Not an Ordinary Day

November 21, 2017
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At 5:30am sharp the girl jumped out of bed and began her morning routine like she always did. She ran on her usual path past the park and around the school, 10 minutes like always. Then at home rushed straight to the shower letting the warm water run down her back until her alarm went off at 5:55am signaling for her to get dried off. Next she ate a healthy breakfast.
Her brother slept in until the minute they had to walk out the door. Every morning she’d yell down the hall towards her brother's room “Come on putsy! Get up, we have to go soon!” She had called him putsy since he was about five because he had always been slow, slow at learning, developing, moving, everything really. Besides putsy was close enough to his real name, Preston. Responding to his sister’s wake up call he’d pull the blankets over his head and mumble back, “ five more minutes Mallory.” Mallory walked out and started her rusty yellow pickup truck and pulled out just slow enough to give Preston enough time to bound across the yard and hop into the passenger seat.
They pulled into the high school parking lot and went their separate ways pretending not to know each other, even pretending that the other didn't exist. Mallory stood laughing with her “too cool for school”, popular, senior friends far away from where Preston stood playing with his watch next to a group of freshman boys. Their school was well know for separating into groups. If someone didn't fit in a group they really didn't belong. Sadly Preston was one of the kids that didn’t fit in anywhere. He didn’t make friends with the other freshman boy that didn’t fit in because that boy was always talking about how much he hated the school and everyone in it, Preston found him scary.
Today the whole school had an assembly to talk about the new grading system the teachers would be using this year. Mallory sat up front in the middle section so everyone behind her could see her perfectly braided brown hair she had spent extra time on this morning. She didn’t even notice that Preston was sitting alone by the back door a few rows behind everyone else. The Principal walked onto the stage setting up the microphone and greeting everyone. He was talking about how A’s would be 90% and above when a loud rattling sound came from the door next to Preston then it swung open and a loud explosion followed. Mallory dropped to the floor and heard the sobs and shrieks of all of the other kids grow loud. Teachers were yelling “get down, stay down, don’t move!” all around the room. Mallory heard a soothing voice muffled by all the commotion around “Please, just put it down. You don’t want to hurt anyone.” The same loud explosion from when the door first swung open sounded again. Mallory could no longer fight the tears, they were warm rolling down her cheeks and cooled once they hit the floor. A panicked voice cries “is he okay?” the voice gasped “Call 911!” Mallory suddenly thought of her brother who had been sitting by the door that swung open and jumped to her feet. Against the pleds of the teachers she ran to where Preston had been sitting and looked down on the flood to see her little brother. The brother who had been sitting in her truck that morning, happy, and alive; now cold, bloody, and motionless on the hard grey auditorium floor.
Teachers pulled on Mallory crying she screamed and fought against them. Giving in knowing there was nothing she could do she sat helplessly. Teachers herded out the student body while she sat, a rock on the ground unable to move herself. Her chest slightly moving with each breath, dry tears on her cheeks, numb. A warm light touch on her shoulder pulled her from her mind. That familiar kind voice she’d heard every time she needed to change a class or had a bad grade apologetically said “ Mallory, honey. Why don't you come with me?” He sounded sad rather compared his usual perky self, she shuddered knowing why he was no longer perky. He put his arm around her shoulder and silently walked down the blank white brick hallway to his office. She walked through the door. “Dad?” sitting with his head in his hand and shaking at the sound of her voice his head snapped up. He smiled and opened his arms. Walking over towards his open arms she started to cry and held him tight. They all sat silent, eyes glued to the floor. “So.. you both know what happened. I am very sorry and I hope you know I will be taking care of this to the best of my ability. Until further notice Mallory can stay home unless she would like to come back and all expenses for a funeral and such will be fully paid by the school.” The tall manly figure who had been sobbing slowly rose and silently walked away.
Mallory had never seen her dad cry before that day. Today is the second day she’d see him fall to pieces uncontrollably, Prestons funeral day. Mallory hated seeing her dad cry and she couldn’t bare to see her cold motionless little brother again. The image was already burned into her mind from the auditorium. Opening up a bible she sat outside the church room thinking about what Preston would have done if she had been the one in the coffin. Tears running down her face at the thought of him being alive. She forced herself to her feet closed the book set it on the table and finally walked through that door, like Preston would have wanted.






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