You slide into bed, making sure the requisite layers cover you: Comfort. Warmth. Weight. A sense of victory wells up within. You have done it. You have achieved early bedtime.
Until the moment you realize what you didn’t get done.
It had to get done.
Try as you might to get that pit in your stomach to develop into some kind of ambition, some kind of forward motion, sleep wins out.
Next morning, you spring forth, anxious to get the job done for what it’s worth, praying it will do.
You scramble in, trying to appear collected, knowing you’ve got it coming.
You don’t have to look. You can feel an “I-expected-better-from-you” teacher stare snaking its way around the reddening tips of your ears, your cheeks, your neck.
Gathering your breath, you reach into your backpack. Trembling fingers pull out the crumpled, mottled paper in offering. The reply comes.
Something shifts within, and you are not quite sure whether you feel relief or deeper dread.
You decide on relief. It will have to do.