"Whether I shall-"

2:41 a.m.

"-shall turn out to be-"

2:41 a.m.

"Whether I shall turn out to be-"


"-the her-"

I coughed and rubbed at my eyes, hoping the motion would stop their pain from straining. I glanced at the clock again.

2:41 a.m.

Running my hands through my hair, I sighed and returned to the open book in my lap.

"-these pages must show."

Nope, not where I'm at, I chastised. I snuck another look.

2:42 a.m.

I coughed again and shook my head, willing away my drowsiness. Focus!

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

2:42 a.m. I groaned and jerked my hands up in exasperation. The book, David Copperfield, as a result, was thrown across my room, hitting the wall adjacent to my dad's room with a resounding thump. My mouth formed into an 'O' shape and my hands flew up to cover my mouth, muffling my gasp. I sat there with my eyes bugging out of my head, silently praying that I didn't wake him up.

I looked to the clock, the only thing I could do to keep my mind off of what I may have caused. 2:42 a.m. You've got to be kidding me, I mentally screamed. After a few more seconds, I realized dad was still soundly sleeping and relaxed my posture.

I wondered whether or not I should continue reading. I had been putting off this assignment for around two weeks, and I was supposed to have an in-class test during after lunch the following day. I shrugged and got off of the floor, awkwardly crawling into my bed. I shut my eyes before I turned off my lamp, so I, too lazy to reopen them, had to slap around my night stand to find the on/off switch. The light clicked off and I snuggled deeper into the depths of my comforter.

"Screw it," was my last thought before I finally slid off into sleep.

Beep, beep, beep, beep. My hand automatically slammed down on my alarm clock. Pain immediately engulfed my middle and ring fingers. I shook my hand and winced. Maybe not so forcefully tomorrow.

I moaned, stretched out and rolled around in my bed, trying to gather my bearings. It was 7:30, but I felt oddly well-rested for getting less than five hours of sleep. I got up, practically skipping out of my bedroom, and headed to the bathroom to take a much needed shower. Once out, I realized I had left my clothes in my bedroom and tried to sneak down the hallway with only a towel covering me.

I was about two feet away from my bedroom door when Dad walks out of the door right next to mine. I jump almost dropping my towel in the process. "Crap, you scared me to death, Dad. Jeez."

My eyebrows wrinkled in confusion as I realized that he was dressed for work and he usually didn't go into work on Mondays until 10 a.m. His suit was wrinkled, his tie undone, and his hair messy. He looked exhausted, like he had gone to work. And he looked mad.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"How irresponsible are you going to continue to be? How many times have I had to lecture you on this, Arcadia?"

I stepped back. "What are you talking about?"

"It's eight o'clock," he practically shouted.

"Yeah, and I have a ten minute walk to school which starts at eight forty-five," I supplied, laughing.

At this point, he was fuming. "It's eight o'clock at night."

I laughed again. Then I gasped. There was a moment of silence. And then I released the floodgates of panic: "OH MY, GOD. DAD, I AM SO SORRY. I MUST'VE SET MY ALARM FOR P.M. INSTEAD OF A.M.!"

He looked away, as if he couldn't stand the sight of me. Taking a deep breath, he turned back around and sighed deeply. His eyes were closed, and as he slowly opened them, I couldn't help but appreciate his new-found patience. My chest was starting to hurt from the current amount of tension in the air.

When he found his voice, he sounded disappointed and distant. "I'll write you a note." I shivered from the chilly undertones in his words, as he softly stalked back into his room. His door shut with a soft click, and I felt body slack down into itself. A breath I didn't know I was holding in whooshed out of me with the motion. No longer in the morning rush, I, like a rough beast, slouched toward my room. Back to David Copperfield, it is.

"I'm actually so unimpressed with you right now, Arc."

"Oh, God. Whatever, Beck. I'm really stressing at the moment, and I really am not appreciating your asshole-ish-ness," I snapped back.

"Hey, girl. Chill. I'm just saying that you are such a mess that I'm not even surprised you slept through school yesterday!" Becka laughed and flawlessly pushed back her flowy, blonde hair.

Okay, Cher, I thought sarcastically. I turned back to my phone, scanning the Sparknotes page for David Copperfield. And I swear that Becka, with some freaky mind-reading ESP shit, somehow heard my Cher comment because she started speeding through the hallway, despite that fact that she was fully aware that I was zeroed in on Sparknotes. I called out to her. "Slow down, Speedy Gonzales. I know you're not that hungry. Lunch won't be served any sooner than-"

And basically ow. Literally all I could think for about 2.5 was ow. Someone had ran into me. "Ow. Why did you run into me?" I had been knocked to the floor. My back had actually popped. I giggled through the pain. Why do I always laugh in weird situations, I thought, thinking back to my argument with dad the night before.

"Uh, you ran into me."

"Yeah, actually, you're right." I laughed. "Sorry about that." And then I looked across from me, at the other fallen. It was Ethan Rivers, the captain of the football team (duh, would I even be telling you this story without at least fifty cliches? -No, I wouldn't.) as my friends called him. I was the self-designated social leper of Hartmond High. We were natural enemies. Me, as an righteous outcast. Him, as a douchewaffle.

His eyebrows rose as I apologized. "So you have manners occasionally?"

"Oh, go sodomize yourself with a tree branch," I barked, jumping up and surveying bodily damage. I'm shocked muscle man over here didn't break me or anything. But I had jinxed it: beside Ethan's left leg was my currently-dying cell.

A portrait of Dickens was erratically flashing within the cracks and random bright white sections of the screen. A random noise escaped my mouth as I cautiously approached it. Ethan, however, thought I, arms oustretched, was running to him. His arms shot out and shoved me away. I fell back the opposite direction, my head busting against the tile. "Oh, shit," I heard him say before I blacked out.