Sept. 29, 2015 Tue.
She lay there in her bed, staring at her ceiling. It was 3:57 am. Another sleepless night even though she had school the next morning. As time passed she felt weightless. Her eyelids drifted off and she felt a warmth. The heat of the sun bathing her, the smell of sea salt in the air. The ground was a blanket of warm sand. It felt familiar to her.
RING RING RING
With a jerk, her eyes sprang wide open. Slowly, she shifted her head to the side to view her alarm clock. It read 6:00 a.m. she began her morning routine— although more sluggishly. After she was finished she met up with her little brother and mother in the kitchen. Her brother— Gabriel— a rambunctious and obnoxious 6th grader, was eating cereal at the table.
"Good Morning honey, you look tired, did you sleep well last night?" Audrey's mom asked, as she poured steaming coffee in her mug.
"Morning mama, I couldn't sleep is all," Audrey replied with a yawn.
"I'm sorry honey, eat some food so we can go and get your day over with," her mom replied.
Audrey had arrived at her school, Aevelly High, a rather small school. She was never really a stand out girl but she always felt as if people were looking at her and it made her uncomfortable. She walked with her head down, just trying to make it to her normal hangout spot.
"HEY AUDREY!" A voice shouted for her attention. Audrey looked over in the direction of the voice and it was her friends Looz Nava and Sam Palacios.
"How you doing, baby girl?" Looz asked.
"I'm dead tired," Audrey replied, "I only got around 2 hours of sleep."
"Doing a lot of homework again?" Looz asked.
"No, I just couldn't sleep, I was wide awake," Audrey said as she slouched down, now at their hangout spot.
"Here you go sweetie," Sam extended her hand, giving Audrey her sweater, "you can use this as a pillow."
"Thank you," Audrey grabbed the sweater. She put it on Sam's shoulder and rested her eyes. Before she even knew it, the morning bell had rung and it was time for class.
They departed and Audrey headed to her first class of her "A" Day schedule. Their school was using a block schedule. Classes were separated into 2 days, "A" Day and "B" Day, "A" Days had periods 1 through 4 and "B" Day had 5 through 8. Audrey's First Class of the day was AP Literature. It would have been one of her favorite classes had it not been so early in the morning.
She sat in her desk toward the back, so as to avoid the people in her class and to not be seen when she inevitably knocked out. The teacher walked in. His name was Mr. Harris, he was a thin older gentleman, hair short and grey, and wore rectangular glasses. Despite his looks, he was very energetic and passionate about what he taught.
"Okay slackers! How many of you actually read the chapters I assigned for 'Catcher in the Rye'," he asked as he prepared for today's lecture.
To his surprise, everyone in the class raised their hands. Many students feigned intrigue and others were genuinely interested in learning and wanting to read more. The amount of people reading impressed him, it almost brought a tear to his eye. Then the joy quickly vanished from his face. His glare skipped across the room onto an unsuspecting Audrey, lost in her thoughts.
"Ms. Perrin!" Harris demanded her attention, "did you read the chapters I assigned?"
Audrey stuttered, fumbling her words. She was never good at lying. Her nervous gestures and worried mind normally choked the truth out of her.
"Umm, not really," she meekly replied.
"LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE OURSELVES A GRADE ROBOT!" Harris roared. "Tell me Ms. Perrin, why didn't you read?"
"I-I don't know, I guess there were other assignments more important I guess," she replied.
“NOT IMPORTANT!?” Harris was dumbfounded. Audrey sat quietly, she knew what was going to happen next. It had only been a month since senior year started and Harris made it apparent that he would give these speeches about how important it was to understand what you were reading. His voice became background noise as Audrey's eyes grew heavy. They were like weights in her skull. Harris’ voice faded and soon everything was just black.
She thought for a moment she had passed out but this didn’t feel like that, she wouldn’t have realized until after the fact if that were the case. No, she was in a darkness that was vast and empty.
“Umm, hello?” Her voice echoed. “Well it was worth a shot,” she thought to herself. She walked around for what felt like hours. Eventually her feet landed in a puddle. Her ankles were deep in water. Chills shot down her spine althoughot her body. Her heart raced as she struggled to catch her breath.
“A u d r e y…” A voice called from the abyss.
“Audrey! You listening to me!?” Looz questioned, snapping her fingers in front of her eyes. It was the end of the school day.
“You good sweetie?” Sam asked
“Sorry, yeah I’m fine. I’m just exhausted.”
She took out her phone and noticed it was about the time her mom would be here.
“I better get going, I don’t want to keep my mom waiting,”
“Okay fam, well we’ll see you on the call tonight!” Looz said, “C’mon Sam, my mom’s here.”
Audrey was home along with the rest of her family, and they were all getting ready to eat dinner. Her Mother sat next to her Father at one end of the table, next to her mother was her little sister, Kitty. Opposite to her mom was her little brother Gabriel. Audrey sat opposite from her father at the other end of the table, seated next to her little sister.
“How was your day Audrey?” Her dad asked.
“She’s tired honey, I can see it in her eyes,” her mom said.
“Yeah, it was tiring. It wasn’t too long though. Just felt exhausted,”
“Why so tired? Want me to buy you a new pillow?” Her dad asked.
“No, I’m fine Dad. Thank you though,” she said, “I just couldn’t sleep last night, too many ideas for stories running around my head.” She took a bite out of her food.
“Yeah right, she was too busy thinking of Jackie,” Gabriel said, making smooching sounds and giving her kissy faces. Audrey nearly choked on her food.
“How do you even know about him!? That was like middle school!” She said in an annoyed tone. Gabriel continued teasing her about it.
“You little punk! You’ve been reading my old diaries haven’t you!?” She raised her voice at him. Audrey was livid. Her emotions were too much to control in her state.
“AUDREY!” Her dad said angrily, “don’t start fights at the dinner table, and Gabe, stop pestering your sister.” Gabriel gave sneaky grins, knowing he wasn’t in much trouble.
“Dad, that's not fair!” Audrey said, tears almost filling her eyes.
Her mom butted in, trying her best to be fair. “Sweetheart, it was an old diary from middle school. You don’t need to get so angry over it,” she placated. She turned her gaze over to Gabriel. “And you! Stop going through your sister's stuff! She is a woman and she needs her privacy! No video games for a week!” She said sternly. Gabriel pouted, he was about to cry.
Audrey was still mad, she felt unjustified. After dinner finished she went to take a shower. She closed her eyes as the cool water rushed over her. It reminded her of earlier when she was in that vast emptiness. She started to feel scared and her heart slowly started to increase its tempo. Chills went up her spine and she forced her eyes open. She accidentally got shampoo in them.
After the shower, she dried her hair, put on her pajamas and went to her room. She immediately went on her laptop to join a group call with her friends.
“That little bastard!” Looz said. “I can’t believe that your parents got mad at you! If that were me I’d be beating his ass!”
“Sorry your little brother is like this Dri,” Sam said.
“It’s okay guys, it’s just annoying having my personal space invaded.”
“Why do you still have a diary?” Looz asked.
“Well I keep all my old diaries, most of them are the traditional daily logs and some are filled with my stories and ideas I want to write.”
“Let us read your stories sometime!” Sam said.
“Yeah fam, I bet you have a lot of spicy fan fiction,” Looz teased.
“Haha,” she laughed nervously, “Maybe another time guys.”
They went on talking as the night grew late.
“Oh Audrey!” Looz’ voice jolted, “don’t forget to read the chapters you missed for Harris’ class”
“How did you know about that?”
“Sandra told me, she’s in your class dude, she legit even asked one time in advisory why you always sit by yourself.”
“She has one brain cell right now Looz! She can’t think!” Sam interjected.
“That’s right! I remember now,” Audrey said, reflecting on that day. “I guess I better get started if I’m going to finish on time, what time is it anyway?” She turned to her clock and it read 11:47. She sighed.
“At least it’s only four chapters.” She said optimistically.
“Don’t forget the added chapters, so it would be 8,” Looz informed.
“Rest in Pepperoni Dri,” Sam commented.
“Darn it,” she muttered to herself. “Well I better finish that before I have another bad day tomorrow.”
“Yeah, it’s getting late anyways lads, I’m going to bed,” Sam yawned.
“Yeah, me too, fam,” Looz said
“Goodnight guys, I love you” Audrey said
“Love you, babe! ‘Night” Looz replied
“Love you even more! Nighty night,” Sam said.
The call ended. Audrey closed her laptop and put it away. She turned to the shelf that housed “Catcher in the Rye” and grabbed the book. With great determination she was going to get those chapters done that night. She began reading with a quickness akin to a rabbit. As the time passed however, her eyes grew heavy looking at the words. Her vision blurred and the words began to meld into each other. She snapped out of it and looked at the clock. The time was 3:45 am.
“Just one more chapter,” she thought to herself. She forced herself to read but didn't last long, her eyes crossed and words became illegible.
She heard the voices of people she knew and some of those she didn’t, they were saying random phrases. This normally happened when she was about to start dreaming. Looking at her book locked her in a trance; free falling from the sky. A voice calling out to her still
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