Eight o’clock. The bell rang, and I watched the other students flood past the cars and into the school building. I let off the brake and rolled forward a few inches, stopping suddenly when an unseen middle schooler darted in front of Cynthia, my car. My heart jumped and ran up my throat, grabbing my throat and strangling my breath for a moment. I wouldn’t miss the morning rush to school, at least. I drove another lap around the parking lot, looking for an empty space.
Eight o’clock. I raced up the street, running a yellow I really ought to have stopped for. There wasn’t enough time to think about that, though, and I darted between two cars for the left turn into the school.
Eight o’clock. I yawned, wondering if it was really wise to stay up until one reading. The teacher called the class to attention and I stared up at them blearily. It’s gotta suck to be teaching first period. All I have to do is sit here–they’re the ones flapping their arms and talking. After I graduate, I’m not going to class before ten.
Eight o’clock. The bell rang just as I slid into the classroom, and I gave myself a mental fist-pump of victory. I dropped my bag next to my seat and pulled out my notebook.
Eight o’clock. We’d put off our senior prank too long, and so this was what we ended up with. Switching graduating classes might have been nice in concept, but not in practice. Not when your student body is three times as large as theirs. I sat in a foreign school and counted the days left to graduation.
Eight o’clock. “See ya, sis,” my little brother slung his bag over his shoulder and opened the door, exiting the car. I sat in the drivers seat, just staring at the line of cars still traveling around the parking lot. Bang-bang. I looked in the rear view mirror and realized I’d forgotten to open the trunk. I leaned down and flipped the hook, sighing. I wouldn’t miss that, either. My brother grabbed his duffle from the back and the car shook a bit as he closed the trunk again. I let off the brake and slid into drive again–I didn’t have a final first period, so I might as well get that gift I’d planned for Mrs. B.
As I rolled out of the parking lot, I stared at the lines of cars heading towards the freeway. It made sense, after all. Eight o’clock. Rush hour. Some things never change, I guess. I darted out into the flow, gunning it as I headed for the left turn lane. Gotta be quick–you’ve only got an hour and a half. I smelled something mechanical coming through the AC vents and glanced down at the yellow ‘mnt’c reqr’ light. I really ought to do something about that. Tomorrow, maybe. I wouldn’t have a car for college, but I ought to take care of it while I did.
One phase ends and another begins. Each one is exciting–because it’s the one I’m in.
Thanks for reading,