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Waking up hungover next to your former enemy?
I’m just your average girl.
That is till the stuck-up suit walked into my life.
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The alarm rattles me awake, signaling doomsday.
I groan, rolling over my alternative down-feather mattress topper, alternative because animals don’t deserve to be hurt for our sake. I slap my hand on my alarm, rolling back over to the spot that was still warm from where I slept all night. My eyes flutter shut. In the back of my mind, I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but the pull of sweet slumber is too strong.
I wake with a gasp. “I’m going to be late! Crap! No, no, no!” I try to crawl my way off the bed, but my body is wrapped like a burrito. I’m pinned inside the blanket, and I can’t get my arms free.
“Ow,” I whine, staring at the ceiling from my bedroom floor.
“You need to find a better way to wake up, or you’re going to hit your head one too many times. You can only fall off the bed so many times…”
I roll from side to side, trying to free my arms from the mummification wrap I seem to have put myself in. “You don’t think I know that? I can’t help how I sleep!”
My roommate Charlise, or ‘Charlie’ as she likes to go by, stands over me, spooning cereal into her mouth. “This is just so enjoyable.”
“Charlie! It isn’t funny. Unwrap me.”
“I’m not doing it.”
I start kicking and bending my body off the ground, trying to get myself out of this cocoon, but suddenly, milk sprays all over my face. I stop moving, feeling the cold drips of liquid on my face.
“Oh my god. I am so sorry, Whit. You— you looked like you were doing the worm. I can’t—breathe,” Charlie gasps, holding her stomach in laughter. She sets her bowl down on my dresser, falling to the floor in a fit of laughter.
I don’t say anything because I’m afraid if I open my mouth, the droplets of milk will dribble between my lips, and I can’t handle that right now. That’s too gross for me.
“Okay, I’m coming. Don’t get your body in a twist.” She laughs as she unwraps my mummified body.
After a few minutes, I am free. I wipe my face on my comforter, not caring that I just washed it. I needed that milk off of me. “Was it necessary to spray milk?”
“I’m sorry, but you were laying there, bundled up, and you started to do the worm. I couldn’t resist. I didn’t mean to spew my Cheerios on you… again.”
Again, because this happens too many times a week. I need to find a different way to sleep, because this morning routine is getting too old.
“I’m going to be late.”
“You’re always late, Whit. You better be glad Tops likes you, or he would have fired you a long time ago.”
“I know. I know.” I start walking, but my foot tangles in the sheet, making me slip. Charlie steps out of the way just in time to see me fall. “Ow. What a friend you are! You could have caught me!”
“I had my cereal in my hand. That would have been a mess,” Charlie chuckles, speaking through a mouthful of Cheerios.
I grunt, pushing myself off the floor and past my best friend. I flip on the light in the bathroom and cringe when I see my appearance. I don’t have time for a shower, but I need to take one. My long, red hair is wet with milk, there is a cheerio stuck to my forehead, and I have sheet marks on the side of my face from sleeping so hard. I look wrecked.
“Stop staring at yourself and get ready.”
I roll my eyes, shutting the door in my friend’s face. I know that when I open it again, she will be there. This is our routine every morning, no matter how hard I try to change.
I spray a little dry shampoo in my hair and massage it in with my fingers. “Eh, a little more,” I tell myself before flipping my hair over and going a little crazy with it. When I flip my hair back over, it looks like Christmas came early this year and snowed. I massage it through my hair again, and before I know it, I have salon-quality hair. A girl can never have too much dry shampoo, ever.
I put my hair up in a messy bun and wash my face. The madness in my life is definitely taking its toll on me. I want to be done being exhausted when I come home. Between work, school, and environmental advocacy, I barely get five hours a night. It’s why I’m always running late. That five minutes of shut-eye makes a difference, at least for me.
There are days where I feel so run down, I don’t know if I can do it anymore. It’s hard. It’s so hard, but I know one day it will be worth it when I’m saving all the trees and supporting my family, so Dad doesn’t have to work construction anymore. Yeah, that’s caused a few disruptions around the dinner table. He has a tree hugger for a daughter, and he builds on land that was once ripe with trees. As much as I don’t like it, he’s supported me, my mom, and my brothers by working that back-breaking job for practically my whole life. After I graduate college I’ll go to law school, and when I’m a lawyer protecting the environment, I’ll make sure he doesn’t have to do that anymore.