like reading an excerpt from a book.
 
NeverjustOne said...
Aug. 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm
This is really well-written! I love all the imagery you used. It was super easy to read and hard to stop! Thanks much for writing a great piece!
 
SarahSylvan said...
Jul. 30, 2015 at 10:01 am
I really enjoyed the imagery you used, but found I was wanting it to be more of a story. I was almost expecting a climax in the middle or like a twist in the end. But overall great job!!!!
 
KittyKat1419 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2015 at 6:33 am
This is an amazing piece of work that I really enjoyed reading. It's intriguing and an imtrestimg sort of piece, and generally not what I expected. Great job and I think this should be added to the print magazine.
 
Jc543 said...
Jul. 18, 2015 at 2:39 pm
To start, I found your writing to be very absorbing and intricately written. Your protagonist was easily relatable, allowing readers a glimpse into the life of a teenager. The descriptions were executed in a vivid way, causing the setting to feel more authentic. However, I felt that the piece lacked a sense of purpose. By this I mean there was little conflict and dialogue to propel the story forward in a meaningful way. I'm assuming that was your intention, considering the piece is based around ... (more »)
 
gladinorsk This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 15, 2015 at 6:16 pm
I second every word of this comment. It perfectly described my reactions to this piece.
 
BeilaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 21, 2015 at 2:55 am
@Jc543 and @gladinorsk, thank you both so much! I always appreciate meaningful feedback, the good with the bad. :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback