A Stressful Monday
Said no one…Ever.”
The huge clock on the white wall of the classroom ticked agonizingly slow –too slow for the students’ liking. It almost felt like its pointers weren’t working properly, ticking every few minutes instead of every second. Perhaps, the minutes seemed like a century because this was the last lesson of the day. A seventeen-year-old can take only a small dose of teenage drama and boring lectures before reaching her breaking point. The fact that it was only Monday made things even worse.
Aide hated Mondays with a passion –like every normal person of course. The first day of the week might not be the busiest one, but it’s always the most brutal one. Why? Because you realize that the Weekend had slipped right through your fingers and once again, you didn’t manage to do everything you wanted. You have to leave behind the freedom of Saturday and the relaxation of Sunday and return back to reality –waking up early, teachers’ sassiness, teenagers’ antics, and of course, drowning in assignments.
It’s laughable to have two days to rest after five days of pure torture. It’s not fair, is it? Why didn’t we separate the week’s days equally? We could have school until Thursday and take Friday off. Besides, everyone loves Fridays –it’s like a pre-party for the Weekend. Everyone knows that –except for the person who separated the week. I mean come on! Why is Monday so far from the Weekend and yet, the Weekend is so close to Monday?
“To make our souls miserable –that’s why!“, Aide mumbled to herself.
Aide couldn’t help but groan at the slow pace of the lecture. She buried her face in her open notebook with her dark locks spreading on her desk. She couldn’t wait to finally hear the bell’s sound echoing through the school’s hallways –a heavenly blessing for all their desperate ears. She would finally be able to pack her back and head back home. But the sound never came and the clock’s pointers seemed to have completely stopped.
“For the love of God!“, she sighed in desperation.
Aide was well aware that there was not much to do in the sea-side village she called home. Seaworth was a place where it was rare for something shocking to happen. It was a closed community -honestly, she was tired of watching the same faces and of their antics. Nothing went unnoticed -eyes followed you everywhere and commented on your every move. That was the main reason why she didn’t trust a lot of people. Her circle was small, Aileen and Petra were her only friends. It wasn’t like she was antisocial, she just preferred to spend time alone rather than with fake people. It was a conscious choice for which she did not intend to apologize.
Right now, she’d rather be anywhere than in school. Perhaps, she could go to the beach - the sound of the waves always calmed her. The endless blue gave her inspiration for her sketches. On the other hand, it might be better for her to go home. She could lay in her bed, watching her favorite shows and eating junk food. Both alternatives were better than her current situation.
A soft kick on her leg made her turn her attention to the person sitting beside her. A familiar pair of emerald eyes greeted her, framed by a river of fiery strands. A look of amusement painted her childhood friend’s face as Aide tried to sit properly in her seat. She rubbed her tired eyes as she tried to turn her attention back to class.
“You know”, Aileen whispered to her, “It’s not even the middle of the week yet.”
“I know...“, Aide huffed in annoyance.
“Tsk...tsk...tsk...“, the red-haired chuckled, “Nana Alexandra wouldn’t appreciate that tone.”
“Oh, come on! When is my grandma happy with anything?“, Aide snorted, “I swear that she’s becoming sassier by the day!”
“Your Nana is an idol”, Aileen gave her a small smile.
Aide rolled her chocolate eyes, before bumping her shoulder teasingly.
“You only say that because you’re her favorite.”
“It’s not my fault you and Petra always get on her nerves”, Aileen shook her head.
Aide furrowed her eyebrows in thought, before leaning a bit forward. On the other side of Aileen, the seat was empty. A certain blonde was missing... again. She was so bored; she hadn’t even noticed her friend’s absence. A questioning look passed through her face as her eyes locked with sparkling emerald ones.
“I don’t know where she is”, the girl bit her lip nervously.
“Aileen?“, Aide narrowed her eyes in warning, “You know you can’t lie, even if your life depended on it.”
“She begged me not to tell you, because you’ll get angry and tell her she’s acting like a child –again.”
“I wouldn’t say anything to her if she started to take things a bit seriously”, Aide defended herself, “This is our last year of high school. What will she do after?”
Aileen’s eyes softened at her words.
“I know you care for her –I worry for her too. But you can’t take care of everyone, Aide. You don’t have to be responsible for everyone around you”, Aileen patted her on the back, “Petra has always been a wild spirit. It’s probably just a phase –she’ll calm down eventually.”
A few moments of silence passed between them. The words of the teacher seemed to not make any sense as Aide drowned in her thoughts. She absentmindedly drew a flower on her notebook as she tried to calm herself. It wasn’t like she didn’t trust her friend -she was just worried about her. Petra had a tendency to make rash decisions that often landed her in uncomfortable situations. Now now, she knew she was a big girl -Aide had no right to tell her what to do and what not. That didn’t mean she couldn’t look out for her or that she wasn’t worried.
It was just that she had lost so many people in her life. She watched them slip right through her fingers while she could do nothing but watch. First her parents and then, the friends she tried to make. Relatives that distanced themselves, villagers that she thought cared for her but in reality, they just wanted to learn gossips. She was tired of losing people -tired of watching them getting hurt or walking away. So, she tried to protect the ones she loved -the ones that still were around anyway. If that made her annoying, so be it.
Taking a deep breath, she finally nodded in agreement.
“You’re probably right”, she admitted, “I shouldn’t be so upset with her.”
“You should remember these words”, Aileen whispered.
“Because Petra skipped class to watch the soccer team’s practice.”
Her head turned so fast, it was a surprise she didn’t get whiplash.
“She did what!? “, she yelled.
She shouldn’t be surprised -it wasn’t the first time she did something like that. But after their last argument, she thought she would consider it twice before doing it again. She promised her. Who was she kidding? She knew she’d break her promise. It wasn’t like she was her mother -she had no right to tell her what to do. It still hurt though.
Her teacher’s booming voice made her realize she was still in class. She winced as her surname was heard in the classroom. Turning around, she realized that her teacher had appeared right in front of her, making her eyes widen in surprise. Could this Monday get any worse?
“Since you seem to not be paying attention in my class, I suppose that you already know everything that I am teaching!“, her history teacher glared at her angrily.
Aide could only look at her like a deer caught in the headlights. Her ears began to ring at her teacher’s words as the other students turned their attention to her trembling form. She hated when teachers did that -why do they do this anyway? Feeling extremely uncomfortable and nervous, Aide opened her mouth for her explanation.
“No, Mrs. Adding-”
“Since we are studying strange myths and legends around the world, I want you to explain to us what is a mermaid”, her teacher didn’t pay any attention to her blushing shelf.
Aide sighed in relief and tucked a strand of dark hair behind her ear. At least she knew the answer and she wouldn’t make a complete foul out of herself in front of the whole class.
“It is a marine creature that lives either in the ocean or in deep lakes. Mermaids have the head and upper body of a human and the tail of a fish”, she said with a trembling voice.
Mrs. Addington raised a defied eyebrow at her answer.
“That’s all you know about them? That’s why you consider yourself clever enough to not pay attention in my class? Go on! Tell us a story about them!”
Aide wished to disappear –never to be seen again when she realized how mad her teacher clearly was. Did she mention how much she hated Mondays?
“W-well, I know about the sirens in Odyssey. It’s a Greek myth about Odysseus’ return to his homeland after the Trojan war”, the girl stuttered frightfully as Mrs. Addington seemed to become angrier by the minute.
“Go on then! Tell us what you know!”
Although her voice was scary, the teacher had to admit that she was surprised that a young teenager knew anything about Greek mythology. Don’t seventeen-year-olds believe history is useless? Moreover, the history of another country that does not affect them in any way.
“In Greek mythology, sirens were murderous creatures. They lured sailors with their enchanting voices, only for their ships to be wrecked on the sharp underwater rocks. They had a completely different appearance than what we are used to seeing them with as they were a mix of women and birds with not a single fishy characteristic.”
Aide took a deep breath before continuing. At least, her teacher seemed pleased for the time being and that was encouraging enough.
“In Odyssey, the sirens appear as one of the many obstacles of Odysseus in his attempt to return back to Ithaca. They began singing their deadly notes in hopes of entrancing all the men and driving them to their ultimate doom. However, Odysseus had ordered them to put cotton in their ears so they could not hear them. Therefore, he saved successfully his crew with minimal losses.”
Aide sighed in relief as she took in her teacher’s now calm expression. Maybe she wasn’t in as much trouble as she originally has thought.
“However, Odysseus himself wanted to hear the sirens’ singing. So, he ordered his men to tie him tightly with strong ropes on the ship’s mast and he didn’t cover his ears. The song affected him dearly, but he wasn’t killed”, she finished her story and looked shyly at her hands.
Her story was correct and her teacher couldn’t find it in herself to still be mad at her. The girl knew things she wasn’t expecting of her and was usually really quiet and sweet –nothing compared to her trouble makers students.
“Very well”, Mrs. Addington announced.
“Don’t make me catch you not paying attention again, Ms. Clayton”, she warned her, giving her a pointed look, before she returned back to the front of the class.
Not long after, the sound of the bell echoed in the empty corridors of Seaworth’s high school. Sighing in relief, she started to place hurriedly her things in her bag. Finally, another awful Monday had come to an end and she could finally head home. She had had enough for one day. Aileen patted her back in encouragement before they made their way outside the classroom and into the busy hallways. Aide closed her eyes as they squished through the large crowd of hurrying teenagers.
She sighed inwardly.
This was going to be a long week.
End of chapter 3!!
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