Time This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 7, 2007
Every morning I wake up to the normal sun shooting through the left window, blinding me as I try to open my eyes. My dog, Donald, barks up a storm. He insists that every morning at exactly 7:04, he has to go outside. It really is starting to push my buttons. Can’t that damn dog just take a rest?

After I go outside for exactly 2.5 minutes, I realize I have to deal with my boss in exactly 48.6 minutes. I sit and moan for two minutes. Any more I would be late and any less I would be early: it has to be exactly two minutes. Afterward, I do my normal six-minute shower, three-minute shave, two-minute brush of my teeth – just like the dentist told me – and five minutes to figure out what I am going to wear ­today. That leaves me 4.5 minutes to sit and read The New York Times and moan about having to drive 20 minutes to a job that I can’t stand. Once I arrive, it takes 2.1 minutes to hear the lame story about what Ron, the guy two cubicles down, did last night and four minutes ’til I get to hear my boss complain that I never do anything right.

Spending 9.34 hours at my job, driving 26 minutes home (I hate traffic), taking two minutes to take Donald out and only getting 24.7 minutes to myself before lying down in my hard, cold bed and not falling asleep for another 12.5 minutes can really drive someone crazy. At least that is what my therapist tells me. But in fact it does not make you crazy; it makes everyone else crazy for not wanting to know how much time they actually have.

The thing that will make you crazy is if something goes wrong. Something that has been happening the same way for exactly 12.56 years. When that one thing goes wrong, all hell breaks loose. For instance, if you wake 45.8 minutes late because there is no damn dog barking for you to take him out. Which causes you to be late to work, because you have a 20-minute drive and only 2.4 minutes to get there. Then you ­decide in exactly 24 seconds that you have to call in to work saying you came down with something. But after the phone rings for eight seconds, the secretary tells you that something bad has happened and there will be no work today. You wonder for only one minute what could have happened, but then go and take a shower.

The shower is much longer than the normal six minutes. It takes two more minutes to wonder what is the red goop dripping from your body. Then it takes you two more minutes to realize that you probably just cut yourself shaving.

After 45.8 minutes of watching TV, you wonder where Donald is and what really happened today to call off work. You ponder this for 12 minutes, scratching your chin, noticing the red goop is also under your nails. You find that disgusting, so you walk steps, which takes you three seconds, to go wash your hands, for two minutes, in the bathroom that you never use. You look around for four minutes, noticing there is also red goop all over the walls. You quickly – so fast you can’t count the time – open the shower curtain.

In about seven minutes you realize you have to clean up. But suddenly there is a knock on the front door lasting for about four seconds. But you have to ignore it, you don’t have time, you have to clean up in six minutes. But wait, six minutes is too long. You need 4.5 minutes, but that’s too short. The knocking is getting louder and faster, every three seconds, it just won’t stop. You can’t stop either; you have to clean up, but the knocking ….

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 322 comments. Post your own now!

teresa221 said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm
Wow, this was really good! I was drawn in immediately and hooked until the end. I'd love to know what happens next, though, if you plan to continue this =)
Maegan789 said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 8:23 am
I really want to know what happens where is the blood coming from and where is her dog????? Who is knocking at the door??
Odyesseus replied...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm

he killed the dog and the boss

and police is knocking on the door

tejas007 said...
Nov. 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

what happens at the last???

after knocking..................... wat??


TheWriterGolfer said...
Oct. 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm
I really enjoyed this piece. I like the tone of your writing; you express your annoyance and sarcasim really well. The way you make all the times so precise also helps express your point in your writing. Good job!
Potterlover925 said...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm
I wasn't caught until the end, but it definetly recived my attention then!  
Joel C. replied...
Oct. 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm
me to it was a nice read defently on th end
MrGetBuff said...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 10:58 am
hi779 said...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm
im from wisconsin
Gilbert, said...
Sept. 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm
BlueBubbles95 said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm
awesome, keep writing!
zadiekatie23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 10:03 am
Wow. Very precise as well as abstract towards the end; the mystery draws you onward. I enjoyed reading it!
brdeleon said...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm
two words: just amazing! :D
wishonastar said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm
Wow, this good!! Keep writing good stuff!!
emilybwrites said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 9:52 pm
this was really mysterious...very intriguing! please check out my poems "Forgotten Domain" and "The Others" and comment and rate them :)
addictedtowriting013 said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm
I thought that this story was both entertaining and eerie. It caught my attention and it stimulated my thoughts. I especially liked the ending, how you didn't exactly say what happened, but you left it to our imaginations--that is the way reading is supposed to be done, with an active imagination. The only thing I would change would be to take out the curse word. But overall, this story was incredible. You are very talented.
sevandlilly replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm
Oh my goodness. Everybody else has pretty much said it all, but really, this is so powerful! Check out my work and tell me if your heart beat up a frenzy the way mine did while I was reading yours...:)
. said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm
It is so sad that some one with your talent has lowered themself to using a curse word as an adjective. I only read the first sentence, and I am very of disapointed about the amount that word  you used scarred your potential. :(
to.hold.the.sun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm
I think, as a writer, one has the freedom to use whatever words they want to, cursing or not. That's why we write. Authors pick and choose words to paint pictures, and curse words, while not very polite, are a good and viable way to express anger or annoyance. I don't mean to lecture, but I don't think it's rational to discount an entire work just because it curses.
to.hold.the.sun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm
You, of course, have the freedom to formulate your own opinion and read whatever you wish, and that's completely fine. But don't look down on writers who curse or tell them not to because, when it comes down to it, it's their choice. Not yours. And critizing them for it accomplishes nothing except insulting the writer's ability, which, in this article, I think is fantastic. Also, replying to articles is to offer constructive criticism in their article, not admonishing them for using one word tha... (more »)
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