Wednesday, the 14th, was the day I officially became “of age.” Sort of.
I mean, I’d assumed eighteenth birthdays were the coming-of-age milestones, except, now that I think of it, wasn’t that my sweet sixteen? Does this mean I’ve been “of age”—whatever that means—this entire time and everyone just agreed to not say anything and let me celebrate myself again in hopes that I wouldn’t notice? If so, I can’t help but feel a little cheated.
(Yes, sixteen-year-olds can drive, but sixteen-year-old Nicole couldn’t. Fortunately, though, eighteen-year-old Nicole, according to Yahoo Answers, can now be sued, sent to jail, and can “get an assault charge for kicking someone.” And still can’t drive.)
Anyway, for my birthday, all I asked for was sleep. What I got instead: morning practice, senior late arrival due to everyone else taking the PSAT, seventy French Club flyers to hang around the school in twenty-five minutes by myself, two demerits, two hundred high kicks, a makeup Economics test, a seventy-five page play, a card of puns, a mini balloon, a surprise Calculus test, two bags of Wild Berry Skittles, and the following scenario.
Wednesday, 2:28 PM
Having just made up the test I’d missed on Friday for the Business Symposium (this fiasco merits an entire post to itself), I recline back in my chair, trying to break eye contact with my Economics teacher as he masticates his apple. He hasn’t got a third period, so I’m the only student in his classroom.
It’s now 2:30 PM, but I still don’t hear the bell. I chalk it off to the school administrators silencing the bells so as not to disturb the ninth through eleventh graders taking the PSAT. I leave.
The halls are dead silent as I walk up to my fourth period class, which is right upstairs from Economics. The lights are off. The door is shut. There is no note. I figure the teacher probably told us last class that we’d be moving to a different classroom for today. I really need to start paying attention to this type of thing.
… I hear people off in the distance but not the usual bustle of people during passing periods. I blink.
Or maybe I’m just early. Usually I walk a different route, after all. I send out a couple panicked texts as I lean against the stairwell, waiting.
Something is definitely off. Class should’ve begun by now. I walk cautiously along the quiet halls, waylaying the occasional stragglers in front of the restrooms and trying to get answers out of them. They are surprisingly unhelpful (one girl sees me coming and immediately darts inside).
I do a double take when I see the classroom opposite ours completely occupied with people who look like they’re taking a test.
What is going on??
I rush back to my supposed fourth period class and peer inside once again. This time, I see it. My teacher is sitting inside, in the dark, typing on her computer. I feel immediate panic subside into confusion when I see there is no one else in class. I knock.
She takes a minute to come out. “Do… we have class today?” I ask, thinking this is probably the strangest question that I have ever posed to a teacher’s face.
“Yes,” she says, giving me a strange look. “It’s D Lunch right now.”
“Um.” For one moment, I feel excruciatingly disappointed with myself. I can’t seriously have forgotten the bell schedule…?
Apparently, I’d voiced that last part out loud. “The periods are all screwed up due to testing,” she explains. “Did no one tell you?”
No one told me. No one told me anything, but I assume I’m supposed to know innately anyway. And that, now that I think about it, is probably an apt metaphor for my transition into adulthood.
So, in summary, for my eighteenth birthday, I received the newfound weight of adult responsibility upon my shoulders, and no sleep.