I remember when I first got it. Many people in school had already had it the previous year, and I was not looking forward to finally getting one. I got it in the library over the summer, where the books are crammed on shelves in the back of the room and the smell of paper and ink waft through the hot, humid air. I walked up to the librarian, who had her thick glasses resting on the tip of her nose and was looking down at me. As I shuffled closer, my nose picked up a faint cat odor resonating from the librarian. Her wrinkly face transformed into a scowl, probably because I was breathing too loud. I asked her in the quietest whisper I could muster, for if I was too loud I would be hit over the head with book, shushed, and be given penalty halls for a month, for what I was there for. After exchanging very few words, she handed it over. The thing I had been dreading since it had been introduced into the school. I knew I would eventually get one, but I didn’t want it. I knew it would not improve my life, or the school, just like everyone had been expecting.
Now, a month later, it lies on my long, pale brown kitchen table that is covered in a leaf printed tablecloth. The red, yellow, and orange leaves on the tablecloth mimic the leaves hanging outside limply on the maple trees. However, none of these leaves can be seen now for the room is pitch black except for the chromebook illuminating the space in front of it. It lies there, open like a clamshell, its black 12 inch by 8 inch body blending into the darkness, and its bright screen standing out in the darkness. I type on the scattered, small keys in front of me as I struggle to finish the massive mountain of homework my cruel and malicious teachers assign to me. My chromebook carries my homework that used to be smooth, snow white paper infused with the scratchings of my dark graphite until the concept of chromebooks seized our school. I open a textbook in a new tab and words spill onto the screen of my chromebook and my eyes glide over the monotonous literature. It carries my textbooks that used to be ancient, tattered pieces of cardboard with pale yellow, crumpled pieces of paper in between. Now the chromebook that rests on the table in front of me carries everything associated with school, especially my stress. The anxious, worrying, adrenaline rushing feeling of stress. And I carry my chromebook.
I’m freaking out. My heavy eyes glide faster and faster across the bright chromebook screen. I have to get this work done. If I don’t, my grade will plummet like someone jumping into a hot, fiery volcano. Panic ensues inside me as I think what will happen if my grade does plummet: I will fail, not get into college, and I will work at McDonalds and live in a dirty trailer park for the rest of my miserable life. I glance at the clock. Its 1:43 in the morning. Faster. I have to work faster before I fall asleep. I have to get this done. But my chromebook stalls as I scroll. “Loading,” it reads. I do not have time for this. Frustration flourishes inside me, as does my stress. My heart is beating fast and my eyes are getting ready to glide over the words as soon as they appear on the screen. Once I finally complete my homework, my head drops onto my keyboard, continuously pressing the letters g and h. The light from the screen illuminates my hair as my fast breathing slows and my mind goes blank.
I stroll the hallways of my school the next day, with the burden of my chromebook in my bag. It is the heaviest thing in there because it weighs the most, but also because it causes me a lot of stress due to all the homework contained in it. The walls around me hold dark grey lockers with books and paper bulging out of them, with no windows to be seen. My shoes squeak on the tan floor with every step I take as I head to my first hour. I see others around me in the blinding, flickering light. No one appears that they want to be here, for everyone is dragging their feet along, not anxious to arrive to class. Once we arrive to class, we will not be able to leave for seven hours. Just like a prison, we will not be able to escape.
At the end of the day, I stand at my locker, reflecting on my day, trying to remember the loads of homework I have to do: Fifty math problems, three, five page essays in English, read one hundred pages out of my history textbook, and more. All of this must be done on my chromebook, which is now in my hands. The atrocious chromebook that will never load, that contains all my homework, and everything associated with school, is being squeezed firmly by my hands as my arms lift over my head and my frustration and stress grows the more I think about how much homework I have and how annoying and awful chromebooks are. Before I know it, my arms swing back down over my head and my hands release the burden of my chromebook and my stress. The black and grey object slams against the glossy floor and pieces of wiring and plastic scatter across the hall and crash into the lockers. Pieces of white-blue screen flicker for a moment, then die out. For a moment, this had solved my problem of chromebooks, homework, and stress. I storm out of the school into the cool, autumn air deeply satisfied with my actions.
The next day, I stand in the library, just as I did three months ago, asking the elderly librarian for another chromebook. As it turns out, the school requires me to have one, and I must buy this one with my own, scarce amount of money because insurance will not cover what happened to the last one. It is impossible to get rid of my chromebook. I can solve my problem of my chromebook, which brings homework and stress along with it, temporarily, but all problems, just like Voldemort, keep coming back.