The Morning After Break

by Elie D.

The alarm is blaring, jarring through the room and your ears and the rest of the house.

It’s loud and with each renewal it sends your thoughts scattering like shards of glittering ice from the glass that was thrown in the fight over needing to return the next day. Not that there are many to be scattered however, as the glowing light from the clock reminds you just how early it really is and that no one can possibly form a coherent thought at 6:00am.

So really, with each piercing scream bits and pieces of dreams and wishes and aspirations, plans for the future and snow or sun and parties with your friends and everything you wanted to do with life are thrown about the room.

With the loss of your thoughts comes your aching body. Your covers and pillows envelope you and it’s warm but out there you don’t know what might be lurking in the closet or behind the door because it’s dark and cold.

Your arms and legs know the smart thing to do is to stay right where you are and not face the day. The monster everyone faces shortly after leaving the house. School. You flinch at the thought of the word and burrow deeper, your eyes slowly closing, giving in to the warm thoughts of the past two weeks and the pressing blackness of the backs of your eyelids.

You’re in pain.

Your eyes hurt more than you can explain, it’s like knives through them and you just want it to stop but you’re powerless.

No matter how you turn your can’t block out the light of your mom turning on the overhead and yelling and pulling the blankets off; exposing you to the biting cold. Her eyes are big as she gestures at the clock and your unpacked backpack shoved in the farthest reaches of your closet.

The floor is like ice on your bare feet, a stark contrast to the fire in your eyes and the dripping tears from the blinding brightness.

Clothes were picked at random, only have your hair was combed, and you didn’t brush your teeth. The car ride was darker than expected and putting you back to sleep. Arrival was the nightmare.

You slouch through the doorway like you’re wading through pudding. People greet you with smiles and and waves and tired eyes that mirror your own.

Some people’s names you can’t even remember. You’re not sure yet where your locker is because it’s been so long since you’ve been here and it’s too early to try and remember.

Teachers take role and ask about break but your brain is so sluggish you’re miles behind everyone else and can’t figure out how to answer the questions.

Papers are passed back in what looks like your handwriting but you can’t be sure. They’re covered in red pen with checks and crosses and a number on top that probably means something important.

But your eyes just have this dull ache behind them and it’s so frustrating that you can’t come up with the answer the teacher wants, much less any answer at all. And when you blink you have to force your eyes open.

You don’t take notes because writing is really just too hard at this point and besides you don’t even have the right notebook. You’re already hungry because it was too early and there was too little time to eat breakfast when you got up but lunch isn’t for hours and you’re not used to eating that late.

Everyone asks how you are and how your break was but the only answer you can possibly muster is “I’m tired,” which is ok because it sums up everyone’s feelings about the morning after.

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