When she realizes their time is up
|Her eyes lifted to the clock. For once dread filled her, to see only ten minutes remained. Desperately, her eyes shifted taking in the bustling bodies of the room. Hesitantly, she pulled the book into her lap and checked again. Pristine. Each page was crisp and smooth unmarred by the hasty scribbles of adolescent musings. A group of such authors huddled behind her laughed raucously. She glanced up to their long term warden who no longer seemed concerned about his student's boisterous behavior. He himself sat lazily on his desk engaged in an animated discussion with two other students who excitedly bubbled on about their prospective futures. Her face flamed in self consciousness as she sat in the midst of the camaraderie unmolested.
Trembling, she smoothed her hair behind her ear and pulled her eyes back down to her book. Fumbling, her fingers increased their speed as salty droplets casually impeded her process. The last empty page made her stomach lurch. Squeezing her eyes shut she breathed deeply and looked around the room again. Someone tapped her on the shoulder, she glanced to her right. A book was shoved in her hands. Her eyes alighted with hope as she looked up and cautiously smiled. The cheerleader sitting in her boyfriend's lap smiled back, "Do you mind passing it over to Shannon? Thanks!" The light in her eyes dimmed as she pushed the book onto Shannon's desk.
She shoved belongings into her bag and rose as her heart fell. The tone of the bell pierced her ears, and she knew her chance was over. Another year, eyes brimming, she walked from the room unescorted. Pushed and jostled as the halls filled, she slowly melted into the crowd where joy and friendship abounded but didn't grace her soul.