As I pack more bottles that could potentially end up exploding inside my suitcase into plastic bags, my mind drifts to the chaotic day I’m going to have tomorrow.
Thoughts of airports, car rides filled with licorice and chewing gum, and hotel rooms fill my mind.
Even though school may be over, the stress is still here. Airports always make me stressed-especially security.
The end location makes the stress and frustration worth it. The warm weather, sunshine, and poolside visits make me more excited than anything, and I can’t wait to see wait Nevada and Arizona hold this Spring Break.
As the teacher turns her back to us, I eagerly make a grab for my book. She says that she won’t take long to make the phone calls, but I can’t help but hope that she does.
When I open the hardcover, signed (cue hyperventilating), copy of the book, I fall into another world. Within the bindings of each book, buried deep within the pages, lies many more worlds than we could ever know.
While some look at reading as a chore, I look upon it as an opportunity to learn and to live. When I read, I become the characters. The plot plays out inside my mind, with all sorts of emotions running through it. The life of these fictional characters can only come alive to those who wish for it and bring it to life. Some do this on movie screens, but the rest of us have to use our imaginations.
It seems strange to think that Spring Break begins in five days. A week long break from fellow classmates-who I’m not so slowly getting sick of-and schoolwork. It’s a time to go someplace warm, and even if you don’t, you can take advantage of sales going on. Even if the weather is dreary, at least your clothes will be bright and cheery.
As I look at the countless ads for bathing suits and dresses, I can’t help but let out a somewhat bitter laugh when I compare it to the weather outside.
Rainy and cold.
But hey, at least it’s not snowing. This is Michigan, and any form of precipitation is possible.
When the covered plate is revealed, the shock of my favorite contestant being Chopped sets in. My mind goes blank, and I try to stop an emotional reaction I may have, but with no avail. My eyes fill with tears, and my heart is truly heavy.
Even though this episode was aired nearly three years ago, it still breaks my hearts.
For a future disclaimer, I do realize that Chopped is a TV show. The show manages to tug on every single one of my heartstrings.
As frustration builds, so is my ability to control my emotions. I feel the tears burn the back of my eyes and roll them to the ceiling, and try not to fall apart.
The overall “badness” of my last few weeks is now crashing down over me, and I know the outcome will not be pretty.
As I continue to rock Binx, slowly back and forth, the noise coming from his body slowly quiets. His body becomes relaxed, and he is stuck in a trance.
I gaze down at him in wonder, like one might at a baby. All I can think is that whoever his past own was, had taken care of this cat, as if it were their child.
As my mom drives down the highway, we are both struck with the beauty of the sunrise.
We stare at the rising sun, our minds wandering in different directions, but inspired by the same sight.
I adjust the cucumber paper face mask, and sprawl out on my bed. My head is propped with pillows and my body is laying over the blankets.
The music from the meditation Spotify playlist comes out my phone, slowly and soothingly.
I breathe in a large gust of air, and let it come out of my mouth slowly. The feeling of cucumbers and the sound of relaxing music is enough to nearly put me to sleep.
While the situation isn’t ideal, and nowhere near perfect, the lowlight of my lamp makes it seem as close as it can get.
As the entire team sat together, hands gripping each other until knuckles were white, the entire auditorium feel silent.
We all took a collective deep breath as soon as the announcer began his usual speech for what team came in second place and would advance onto States.
The team knew that we wouldn’t come in first-we hadn’t done well enough for that. Third place had gone to another team. This was it. This was our last chance.
Once the announcer uttered the word Portland, we took off in a dead sprint. My body had gone numb in happiness, and I felt myself slowly go into autopilot mode.
We tripped over each other, like clumsy gazelles. But the smiles on our faces were massive as we ran down the steep stairs to claim our much deserved Science Olympiad team medals, invitation to the State Competition, and the trophy.
I’m suddenly ripped out of my nap as a large mass of something fluffy lands on my chest. In my half conscious daze, I can feel the mass purring and attempting to cuddle with me.
This means only one thing-Binx.
Judging from the hushed yelling of the cat’s name and the soft laughter of my brother, I know my assumptions are correct.
I feel the large weight lifted off of my chest, and I roll back over. I snuggle closer to my pillow, and the warmth of the blankets and my sweatshirt and allow myself to fall back into my slumber.