Just a little something from my past, decided to try this piece for a contest, ended winning nothing, but nevertheless this short story holds a place in my heart. It’s actually probably my favorite and if anyone is in this room, reading this, and if you feel like you can relate in any way, then I think my job has been done. This piece hits home, it hits home so close you wouldn’t believe it, and I can’t say anymore to explain this feeling. I hope you read and analyze, because this might be an interesting ride, here you go, “Anxiety.”
I looked over at the clock. Tick tock, tick tock. Time was running out. I looked back down at the paper in front of me. Not a single answer. The large bold words at the front of the sheet shouted at me in a way that I couldn’t ignore.
“Grade 11 Functions Sequences (HMST)”
I scoffed at the sound of the last bit. H.M.S.T; Honors Math Science and Technology. It rolled off my tongue distastefully. I looked over to the person sitting next to me. They were busily rushing in the last bit of the test. I couldn’t help but suppress a laugh. I sighed and looked at my sheet. Not a single answer.
The sound of the teacher walking by filled my ears. She was making her rounds again. I quickly leaned forward to block her vision, and of course, it was so blatantly obvious. It was so obvious that I even began fooling myself. Was I really trying to hide my blank sheet from my teacher? Who cares at this point? She can laugh and scold me for all I care. What a pushover, nobody is going to care what you think, you’re just…..not worth my time. As she walked past my desk, I looked at my sheet. Not a single answer.
I spun my pencil as I sat back in my chair. It spun, and spun and spun. As I caught my pencil, I began lightly tapping my pencil at the edge of my desk. Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this the sound of a bored student I hear? Or is it just the sound of my inevitable defeat? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Tap. Tap. Tap. Why am I even here? I tried to remind myself by looking at my sheet. Not a single answer.
Functions, science, who cares? What’s the point of all of this? I…. don’t know. But really, does anybody know? Please tell me, does anybody know what the point of all of this is? Because I sure don’t, I don’t at all. Is any of this going to help me in the future? What is the future? What is my future? Someone, please tell me. Someone…. please help me. I want to burst out in tears, I want to scream but….. I can’t, because, I’m here. But where am I? I looked at my sheet to remind me. Not a single answer.
They told me I could be anything. They told me I could be anyone. But they didn’t tell me how I could do that. They didn’t tell me the formula, they didn’t give me the blueprint, they simply gave me the verdict. They gave me a broken equation and I can’t seem to solve for the missing variable. Where is it? I can’t find it….do you know where it is? Because I sure don’t. I’ve been looking for it for the past 3 years, and yet I can’t seem to solve this equation. Maybe, it’s on the sheet? Not a single answer.
My fingers itched in anticipation. They were longing for a sense of commonality and I longed for a sense of relief. Yet, sitting here in this sunlit room, I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find my way out of this prison. I was being punished, yes, that must be it! I was being punished for my sins. I was sent here because I committed a grave crime. But…. that brings up the question, what was my crime? What was it? What was it? I brushed my sheet. Not a single answer.
No, I’m not in a prison. I’m in hell. That’s it! This is absolute hell and there is no escape. I’m stuck in an unending purgatory, and the only way to win is to subjugate myself. But I can’t. I have no self control. In fact, the word self control is so far off from my scope, that I even end up losing a sense of myself every time I say it. I tell myself not to do something, and yet I do it. Despite the consequences, I just can’t find myself rejecting it. Oh why have I been cursed with this cruel fate? Please tell me. No, I don’t know anymore, what’s there to believe? Help me, please. Help me, PLEASE! I looked down at my desk in panic. Not a single answer.
My face began burning up, and I could feel sweat fall from the sides of my head. My hand began getting sweaty and my legs couldn’t stop from jumping up and down. It was not until a few seconds after, that I noticed my breathing began fluctuating. I placed my hand over my chest, and my heart rate was all over the place. My eyes began darting left and right and before I made any rash impulses, I looked at my sheet. Not a single answer.
The grip on my pencil hardened and soon it slipped past my hand. But my grip never stopped. My nails soon dug into the palm of my hand, and despite the pain and the blood dripping from my hand, I never softened my grip. I kept going and going, hoping to find something, hoping to find anything. But, there was no point. Not a single answer.
I looked over at the clock. Tick tock, tick tock. I slammed my hand on my desk and abruptly got up, gathering the attention of every student in the room. I stared at each and every one of them and grabbed the test from my desk. I’ve had enough of this! As I strode to my teachers desk, I was suddenly taken aback. I was sitting on my chair. My pencil was in my hand, and the person sitting next to me was giving off a nervous laugh. I looked at my desk, no test paper. The teacher was making her rounds, with a white package on her. I looked over at the clock. Just starting. Not a single answer.