Sunday, August 30, 2015
At a certain point, things had to start going my way again, right?
I sighed as I looked at the sheets of rain directly in front of me. I was just under the lip of the school building, and I had a very long walk home. I pulled my hood up and began to trudge my way forward. The rain was so heavy I could barely see five feet in front of me. I looked back, and the school was a dim, watery blur, made almost entirely up of the light it was emitting. I turned forward again and kept moving.
My luck had to turn around at some point.
The cold had gotten to me, and my teeth were chattering. I started swearing under my breath to keep them from clacking together. Fuck the school, fuck the principal, fuck everyone, fuck no one in particular. I was angry that this had happened, and I was angry that I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
I kept walking.
The ground around me became wetter and wetter, with the rain accumulating on the ground, and rising higher. It reached a point where it reached my ankles and soaked into my shoes. My socks were waterlogged in a matter of seconds, and if I could hear over the rain I imagine they would have been making that awful squishing sound.
I kept walking.
I was repeating the swears over and over like a mantra. In the distance, I heard a soft honk, but it was too far away to make out clearly.
I kept walking.
The rain got worse the further I walked, as if nature itself was working its very best to ensure that I was miserable.
I kept walking.
It kept raining.
I kept walking. Suddenly, I heard a sloshing noise behind me. I barely managed to turn my head when something slammed into my chest. I flew backward, and heard a sharp crack as my head hit the pavement. Right before my eyes closed I saw the lights of the car that hit me fade away. I had time to think, and my last thought was Yeah, this seems about right.
Everything went black.
“Mr. Antony, if I have to ask you one more time to not fall asleep in my class I’m kicking you out!”
Everything was still dark, but I felt a cool surface underneath my cheek. I lifted my head up and blinked at the sudden brightness. Squinting, I looked around. Students were staring at me, a couple were suppressing smirks. I looked down: the cool surface was my desk, and I had drooled as I was asleep. I wiped my lips with the back of my hand, and looked up toward the front of the room. Ms. Smith was looking downright irate, arms crossed, tapping her foot rapidly against the gray tile floor. I had fallen asleep in class again, and had an eerily vivid dream.
“Sorry Ms. Smith,” I said, trying to sound more awake than I felt, “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”
For a moment, the look on her face softened before reverting back to its usual look of mild disappointment and annoyance. She sighed deeply, and said “One more time, Marc, and I’m kicking you out.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said, and I meant it. She turned back to the board and continued teaching. As she was scribbling formulae onto the whiteboard, I regretted not getting enough sleep. My eyelids were drooping, and I was kicking my leg just to stay awake. I must’ve not had a great nap, since I could barely pay attention to what she was saying. All of her words started to jumble together, as if two voices were saying each thing at the same time. And it all sounded very familiar, as though I had just learned it already. I rubbed my eyes and managed to read what she was writing on the board. It was the quadratic formula, but something was off.
“Teacher, it’s supposed to be –b in the beginning of the equation, not just b.”
How did I know that? And why did I hear it in the voice of Simon, the genius kid who sat just to my left? I looked over to Simon, just in time to see him raise his hand and cough softly.
“Excuse me, teacher, it’s supposed to be –b in the beginning of the equation, not just b,” He said. I felt a chill go down my back.
“What? Oh yes, thank you Simon, I didn’t see that,” Ms. Smith said. “Very good observation.”
“No problem, Ms. Smith,” I heard Simon say.
“Kiss-ass” I heard myself whisper in my head, like a fading memory. I remembered this. I’d mutter that under my breath, and get kicked out of class and to the principal’s office. That would lead to a whole heap of other shit, which would end with me having detention after school, and having to walk home in the rain. That led to…
I was starting to get freaked out, and I felt a building compulsion somewhere inside my head. I tried to cough at the same time as the words were leaving my mouth, and ended up saying it louder. “Kiss-ass.”
Why the hell did I do that?
Ms. Smith was furious. “Out. Principal’s office. Now.” When she wasn’t able to form full sentences you didn’t argue: you listened. I got up, grabbed my backpack and walked out.
The adjoining hallway was much dimmer than the classroom had been, and it was entirely empty. I walked away from the classroom, and slumped against a locker.
I’m doing this again, but before I was angry. What’s happening to me?
I took stock of my surroundings. My body was acting as though I was angry, even though I felt nothing of the sort. My cheeks were flushed, my hands were clenched. I was gritting my teeth. Everything seemed to be about normal, except of course for my apparently increasing déjà vu. There was nothing I could do about it now. I was supposed to keep walking down this hallway, and flip a shit at the principal. I felt as though I was simply an observer – as though the things that were going on were happening without my input. I accepted it, and kept walking.