Posted in Challenge, Short Strory

Eye contact

it

I once was a perfectly happy and healthy thirteen-year-old girl. It all changed when I walked into our living room one Saturday morning and saw my parents on the couch with a letter.

“Why are you guys acting weird over a piece of paper”? I asked and folded my legs under me on the couch.

“Dad got promoted and he is being offered a position on the other side of the island” my mom said not making eye contact.

It took me a second to process the information.

“Dad is not going to take it right? I mean, you wouldn’t do that to me? A new school? All my friends are here” I said in a panicked voice.

My mom looked at my dad, waiting for him to respond. He looked up at me and I could see that he already made up his mind.

“I’m taking the job honey. This is an opportunity I am not willing to pass on. You’ll make new friends, I promise”.

➵                                 ➵                                ➵                                   ➵                                 ➵

And that was that. A month later all of our belongings was loaded into the back of a moving truck and we were on our way to the other side of the island. I was still angry but I knew that at this stage I had no leg to stand on. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, or maybe it would. Little did I know that my life was about to change.

➵                                 ➵                                ➵                                   ➵                                 ➵

I started school the following Monday. After first period I briefly made eye contact with a girl who was in no doubt the mean girl of the school. I could see that she was on her way over to me so I ducked into the nearest bathroom, hoping she didn’t see me. I really didn’t want any drama. It took seconds for them to barge through the door. I continued to wash my hands, trying not to look at her. Maybe if I pretended she wasn’t there she would go away. I knew girls like her and I knew perfectly well what they were capable of.

“Excuse me” I said in the softest most polite way possible and tried to get past her to get out the door. She grabbed me by my throat and shoved me against the cold wall behind me. This of course took me by complete surprise.

“You made eye contact, everyone knows that forbidden” she hissed at me.

I was frozen. I couldn’t do or say anything. I wanted to roll my eyes at her. People weren’t allowed to make eye contact with her? Who did this girl think she was, the queen? Her friends laughed.

“Never look at me again you filthy hag” she hissed again and let go of her grip on my throat. She walked out the room and her clan followed.

I stared at myself in the mirror. I didn’t know what to do or what to think. I grabbed my backpack and headed outside to get some fresh air, promising myself that I would stay out of her way as far as possible. If I left her alone I’m sure she would leave me alone. Boy, was I wrong.

The bullying and harassment continued for the weeks to follow. Every opportunity she got to embarrass me or  physically hurt me she used. Her friends joined in on the fun and I could feel myself quickly slip into depression. I never understood why they were doing this to me? Was it because I was the new girl? I didn’t understand. Why me?

I never told my parents. I guess I should have but I just didn’t want to hassle them with this.

➵                                 ➵                                ➵                                   ➵                                 ➵

Neon pink and orange flyers were being distributed throughout the school. One landed on my desk in third period. It was a party. The boy behind me tapped me on my shoulder and I turned around.

“You should come” he said, pointing at the flyer.

I smiled and nodded. This was the first party I was invited to since I got here. Well, not like this was an invitation but still. I was excited and went shopping with my mom that afternoon for an outfit.

Music was blaring as I walked up the driveway. I opened the front door and was surprised by all the people there. It was nothing like the parties I was used to that’s for sure. I walked around looking for a spot to sit when I noticed them. I looked away and turned my back. I didn’t want to look at her and cause a scene. Unfortunately she noticed me and came right over. Great.

She grabbed me by my hair and forced me into a room nearby.

“What are you doing here?” She asked through clenched teeth.

“It’s a party half of the school was invited to” I snapped back.

She tightened her grip and shoved my head into the drawer standing next to the bed.

I screamed which made her more angry and more violent. After a few punches to the head I could feel more and more warm liquid dripping from my head and it wasn’t long before I blacked out.

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I once was a perfectly happy and healthy thirteen-year-old girl until I met a girl who disliked me for no reason. I was happy and healthy until I came across a girl who was angry at the world and took it out on me. I was in a coma for seven months. Not only did she bash my head in but she also dumped me in the swimming pool and it took a while for someone to notice that there was a lifeless body floating.

My parents took her to court, her case is pending. I was a happy and healthy thirteen-yearh-old girl until I was put in a coma for seven months. Perhaps we could have moved away? Perhaps I could have gone back to my old school? Perhaps it would have all worked out? I won’t ever have the answer for that. I was in a coma for seven months and then passed away.

STOP BULLYING

Posted in Challenge, Short Strory

Outside My Window

outsidemy-window

Most people enjoy the sunshine and being outside in the open, fresh air filling their lungs, feeling the warmth of the sun on their skin.I’ve never been one of those people.

It’s difficult to explain. I have always craved to be by myself, for people to just leave me alone and let me be. The thought of going outside, my feet touching the grass, bugs flying over me and the sun burning my pale skin has always been something that triggered panic attacks.

It didn’t help that my parents forced me to play outside, to jump in puddles after a rainstorm, to climb trees, riding my bike and run around with the other kids in the neighborhood. It broke me, psychologically it broke me.

Each time we would have an ‘episode’ as my parents called it, it broke out into a fight. Both my siblings and parents wanted me to play outside and be ‘normal’. All I wanted to do was be in the comfort of our home, watching television or poking around on the internet. I loved reading, I loved writing screenplays and building make-believe stages. I had no desire to be an actor or comedian, I just wanted to be behind the scenes.

No one understood me. I was completely alone.

One night at the dinner table, my parents insisted that I speak to a therapist. They made arrangements for doctor Pelgrim to come to our home. She was beautiful and friendly. She made herself comfortable on the light-brown suede sofa and wrote something in her notebook. I stared at her without saying anything. She stared back, smiled and then wrote something else.

“Do you know what is wrong with me yet”? I asked and studied her face for a moment. She looked up from her notebook frowning. Her lips, covered in red lipstick parted, as if she wanted to say something but closed them again while writing something else in her notebook. Finally she looked up at me, still frowning. “William, why do you think there’s something wrong with you”? She asked.

I stared at her. I sure hope my parents wasn’t paying her whole lot, she was a therapist after all. If my parents and half of the town could see there is something wrong with me, how could she not? I didn’t answer. Instead I stared out the living room window to where my siblings were playing on the tree-swing.

“William, you need to come to the realization that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you. This is just the way you are wired. You are different, the way you think, the way you act, it’s all different. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you”. She looked at me with sympathy in her eyes. She was right. I was just different. There wasn’t anything wrong with me. She got up and headed for the door.

“I will see you next week, same time, same place” she called over her shoulder before she sprinted to her car. I sat in silence for a while, staring out the window, not a hundred percent convinced that I wanted to be different.

My mother came into the room, looked at the empty chair and then at me. “Where’s Mrs Pelgrim”? she asked. “Did you scare her away”? she scolded and hurried out the front door. Did I? But she said that she would be back next week? I was confused. I could see my mother crying and my father hugging her. They were arguing, again. I didn’t want to be different.

My brother Charles came through the backdoor, he stared at me and then laughed, I could hear him calling me a freak under his breath as he headed upstairs to his room. I was not a freak, I was just different.

I ran up to my room and locked the door. I wanted to be alone. Mrs Pelgrim was right, there is nothing wrong with me. Anger started to build up inside of me. My parents, my siblings, I was going to show them how wrong they are about me. My fingers started typing on the black keyboard and for the next two hours I researched every website I could find.

Mom finally called us all downstairs for dinner and I made my way to the dining room table. I took my usual seat and mother dished mashed potatoes, roasted pork and green-beans. Father said a prayer and we ate in silence. After dinner, Mary-Louise helped mother clear the table and Charles went with father to the living room to watch television.

I put on my coat, a hat and two pairs of socks and gloves and headed for the shed that stood behind our house. Father kept his garden tools hidden away but I knew where the key was. I took what I needed and hurried back inside.

After what seemed like ages everyone headed upstairs to go to bed and get some rest. I went to my room and prepared myself for what I was about to do next. There was nothing wrong with me, I was just different. Why couldn’t they understand that? I took care of mother and father first, it was bloody and they screamed. Charles came running into the room to see what was going on but I took care of him as well. Mary-Louise came running down the hall and stopped in her tracks when she saw me. She cried and reached out to me to hand over the shovel. I did. I loved Mary-Louise and her kind hearted nature.

The police came. There was blood everywhere. The detective took me to the station and now, now I’m staring out my window overlooking a concrete yard. Do I miss my old life? No. I miss Mary-Louise but she visits me often. Mother and Father came to visit once but Charles is still angry. They are all moving away. I got what I wanted.

There’s nothing wrong with me I am just different.

***

LC
Word Count: 1001

Posted in Short Strory

The Donor

This is probably one of the most emotional short stories I have ever written. Be sure that I have shed some tears while writing this. I have decided to enter this in a writing competition. Before I do, I would love some feedback. Feel free to comment down below.

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2am

I could hear Amy in the bathroom. I jumped out of bed and hurried over to her as fast as I could. She was hurled over the loo, throwing up. I bundled her hair out of the way, my poor baby. It must have been something she ate. She was crying. I helped her wash her face and took her back to bed.

4am

The bathroom light woke me up. Tom wasn’t next to me. We met each other in the hallway. He told me Amy was still not feeling well and still throwing up. I walked down the stair and opened the medicine cabinet. I ran back upstairs with packages of over the counter medication, confident they will make whatever she had go away.

7am

It didn’t. Lucy and Peter sat at the breakfast table and played games on Tom’s Ipad, oblivious to what was going on. Tom dropped them off and headed to work. I kept Amy at home. I wanted to make sure that she was fine before I took her back to school. No point in her transferring whatever bug this was to the other kids.

***

Looking back to the events that occurred only one week ago, I was certain that it was only a ‘bug’. If only I had reacted sooner. That night I brought her into the emergency room. The doctor on duty took one look at her and called in the pediatrician.

“Excuse me, doctor?” I said in a whisper.

“Will my Amy be alright”? a sound of panic overwhelming my voice.

He looked at me, I could see it in his eyes, he was worried. He didn’t have an answer and here I was asking him the one question he didn’t have the answer to.

“We need to wait for doctor Macy and then run some tests. At this stage, I’m afraid I am unable to make a diagnosis”.

And that was the end of our discussion. I returned to my seat. Amy was pale, clutching the plastic bucket to her chest like it was a life-line. I took my phone out of my purse and dialed Tom’s number. He was still at the office. He answered on the third ring.

“Tom, you need to come down to the hospital, it’s Amy”

There was silence on the other end. I checked the screen of my phone to make sure that the call didn’t disconnect but the timer was still going.

I heard Tom sigh.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can” he said and disconnected the call.

I couldn’t understand it. I felt confused and hurt. We could deal with that later. Right now, I needed to focus on Amy. Doctor Macy and Tom arrived at the hospital together. She was a beautiful woman. Tall, blonde and looked as if she belonged in an issue of Vogue rather than in a white coat in a hospital.

***

After what felt like hours of tests, needles and paperwork she told us to leave Amy for observation and to go get some rest. Lucy and Peter was home with Linda our neighbor and suddenly I had the urge to get to them as soon as I possibly could.

I didn’t speak to Tom much. He went into his study as soon as we got home. It was just after 1am so I decided to take a shower and head to bed. I needed to get some sleep, to be there for Amy later that morning.

***

The shrieking of the telephone on my bedside table woke me up. An unfamiliar number flashed on my screen. I answered in an I-just-woke-up-voice, even though I was trying my best to hide it.

“Mrs Bains, this is doctor Macy. We received the results back from the laboratory. I am going to need you and Mr Bains to come see me as soon as possible”

My stomach sank to my feet. I’ve seen this happen in movies. They usually don’t give you bad news over the phone. This is bad.

“I will… I mean, we will be there in an hour, thank you doctor”.

I sat in silence, a million thoughts rushed through my head. Was Amy going to be alright, what was wrong with her? Is it something they can cure? When can she come home?

Doctor Macy’s office was as elegant and gorgeous as she was. Tom seemed nervous. I was glad that he finally seemed as if though he cared. Maybe he did, maybe he just didn’t know how to deal with Amy being in hospital. Doctor Macy sat opposite us, browsing through Amy’s file and then looked up.

“Mr and Mrs Bains, this is never an easy conversation to have”

What does that mean? I knew this was going to be bad news. I prepared myself as well as I could.

“Amy is suffering from cardiomyopathy. This means that her heart muscle is not functioning the way it is supposed to, the way a normal child’s heart would function. The muscle does not pump enough blood to the body, something that could end up being fatal”.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew something was wrong with my baby but I never in a million years expected this. Tom’s voice pulled me back to reality.

“What are our options? Surely there must be something you can do for her?”

Doctor Macy nodded. Thank God.

“There is. Unfortunately, Mr and Mrs Bains, this is a long road ahead of you. We need to get Amy a heart transplant as soon as possible. I am going to refer you to the transplant center just down the road from us. They have amazing surgeons, cardiologists and transplant coordinators that will be able to assist you and answer all your questions”.

Tom looked at me, the look in his eyes reassured me that everything is going to be alright.

***

I can’t imagine any parent going through the emotional strain we have gone through in the last two weeks. I am emotionally and physically drained. Every day I wake up not knowing if I’ll have the energy to make it through another round of tests, biopsy’s, EKG’s not even to mention the mountains and mountains of paperwork. In the end this will all be worth it.

Doctor Ramsay, the cardiologist working with Amy has called me into his office. Tom was unable to make the meeting, something about a business meeting he couldn’t get out of. I was too tired to fight with him.

“Mrs Bains, I have some good news”

I smiled, something I haven’t done in what felt like ages.

“We found a donor for Amy”.

Doctor Ramsay was right. This was indeed good news. I was overwhelmed and started crying. It felt good to cry. It felt good to let all those bottled-up emotions run free.

“Walk with me, we can go see him” doctor Ramsay said and motioned for me to follow him.

He opened the door to a single room. There were machines everywhere. Monitor’s, tubes and Iv stands. And then I saw him. My eyes filled up with tears. I went over to him. I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t see anyone else in the room. I took his hand in mine. It was cold. He didn’t move. I cried. Before me was a beautiful young man, not a day older than sixteen. He looked peaceful. I blinked and looked up, staring into the faces of his parents.

His mother came to me and hugged me and held me. We both cried. Her son was being a donor for my daughter? How could this be?

As if reading my mind, she let me go.

“This is Michael. He is our teenage boy and shot himself in our barn. He was a victim of cyber bullying. We only found out after… There is nothing more the doctors can do for him.  We have lost our baby boy and he wants to help your daughter”.

A confused look crept across my face. Did he know Amy? How?

“Michael left a final note asking that we donate his organs” his father said in a raspy voice.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon with Michael and his parents. I felt relieved and extremely overwhelmed all at the same time. How cruel is this life that one had to die for another to live? I felt guilty. I learned a lot about Michael that day. I learned that he loved horses, just as much as Amy does. He had a fear of heights and he volunteered at the old age home just a few blocks away. I learned that he had a passion for music, and taught himself how to play the piano. I learned that he was a good boy with straight A’s and that his biggest dream was to be on Broadway.

This was a spectacular young man who accomplished so much in his short life. I wanted to pay tribute to him and so I promised him and his parents that I would tell Amy all about Michael and we would stay in touch with them and let them know how Amy is doing with Michael’s heart.

***

It was well after 9pm when I got home. I felt guilty for being at the hospital all day and not spending time with Tom or the other children. I could see the light of his study still on and slowly pushed open the door, to tell him about the exciting news.

My heart stopped beating. I didn’t know how to react or what to do.

“Doctor Macy?” I shouted, shock and anger in my voice.

“Cathy, I can explain” I heard Tom say as I rushed out of the study and got into my car.

Tom was cheating on me with our pediatrician? Is that why he was always working late? Is that why they both showed up at the hospital at the same time? None of this made sense. How could he do this to us? How could he do this to Amy?

***

“Without the organ donor, there is no story, no hope, no transplant. But when there is an organ donor, life springs from death, sorrow turns to hope and a terrible loss becomes a gift” – UNOS

I wanted to be strong for Amy, for Michael and for his parents. We all said our final goodbyes to Michael and then headed out for his parents to say a special last goodbye. They walked with me to the theater where we said “See you soon” to Amy. She was the bravest ten-year-old I knew and was about to have a heart surgery. I waved to her, my brave little soul until the doors closed behind them.

It has been ten years since my baby girl had a heart transplant. She still loves horses, she volunteers at the old age home just a few blocks from where we live, she loves music and is taking piano classes. She signed up for acting classes and visits Michael’s grave at least once a week.

Tom is not a part of my life anymore. Amy visits him every second weekend. My heart is still healing. It will take a while but I am optimistic. Amy made a promise to Michael that she will take his heart to Broadway. Her first audition is in a few weeks and she has been practicing and rehearsing like there’s no tomorrow. I am so proud of my brave little soul.

Know that I am grateful

for the life you gave to me.

May my life give you light

wherever you may be.

And may my life bring comfort

from the pain that hurts you so:

we are strangers now a family,

wherever we may go.

And may the life that lives in me

shine the light so all can see

that life goes on ironically

when we choose to donate life,

so hope will live eternally.

Poem = Copyright Daniel Mark Extrom 2009-2012. All rights reserved.

Donate Life!

LC xox

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES

Posted in Short Strory

Sunday Scribbles Part 1

Chapter 1

The police scanner goes off inside the vehicle of detective Tucker. The voice of office Mendes floats through the car speakers.

“This is officer Mendes, we have a one-eighty-seven on the corner of Blue-lagoon and Richards street. We need an ambulance and forensic services immediately. Over”

Detective Tucker frowns. That’s the Johnson’s house. He flicks on the flashers and speeds up, heading to the home that he is so familiar with.

Seconds later a female voice is heard on the other side of the radio.

Ten-four. Please confirm ten-forty-five? she asks.

Detective Tucker holds his breath, waiting for officer Mendes to respond and he can feel tiny drops of sweat form on his upper lip.

“We have a ten-forty-five C and a ten-forty-five D. Over”

Ten-four” the female voice responds again, leaving detective Tucker overwhelmed with emotion.

Red and blue lights flash outside the beautiful family home in the quiet suburb; yellow police tape section off the house from the outside world. Police officers, swarming around like ants, trying to analyse the chaos going on inside and outside the home of the Johnson family. Neighbours gathering on the sidewalk across from the crime scene, whispering amongst themselves and talking to officers taking statements.

Detective Tucker pulls up in his black Audi A4 and runs up the stairs, greeting a few officers and lifting the yellow tape connected to two pillars on the front porch. The scene inside the house is probably the most horrific scene he’s ever seen. Blood is spattered on every wall, dripping and leaving tracks of red ooze on the walls and tiles. Paramedics are attending to a victim in the hall and he walks over quickly to examine the patient.

Joan Johnson lying on the cold hard floor, tubes hanging from her arms, her husband James, dead just a few meters from where her body was slowly loosing touch with this life.

The Johnson’s have been family friends with him and his family. They’ve known each other for years, their children growing up together and now at college together. As a detective he had to be strong and evaluate the crime scene, gather the evidence and get the person who’s responsible behind bars, yet it was his family friend on the ground in front of him…

Posted in Short Strory

Social Media Suicide

Something I wrote last year, not a very good piece but writing nonetheless.

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Chapter 1:

The summer sun creeps through the small opening left by the two curtains and dances on Sophia’s face until she wakes up with a groan. She wipes the strand of red hair out of her face and reaches for her phone on the turquoise bedside table to check the time. Seven twenty nine. She scrolls through her usual social media checks and put the phone back on the table.

Emma burst through the door, without knocking, again.

“Wake up sleepy head” she screams at the top of her lungs. Sophia throws her a dirty look and pulls the white covers closer to her body in an attempt to shield her from Emma’s shrieking.

“I can’t get up today Em, these blankets have accepted me as one of their own and if I leave now I might lose their trust”.

Emma looks at Sophia with a confused look on her face, her dark eyebrows tangled.

“You are such a freak” she laughs and pulls open the heavy curtain. The room is instantly filled with sunshine and Sophia hisses to highlight her discomfort.

Emma plots herself next to Sophia and pulls her legs into the butterfly pose. She stares at her for a while and then fidgets with the thin golden ring on her middle finger.

Sophia and Emma are first year students, taking the photography course at their local college. The only difference is that Sophia’s parents are not supportive of their daughter’s decision. They wanted her to go to Harvard and become a lawyer but Sophia could not get herself far enough to even apply.

She can sense that there is something Emma is not telling her but it’s way too early for her to try and drag it out of her.

Emma is tall and skinny with legs for days, blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She is every guy’s fantasy, unlike herself. She on the other hand, a ginger as her friends likes to call her. Red hair, freckles and swamp like green eyes.

Emma snaps her fingers in front of Sophia’s face. “Earth to Sophie” she laughs. “You need to get your ass out of bed, shower and get dressed. We have class in exactly one hour and forty five minutes and you cannot afford to be late, again”.

Emma leaps off the bed and closes the door behind her and leaves Sophia with her own thoughts for a minute.

She swings both legs out of bed and flick the tap of the shower open. The bathroom quickly fills up with steam and she closes the door behind her.

The water runs across her face and a loud noise coming from the bathroom door startles her. “Em is that you?” Dead Silence.

Oh great, it’s probably Mrs Downey’s cat who jumped through the open window again. Sophia flicks the tap of the shower closed and wraps the beige towel around her. She opens the door to her room and the steam rushes out in front of her.

That’s strange, there’s no sign of Mrs Downey’s cat and no trace of where the loud thump could have come from.

Sophia pushes the curtain slightly open but does not see anything out of the ordinary. She checks her room door, locked.

She grabs a pair of black leggings from her closet and an oversized light brown jersey. She slips into her brown slip on boots and throws her leather book bag over her shoulder before she unlocks and opens the door.

The hall is empty and quiet, she checks her watch, eight thirty, and she is still on time, something strange is going on.

She walks through the passage down with the stairs and through the lounge area, not a soul in sight.

Outside she takes in a breath of fresh air as relieve washes over her like a tidal wave. Things look way more normal outside than inside and she makes her way across campus to where her class will start in twenty minutes.

Part of her daily routine is to run in to the coffee shop outside her building. Emma is already waiting for her at their usual table in the corner.

She drops her bag and sits opposite Emma. The friendly waiter takes their order and Sophia can’t help but notice that Emma seems off.

“Everything alright Em?” she asks as the waiter puts down the two containers hot chocolate in front of them.

Emma looks up and smiles taking the lid off the one container. She opens a sachet of brown sugar and stirs it into the steaming chocolate mixture. “Of course” she says eventually, her blue eyes sending a shiver down her spine.

Sophia knows Emma well enough to know that the look in her eyes portrays something different but she decides to let it go. She does not have the energy today for a fight before class with her best friend.

Emma and Sophia take a seat in the third row from the back. The professor clear his throat “Open your modules on page 86, today we will look at ‘The digital darkroom’” he says in a rustic voice and then starts writing on the black board behind him.

Sophia  highlights the first sentence with a shocking pink highlighter; Digital “darkroom” is the hardware, software and techniques used in digital photography that replace the darkroom equivalents, such as enlarging, cropping, dodging and burning, as well as processes that don’t have a film equivalent.

Sophia looks up and the professor is still writing on the board. Her mind floats off to the discussion with Emma earlier this morning. Something is definitely off and she just can’t seem to shake the icy feeling. She looks over to Emma and she is making notes. Sophia shakes her head to return to reality. She turns the page as the professor continues with the lesson.

The bell of the last class for the semester rings and the professor’s voice is quickly lost among the excited students.

The campus is cheerful and Sophia can’t help but feel excited for the three week holiday that lies ahead. Just to be able to sleep later than eight in the morning will already be a holiday itself.

She stops in front of her dorm room and unlocks the door. Sophia steps inside and notices a brown envelope on the floor. Her name is written in bold black letters on the front. The eerie feeling is back and she lifts up the envelope to see if she can scan what’s inside.

She opens it slowly and pulls out the thick brown card inside.

The words inside the card makes Sophia’s heart skip a beat. Her eyebrows tangle in a frown as she reads the six words written in black ink out loud. “The best is yet to come”.

No signature. No return address. What could it mean? Who could have sent her this? She opens the door to the hall but does not see anyone. She shoves the card back into the envelope and her foot hit the pedal on the silver trash can. She throws the card inside and shuts the lid.

“College pranks are so last season” she mutters.

 

A knock on the door wakes Sophia up from her afternoon nap. She struggles to open her heavy eyelids and sit up straight on her bed.

“Coming” she shouts in the direction of the door and she drags her feet to make the knocking stop. She flings the door open and there’s no one in sight. Immediately feeling like she’s wide awake she peeks outside of her dorm room door. Looking to her right she can see a few girls standing in one corner discussing some serious topic.

She looks to her left, nothing. Not a soul in sight. She steps out of her dorm room and a sharp pain shoots through her right foot.