2020-2021, Short Story


By Audrey Harkaway, ’23

Your eyes slowly open and you squint at the morning sun gleaming through your window. Hazily, you turn to your side, reading “7:59” on the alarm clock. “Huh. That’s odd,” you think to yourself since you never wake up before your alarm.

You click off the alarm clock before it goes off and slowly sit at the edge of your bed before feeling the reality of the world at your feet. “Just another day just like yesterday,” you proclaim.

Opening your bedroom door, you notice that the hall light isn’t on yet. Mom and Dad would’ve put it on for you since they go to work before you wake up. “They probably just forgot,” you reflect.

Lazily, you get ready for the school day doing the bare necessities of brushing your teeth, hair, and throwing on the same pair of sweats and pullover as yesterday. You like the quiet mornings because you get to think about life while drinking your tea. That’s not uncommon for introverts though.

The clock now reads “8:30” so you grab your bag and head out the door towards the end of your driveway. The neighbor girl always drives you. She’s a junior, you’re a sophomore. She is usually very prompt, so you shoot her a text when the clock reaches “8:40” seeming as how she is always there by then. When she doesn’t answer, you decide to walk.

What feels like hours later but is only twenty minutes, you make it to the doors of the high school. Taking your final breath of fresh air, you entrap a mask around your face and enter.

“How late am I…” you wonder when seeing none of your peers in the halls. Checking your watch, you notice you’re just a few minutes late and head to your first period. The halls are empty and when you reach your classroom the light is on, but there is no one there. The light from your phone illuminates your face as you check the date and class period today. Everything seems right, but it’s so wrong. This whole year has felt wrong.

You begin to walk the hallways until suddenly the end is too foggy to see clearly. In a daze, you meander towards the fog only to find yourself encompassed. You hear a faint noise in the distance. Unsettled, you follow the noise until it’s blaring right next to you.

Closing your eyes tight, you open them back up and see your alarm clock as it rings next to you. It reads, “8:00.” “What an odd dream,” you think to herself.

A moment passes as you realize it’s not so odd after all as you fumble your way to the computer getting ready for your early morning Zoom call. 

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