Day 6: Without a Paddle

Here is one of two short stories that I wrote for class about graduation. Enjoy.

Without a Paddle

It’s coming. Twenty days. The end of my existence. Yes, in approximately three weeks, my entire life is going to end.

She’s getting married and moving away and leaving me here all by myself in this stupid tiny town to live with my parents because I suck at life and I can’t get a job even if I graduate from college with a bachelors degree.

But no, no one will hire the girl who has no idea what she wants. I will be forty-two and single, still living with my parents, eating Ramen because I don’t have a job and my parents stopped feeding me in a last ditch effort to get me to move out. But it won’t work, because eating Ramen reminds me of college which I love and don’t want to leave anyway.

Why psychology degree, why are you so stupid?

Oh please can I just lay here forever under these covers and pretend the apocalypse of my college career is not about to shock me in to the real world and ruin my life?

Jackie, seriously, get a hold of yourself and get out of bed…

You know what I want? To stay in college forever. To never leave the walls of this room, this building, this school.

I want to rewind time and start college all over again and play it over as many times as possible…“Asking God if He could play it again.”

Shoot, I need to change my oil…

There is nothing good in this. I’m not getting married. I don’t have a job offer. I get to…Oh! My parents.

. . .

Thirteen days to go and I never have to listen to this teacher explain Maslow’s Hierarchy ever again.

Okay, Mr. Steward seriously you have told us this about a million times. Does he really think I’m an idiot who can’t remember the same instructions he tells us every class period?

“For the final next week, you will need…”

Was that a four page paper I turn in, or six pages?

Do teachers not know we don’t listen to them when they speak monotone? He needs a new suit jacket. I think that may be the only one he owns…

Oh shoot he’s looking at me. Pretend you are paying attention, nod, smile. Close Facebook window…I wonder if he knows I do nothing in this class? …I’m probably failing.

Oh man, what if I’m failing?

What if I don’t graduate from college in two weeks because of this stupid-never-paid-attention-could-have-done-the-entire-amount-of-class-work-in-one-week-so-I-was-insanely-bord-all-the-time class?

What if I don’t graduate because of this one stupid, boring class?

Okay, breathe, write my paper today, email professor about my grade. I only have two weeks. Is that going to help? Is there extra credit? I turn stuff in…I spend too much time on Facebook. I should not have a laptop in class – like I could really live without it…

This is so boring. Ooh scratch paper, yeah doodling!

Mr. Steward, the monotone is killing me…

“Wah, wha, wah-wha, wa, minutes left of class. So class, I was wondering how all you seniors are doing with graduation. Are you all excited?”

Oh, that question! I hate that question. No I’m not excited about it. It is the bane of my current existence. I want to veto graduation and blow May 14th off the calendar. I want to stuff socks into all those stupid engaged kids mouths and tell them, in some extremely convincing and hostel tones that they need to keep their mouths shut because not all of us get to leave and get married. And it is stupid that everyone is excited.

“Jackie, how about you? Are you excited?”

. . .

Five days. Country music has the highest number of suicides. Albert Ellis, cognitive therapy.

Here it is. Normal class is done. This life is over. It’s just over.

Noam Chomsky linguistics and how people learn language. C.

This can’t be real. I cannot squish the love and excitement and joy of the last four years in to five days and still have a heart that is in one piece at the end.

Intake, session, review goals, summary, new set of goals or strengthening passed goals.

It’s ripping out of my chest and being stomped on. Walking across that stage in a few days, they may as well through my heart on the floor and let all the graduates trample over it as they walk across smiling as they go because they are all happy to be graduating.

My school president is going to shake my hand and tell me congratulations but really he will be simultaneously reaching in to my chest to rip my heart out while closing the book on the best four years of my life, which he helped create, being that he is the president.

. . .

It’s today…

The End.


About Rachel Ross

I am a college student facing the last semester of college before I am thrust, unwillingly and fairly unprepared, into the real world. View all posts by Rachel Ross

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