My response to this prompt
It doesn’t fit the guidelines exactly, but I’ve written the perspectives of a typical day of two very different teenagers, and how they go through the general day. I hope it works.
I wake up at exactly 7:30 AM. I know because I have set multiple alarm clocks to this time, and the cacophony of sounds never fails to rouse me from my dreams. I blink, once, twice, wondering if I can maybe steal another minute of two of sleep before I decide the noise is too much and crawl out of bed to shut off the various alarms. My phone, my digital clock, the old alarm that rung shrilly like the school bell, and then the soft, periodic beeps of my watch.
When I have shut them all off, I stare at the digital clock for a good minute, slowly waking up and going through in my mind what I have to do today. It’s always the same, but I run it through anyways. When I decide I have enough consciousness to get me through the morning routine, I stand up and make my way to the white-walled bathroom.
I brush my teeth, counting the seconds until I reach sixty, then rinse ten times. I wash my face gently with my towel, pressing the cold wetness against my eyes in hopes of freezing away the tiredness that lingers no matter how much I sleep. I take a shower, a quick one. It’s 8:02 AM when I get out, and I sigh. I dress myself in the uniform that I have put on yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.
I make my way to my kitchen, pulling out the half-empty box of cereal sitting on the shelf in my cupboard, at the height of my eyes. I pour myself a bowl, stare at it a bit, then decide I don’t want to bother with the milk. I eat it dry, swallowing the chewed up flakes that have softened and turned slightly mushy from my saliva. When I’m done, I rinse the bowl and leave it out to dry.
I glance at the clock again. 8:28 AM. I close my eyes. 8:29 AM. I sigh. I make my way back to my room, where my backpack is waiting for me, having been packed and ready the night before. I pocket the lunch money my parents have left me on the kitchen table as I pass it. I lace up my Converse and grab my jacket, throwing it on as I pick up my backpack and exit the front door. I lock it as per usual and leave the apartment building.
I walk slowly along the sidewalk, watching the people and cars go by. I see faces, both familiar and unfamiliar, hurrying past me. Some stop to greet me. Some don’t. I watch the taxis leave and stop at the curb, always quick to pick up another businessman or woman in a hurry to reach their workplace. I wonder briefly if I will become one of those people someday. I don’t know.
When I reach my school, I stop and stare up at it. It’s a prestigious high school, with it’s emblem displayed proudly on the double doors that lead to the front foyer. Students rush in and parents rush out. I sigh. It’s always like this. Always.
I make my way through the winding halls, stopping when I reach a door labelled 102 in neat black print on a pristine metal plate. I open the door and step in. I smile briefly at the people I know and make my way towards my friends. I sit down silently, offering a quick “hello,” before letting them continue the conversation of the cute boy they saw the other day at the mall. When the teacher comes through the door, all the students stand up and chorus “Good morning Mrs. Smithson.” Then we sit and wait for her to talk.
She speaks, but I barely listen; just enough to know what I have to do this class and what’s assigned for homework. My thoughts wander, and before I know it, the class is over and the students are making their way out. I pick up my things and follow my friends into the next classes. The rest of the day goes much the same way. I’ll listen enough to know what to do, enough to be able to finish the homework, and the rest I tune out.
Each day goes much the same way.
At the end of the last class, I say goodbye to my friends and walk home. I watch the people rush by, cars stopping and going at intersections, children and teens laughing and making their way home. I walk slowly, taking my time, not wanting to reach the empty apartment that awaited me.
When I finally do arrive, I unlock the door and step inside, making sure to lock it again behind me. I make my way to the kitchen, where I pick out the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. I measure out a cup of rice into the rice cooker, cover it with a centimeter of water, and flip the switch from warm to cook. I force myself to pay attention when I cut the vegetables, watching that the knife blade is kept well away from my fingers. I toss them into the wok of heated oil, and flip them around with a wooden spatula until I think they’re ready. I turn off the heat and sprinkle in some salt, flipping the vegetables around some more to make sure the salt was spread evenly, and shovel it out onto a plate. I scoop myself a bowl of rice and bring that and the plate of stir-fry out to the living room, in front of the TV.
I eat slowly while switching from channel to channel, trying to find something that will alleviate the boredom a bit. When I finish eating, I have settled on a comedy TV show, one that I don’t know the name of. It doesn’t matter though; it will become boring in a few days anyway.
I take my dishes to the kitchen sink and wash them, setting them out to dry with my breakfast bowl that I had left in the morning.
I flick the light off and go to my room, where I settle down in front of my desk and boot up my laptop. I take out my binders and start on my homework, occasionally searching up a fact or two on the internet. It’s another two or so hours until I finish.
When I do, I set my binders back into my backpack and leave it sitting on my chair, where I usually leave it to be picked up the next morning on my way out.
I rub my eyes and go to the bathroom. I take a peak at the clock; 9:46 PM. I grab my toothbrush and toothpaste, brushing quickly, counting the seconds until I reach sixty, before rinsing exactly ten times. I wash my face with warm water, scrubbing gently, before I wring out my towel, hang it on the rack, and turn the taps off.
I yawn as I make my way back to my bedroom, stretching tiredly. I climb into my bed after turning off the lights, and set my alarms. I place them onto my desk and close my eyes, waiting for sleep to claim me, only to wake up and repeat the day again tomorrow.
I wake up at 9:00 something AM, I don’t know, I don’t care. I rub my eyes and close them again, waiting for that incessant screaming to stop so I can continue to sleep.
“WAKE UP YOU LAZY ASS!” That’s my little brother, I think. It might be my older one, though, I’m not sure.
I jump up with a start as a splash of cold water hits my face, soaking my hair and the top of my ratty old T-shirt that I wear to sleep. I groan loudly and yell, “YOU LITTLE FUCK!”
I hear laughter fading away as my little brother (I’m sure it’s him) run away. I get up and drag myself to the bathroom. I splash some warm water on my face, hoping that’ll wake me up enough so I can get revenge on the little shit that woke me up so early. I change my clothes into the usual baggy black cargo pants and black shirt, complete with heavy black combat boots that come in useful in fights when you need to kick someone.
When I get to the kitchen, my mom smiles, a little nervously, and says, “What would you like for breakfast?”
“The usual,” I snap, “It’s always the usual. Why do you even bother asking?”
A look of hurt flashes across her eyes, but it goes away quickly. Not that I care. She turns around quickly and slips two slices of toast into the toaster, and begins to fry and egg. When she’s done, she sets the plate down in front of me gently. I wolf down the food and get up again.
“Are you going to school?” My dad asks, peering up from his newspaper for the first time this morning.
“Yes. No. What’s it to you?” And without waiting for a reply, I slip out the front door with my backpack that I have finally decided to use today.
I walk quickly, head down, exuding what could only be described as a dark aura. The people around me steer well out of my way. Businessmen and women turn their gazes away from me quickly, trying their best not to catch my eye. Mothers hold their children protectively to their sides, and other students stare and whisper, only to cower when I turn to look at them. I sneer and they hurry their steps, eager to get out of my sight.
When I make it to my school, I stomp through the halls and burst into my classroom, slumping down in a random seat near the back.
“Why are you so late?” The teacher asks sternly, though he looks as if he’d rather not have to talk to me at all.
“What crawled up your ass and died there?” I reply snarkily, gaining a few badly hidden giggles and nervous smiles around the room.
“Detention for you, and I’m sending you to the principal’s office right now young man!” The teacher, red-faced, points towards the door.
“A new record for you,” a friend of mine smirks as I pass him. “Detention and the office just minutes after you’ve got here.”
I smirk at him, but don’t reply.
I don’t go to the office, and I expect the teacher never expected me to go there anyways. He probably just wanted me out the of the class.
Instead, I make my way to the roof, pick the lock with expertness, and sleep the rest of the day away under the cloudy sky .
I’m woken sometime in the afternoon by the bell and the growling of my stomach.
I rush downstairs and through the halls to the front door, shoving a few unlucky kids into lockers, and make my way to the park where the rest of friends await me. We grin and greet each other with fist bumps, and pull out a few sticks of cigarettes which we pass around, each taking only two puffs before we give it to the next person. When we finish the last of the cigarettes, someone pulls out a joint. It’s my cue to leave.The others may like messing their minds up with that shit, but I’m sane enough not to want to lose myself in it.
I make up a story about curfew and slip off, the other’s having already forgotten about me and started passing around the joint. I walk around the neighborhood, scaring little kids, until the sky turns dark and I know I have to be home.
When I do get home, there’s a plate of spaghetti and meatballs on the table, with a note that read “We’re out at grandma’s. Just heat it up for a minute or two. – Love mom.”
I stick the plate in the microwave and follow the instructions, crumpling up the note paper and tossing it into the trash can. I eat the spaghetti and go back upstairs to my room, where I flop onto my bed. I close my eyes and immediately fall asleep, barely registering in my head that it’s another day gone and that the next day will be spent in much the same way.