June 6, 2008
By Alexandra Wennstig, Lake Forest Park, WA

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
The clock was at exactly 2:20pm.
I sat on the edge of my seat in desperate anticipation, waiting… waiting.
Five more minutes, I encouraged myself, just five more minutes until freedom!
My pencil tapped a quick, steady beat on the desk, the sound echoing in the heavy silence.
Everyone was finishing up their final, I had been done ages ago.
The teacher sat hunched over his laptop click-clacking away, only coming out of his shell to say, “Stop that tapping!” in a hushed voice.
He wanted to be done with this just as much as I did.

My mind began to wander to the summer I had planned for myself.
Walks on the beach taking spontaneous pictures of the ice cream dribbling down my friend’s chin.
The greasy smell of hamburgers sizzling on the grill.
Jumping from a creaking dock into the ice-cold waters of the lake, scrambling out before I turn numb, only to jump right back in.
Nights spent catching fireflies, watching their warm glow encompass an empty jelly jar.
Sun-tanning in the yard with a glass of cool lemonade and a good book by my side.
Going to the air-conditioned movie theatres to escape the scorching sun.
Bike riding on trails bordered by bluebells and daffodils dancing in the wind.
Making creamy s’mores over a campfire while telling spooky stories from ages past.
Ending everyday with just a few more freckles than I had had that morning.
Staying up all night with friends, playing truth-or-dare and watching sappy movies.
Waking up to the sweet song of birds as they twitter about in the early morning hours.
Procrastinating on my summer homework, only to have to do a sloppy job in the last few weeks before school started again.
Listening to the ice cream truck’s melody as it plays over and over again, inviting young children to beg their parents to buy them a Popsicle that will just end up a sticky mess on their bright, happy faces.
Star gazing while tenting in your backyard, making up constellations and patterns drawn in the sky.

I closed my eyes… this is what was waiting for me.
I glanced up at the clock for the umpteenth time in the last minute.
One minute…
I sat watching the clock intensely, completely oblivious to all else around me.
I was gone.

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