And yet again, she is pounding on my door. One of these days, she’s going to break the wood, and then she’ll have to spend more money she doesn’t have to replace it. “Devin!!” she called, interrupting my thoughts temporarily, though she could never completely remove the negativity from my mind.
Here we go again, was my only thought, my eyes taking in the intense environment. My sister and mother had an argument the night before, and my dad and I had escaped. Unfortunately, it seemed we were both stuck here with no excuse to leave until Liz and I left for school, and dad left for work.
Why does it have to be a Monday? Couldn’t it be a Friday, or even Thursday would be...okay. But on Monday? Life is always a mess of moody teenagers and even moodier teachers.
And sure enough, as soon as I walked in, chaos ensued...or continued, hard to tell if my presence made it worse or not. Adults think they know ‘what we’re going through’. I say, “Yep sure. Like Hell!” Bullies, make-up loving girls, who turned into absolute emotional and hormone-filled demons a week out of every month, jocks who enjoyed flexing both their money and their muscles, nerds who desperately looked for friend groups to fit in, and goths, emos, and antisocial kids who’s only wish was to hole themselves up in their rooms. And don’t even get me started on the gamers.
My locker refused to budge, the screeching a clear hint that I wasn’t getting into it today. My backpack hung off my back, the weight now settling in as I acknowledged my fate, hauling myself away from my locker. As if the cliques weren’t bad enough, the school and everything inside is ancient. Most of the lockers don’t open, the doors creak, the desks are falling apart, the chairs are missing the tennis balls that kept them from scratching the floor up, the carpets are threadbare, tearing into yarn and string. The bookshelves are dusty, the books themselves ripped, bent, dogeared, and stained. The walls had never been painted and were peeling. The only thing in the school that wasn’t lacking in appearance happened to be the people.
“Alright. Any work you failed to complete will be added to page 51 and 52 of your math book. These are all due tomorrow. Dismissed.” The words that sealed our fates.
All of us are groaning for totally different reasons. Sports kids are groaning because they’re aware they’ll be up past midnight since they have practice and homework at once. The girls are either at that time of the month or are afraid they won’t have time to communicate with their friends. I don’t blame them, what with adults wanting us to build relationships, whilst simultaneously keeping us from building relationships by keeping us busy with pointless work. Kids in Harry Potter learn a different lesson every day and have major tests at the end of the years, and we have major tests at random times on subjects being planted in our heads for a whole month, and we can’t even grasp those easily. It really makes you feel incompetent. The nerds aren’t groaning, but even they want a break occasionally. The goths are groaning because it’s their lifeblood, the bullies are groaning because this isn’t allowing them time to bully people and let out their stress on an unsuspecting classmate. And the rest of us, the outcasts, are groaning because we can’t take it anymore.
And then the last bell has rung. After a day of clique’s arguing, lunch trays being thrown or knocked over, teachers who say they’re going to do something about the bullies, suspend them and just worsen the problem because the bullies take out their anger of being suspended on the kids who tattled. Finally, I am home, and so exhausted I just want to flop on my bed.
But I can’t do that. Because I still have homework. And a life I have to live outside of work. First, I have to get home and rush to do at least a bit of cleaning, before I’m off to my part-time job. And after my part-time job, I have to do the chores my parents have assigned me. Then I have to do the rest of my homework for all my classes because if you thought one class had a lot of homework, you get more in other classes too. Teachers don’t seem to have collaboration at all when it comes to the stress load. Multiple tests and projects have been assigned before, all summative and applying to our overall grade, and even regular homework adds up. A test coming up in one class, my worst subject. I don’t test well in that subject. Another test in another class. A project in another, and homework in all other classes. The work lasts long, overwhelming and complicated.
I finish at 11: 08, and work to settle my mind down.
I fall asleep around Midnight.
Yet again, I wake to the sound of pounding on the door.
Another day, another torture.