Derek’s heavy eyelids
and he could already hear his dry
Shutting his eye lashes quickly,
he moaned and felt a throbbing dizzy
sensation bounce from the base of his scull
to the middle of his forehead.
He tried opening his eyes slower this time
And glared at the bright red numbers
flashing on his clock.
The numbers floated left and right
for a second
and then he thought he could read
But the combination of the heavy pinball
bouncing off his brain, and eyeballs that burned
was making it hard to really know that it was
time to get up.
Derek scowled at the clock
trying to make his brain tell him the truth.
The lines were too blurry and the bright red
of the numbers didn’t help.
The time wavered between
then back again.
When he found no relief
after trying for several minutes
and turned over
He promised himself that he would check
the clock in ten minutes.
Sarah’s voice drifted further down
the hall, and he could only hear the angry
and anxious tone that was ripping through
her vocal cords.
“Dammit, we’re going to be late!”
Derek’s eyes snapped open
and those ten minutes had turned
into thirty. “Shit.”
He had no time for a shower.
Instead he dressed haphazardly
as he continued to hear Sarah’s
tight vocal cords. It was clear the stress
of being late was causing tears
to quickly form.
“I’m coming!” He panted
trying to hurry for the sake of
Sarah’s fear. She hated being late
ever sense she understood the consequences.
Five minutes later Derek’s car
tires squealed in agony.
The whole way to campus
Sarah was tense,
ready to jump out at
the first sign that the destination came
“Sarah, I’m sorry!” Derek could hardly
get out before the car door was
She nodded and
raced towards class.
Derek took the time to play the
guilt game, and tried to come up
with excuses. It was all
If Derek hadn’t gone out
to drink, they would have made it.
Sarah would have had plenty of time.
If their father wasn’t ever violent
when he drank, if his mother never
married the bastard.
If Derek hadn’t ever killed anyone --
Sarah would have made it
A text message from one of his co-workers
brought him out of the hole
he was digging.
Immediately Derek happened to
glance at the date under the time.
Yeah, that was the reason why.
Derek’s chest tightened
and his knuckles turned white
on the steering wheel.
A car horn blared
Derek tried to break through
the ice of today,
and rolled forward
trying to find a way
through the next
Fucking November 16th.