the_roomI open my eyes. Darkness surrounds me. I sigh. The shades are up. I see nothing but a midnight sky. No stars. No moonlight. Just empty and void like me.

The night’s humidity presses against my skin, thick and heavy. I kick off the sheet covering me. The movement uses all my energy. Too bad it’s not the weather that makes me so lethargic.

My parents have finally used the ‘D’ word. They’re fighting downstairs. Do they even notice I’ve been in bed all day?

Beth texted fifteen minutes ago. I haven’t responded. What’s there to say after your boyfriend dumps you and won’t return your calls?

My cell beeps.

It’s beside my pillow, so I only need to turn my head to read the display. A text from Chad Murray:

stop calling me. this has to end. we’re over.

Tears slip down my face. I manage to lift my hand to type:


What did I do that’s so awful? Last night, we hung out on the beach, just the two of us. He was distant but said he had a lot on his mind. I assumed he was stressing about his history test tomorrow. We didn’t argue. Nothing happened. Then when he drops me off, he says, “We can’t see one another anymore.”

Just like that, with no explanation.

Mom screams, “I don’t care.” Then a door slams and it’s quiet. Complete, blessed silence.

I close my eyes and drift off…

Twenty minutes later, I awake with a strangled gasp. I check my phone. Chad still hasn’t replied. My chest is heavy. I glance at the clock on my nightstand. Midnight. In less than eight hours, I’ll see him. Will he pretend nothing’s wrong between us? Just flash a polite smile and sit in the front of class.

On top of all of this, I didn’t study for the history test. I’m a straight A student in this class and now I’m going to flunk mid-terms.

I roll over and sigh. What a way to start my day too. First period—American history with Mr. Murray.

© 2010, Jennifer Fischetto