A Story by Julia

Two trips to school.


I wake up exactly one minute before my alarm clock goes off. I leap out of bed--I need to literally beat the clock. I hate the sound of the alarm. Even when I’m awake. Even when it’s not for me. I make it just in time, switching it off mere seconds before the time changes. I sigh as I slowly pull my clothes on.

Right next to my alarm clock is a stick note, left the night before. Biology lab, chapter two for history, pick up mom at the airport. Ugh.

I go the bathroom and brush my teeth. I debate a shower and decide against it…I’ve already gotten dressed, and I took a bath the night before. I cake on some makeup and yawn. I was up pretty late last night playing around on the internet.

As I head downstairs I hear coffee brewing--someone is already up. The bathroom door is shut, I assume it’s my brother. My dad would already be at work. I pour a cup of coffee and grab my car keys.

It’s not a long drive to class, maybe ten minutes, but I like to narrate in my head and there are plenty of students to make fun of on the way. I’m wearing my girlfriend’s shirt, says an overweight man in an exceptionally tight, hot pink shirt. THIS IS MY EIGHTEENTH CUP OF COFFEE! Screams a girl speed walking with her starbucks. Another girl jogs by. I start humming “Eye of the Tiger.”

I’m five minutes early when I get to class. Not half bad. I settle in my spot and pull out my notebook for class.


I jump a foot in the air when my alarm clock goes off. I hate the thing. I flinch when I look at the time--it’s 20 minutes later than I thought. I must’ve changed the time in my sleep again. My body’s rebelling against the fact that I’ve been giving it so little sleep. I tap all four sides of the clock exactly three times and start to rush though my routine. As I hurriedly pull on my pants, I hear a weak knock at the door. “April?” My dad. “Can you drive me to work again?” I sigh. He’s hung-over again.

“Sure,” I say, a little too loudly.

“Thanks.” He groans. I roll my eyes and grab my keys. When I get downstairs my dad is chugging Gatoraid and popping aspirin like candy. “You’ll thin your blood.” I tell him. He waves me away. “Come on,” I say and head to the car. My dad mumbles something about the sun and closes his eyes and he settles in.

I head down the road until I see a stop sign. One. “What d’you have goin’ on today?”

“History and biology.”

“Oh. What time are you done?”

“I don’t need a ride home.”

“All right.” We pass another stop sign. Two. My phone buzzes. “Who’z it?” I groan.


“What’s goin’ on?”

“She’s in the emergency room. Her appendix is going to rupture.” My dad nods.

“Right.” This is the fifth time she’s gone to the emergency room this month. This time it’s her appendix, her latest medical crisis. Just this year she’s had chronic headaches, liver failure, kidney failure, breast cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, ADD, OCD, ADHD, autism, depression, six broken bones, three bone fractures, and a couple of illnesses that are still only recognized by TV script writers. Every single time it’s the end of the world, and as her loving family we are expected to act accordingly.

I look up. Three.

My dad starts ranting about the government’s latest attempts to see into his mind. He wants to soundproof the rest of the house--the basement wasn’t enough. If we don’t staple carpet to the walls They will be able to see though our house. I get distracted and make a wrong turn. Four. Crap. I get back on the right path. Five. That isn’t right. There should only be three. Now I’m going to feel wrong all day. I slam on the breaks. “You’re here.” I say angrily. My dad looks up, somewhat confused looking.

“Oh, alright.” He sluggishly gets out of the car and I head back.

Six. I wish I could stop counting, but that’s so much worse.


Eight. I’m finally at school. I have no chance of making it to my first class on time.

I turn around and go back home to try again. There can only be three.

© 2014 Julia

Author's Note

Done for a class: write the same story, one with more tension.

My Review

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The first write is great! The rewrite is brilliant. I found it quite tense how problematic and dysfunctional the family is. As a sufferer of OCD, I caught on to those symptoms instantly, and I dare say they were wittily inserted into the story. The conversation with father in the car is a bit confusing with regard to whose saying what, but in all other aspects: simply well done!

Posted 6 Years Ago

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Added on January 30, 2014
Last Updated on January 30, 2014
Tags: realistic fiction, humor, alcoholism, hypochondria, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, mental health, mental disorder



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