And Again | Teen Ink

And Again

May 8, 2015
By Beila BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
Beila BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
3 articles 0 photos 516 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." -Mark Twain

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.

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This article has 45 comments.

on May. 18 2015 at 9:19 am
LotusChild PLATINUM, Raleigh, North Carolina
32 articles 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let them hate, so long as they fear me" ~Colligula

This is an interesting piece, minor spelling error aside. I'm not one for reading prose works, I prefer something that flows more fluidly, however this did capture my attention. The vivid imagery and relatable thoughts and feelings you captured in this piece were in a sense remarkable. I find it hard to come up with words that relate to every day life, as I'm very emotionally oriented, but this here is just like my every day! It's like you took my subconscious thoughts about what's going on around me on a daily basis and put it into writing. In short, it is good, I likes ^-^

on May. 17 2015 at 8:08 pm
CNBono17 SILVER, Rural, South Carolina
5 articles 0 photos 248 comments

Favorite Quote:
Lego ergo sum (Latin—I read, therefore, I am)
The pen is mightier than the sword—unknown
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity—1 Timothy 4:12

I've never used "slep," but I've used various other embarrassing words. I can totally relate to all of this—APUSH last year, AP chem this year! I've stayed up laaaate for school. Well-written, well-portrayed, totally relatable, fantastic job!

on May. 15 2015 at 5:13 pm
BoobooBeetle DIAMOND, Jacksonville, Florida
74 articles 1 photo 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”
G.K. Chesterton

"And you, you ridiculous people, you expect me to help you."
Denis Johnson

I don't even know where to start... I had to stay up hours past midnight just last night to get a science project done (which I hadn't even started on until last night because of the endless testing of math). So let me tell you, this is beyond relatable!! Also, sadly, I've too used the "word," slep before...

on May. 15 2015 at 7:22 am
Nostalgia-abyss BRONZE, Oakhurst, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
There is no frigate like a book
to take us lands away
Nor any courser
Like a page of prancing poetry
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll
How frugal is the chariot
That bears the human soul
-Emily Dickinson

To show you how much I can relate to this, it should be mentioned that I have actually used the (non)word slep before. Lovely adjectives.

Ninka said...
on May. 15 2015 at 1:30 am
Nora, you are such a beautiful writer!!! I love your descriptions... Definitely can relate (yes, I still remember junior year)