By Noah Nichols
Every single waking moment of today has been spent wishing that I were at home. Like most people that either have to go to school or work, I would rather be tucked neatly into my bed, closed off from the rest of the active world around me without any true responsibilities. But even if I didn’t have to be in class right now, I’d still have a very important thing to take care of. A certain something that has possibly been simmering within. Time is of the essence. Or at least I think so, anyway.
“Excuse me, Dylan?” my bland-as-sand English teacher pries.
“Yes, Mr. Price, sir?” I reply with a bit of snarky flare.
“Are you paying attention to the class or are you doing what you do best, perpetually looking like you’re zoned out from anything and everything? I can never quite tell which it is with you!”
Everyone in the class laughs. I absolutely hate this sheep-like behavior of my peers. It’s cringeworthy. Honestly, it’s becoming a huge pet peeve of mine.
I stand my ground with good old-fashioned sarcasm. “I’d have to say that I’m zoned out, but I shouldn’t be, though, should I? It’s pretty shocking, actually. Your teachings are always so enthralling, I should definitely be engaged in each and every word that comes out of your mouth!”
“That’s cute, that’s very cute, but I’m warning you right here and now, another one of those adorable comebacks and I promise that you’ll completely hang on every word that’ll be directed at you next.”
“Gotcha, Mr. Price! Loud and clear.”
What a middle-aged asshole this guy is.
After a momentary staredown between us, order is awkwardly restored. So I sit here, like any ideal student would, and keep to myself while also participating whenever questions are asked.
The rest of the mind-numbing periods go by at a snail’s pace, bringing no legitimate enlightenment or random excitement throughout. When the final bell rings, I’m the first one out the door, racing past all of my friends in a hurry.
Finally, I will know. The anticipation has been killing me.
I arrive to an empty house, both of my parents still probably slaving away at their soul-crushing workplaces.
I climb the stairs and enter the bathroom as my nerves are now on pins and needles. Two to three minutes later, I look with baited breath at a little white stick that is in control of my foreseeable future.
It’s negative, the results are showing that I’m negative. Not positive! Now I can go back to focusing on being a teenager.
“Thank God,” I say with unmitigated relief.
Just then, an amusing realization hits me like a hammer would a nail.
Shouldn’t I be thanking my boyfriend for shooting blanks?
Noah is thirty-three years old, living in Columbus, Ohio. His first full-length novel ‘No Net’ will be released within a month or two on Amazon.