personal short stories

Athena the Impersonator: A Short Story

The alarm blares for 7:00am. The screeching echoed around the four-walled trap I call my bedroom, my brain snaps into consciousness but my eyes refuse to open. I already know that I’m not leaving this bed today, through sheer determination today wasn’t going to be a school day. I searched my cerebral for excuses I could use to inform my mother, but without a morning coffee, the start-up time on my Windows 98 operating brain was slower than usual.

Eyes sewn shut, I slapped the alarm on the table, ceasing the incessant whining that had rudely awoken me from my peaceful slumber. It was then that I heard them, the dreaded sound that every teenage girl craving a sick day didn’t want to pierce their eardrums. Footsteps. The fact that my eyes had not yet opened gave me a convincing teary-eyed look. Before the door swung open, I clutched my stomach and lifted my legs into a foetal position. The wind from the sheer force of the door tickled my ears as my blonde hair fluttered over my face, yet a smile did not escape my lips.

“Athena, I don’t hear getting ready?” My mother questioned upon entry, before rolling her eyes down to her crumpled heap of a daughter that still lay under the covers.

“I don’t feel good mama,” I lied, before opening my eyes and crashing a pair of teary teal pupils into my Mother’s vision, “I can’t move from my bed, it hurts,” I stifled slightly, adding to my performance.

“You were perfectly fine yesterday Athena, just a bit quiet before bed,” my mother began. I knew where this was going.

“I hope you’re not trying to get off school because you ‘feel sad’ again,” she gestured quotation marks with her hands and tutted slightly.

“No mum, I’m really sick I promise,” I gritted my teeth, she needed to believe my story.

​She lifted herself to her feet and wiped off imaginary dust from her ironed beige trousers, it was obvious she didn’t believe me, she crossed her arms and stared down at the mess beneath her.

“Get out of bed. Now. I won’t stand for this constant and incessant whining. Everyday this week you have tried to get out of going to school because of this stupid and ridiculous reason,” she grabbed the corner of my single duvet and yanked it off my person, leaving me in just my Dragonball Z pyjamas. She dropped the bedding to the laminate floor and swivelled on her heel towards the entrance, she grabbed the handle vigorously.

“If I don’t hear movement in five minutes, being upset will be the least of your problems,” the door slammed immediately after her last word, acting as a sort of full-stop where anything afterwards would be needless and unnecessary.

I sighed, swung over the mattress and planted my bare feet on the ground. November is a cold month, and laminate floors do nothing to help the feeling of ice that burns through your blood when you leave your bed in the morning. I stomped over to the bedding that sat crumpled on the ground. I made sure to over-amplify my movements to my Mother, who was probably stood on the couch with a glass to the ceiling. I threw the duvet back onto my bed, a stray thread caught onto one of the scratches on my arm, causing me to wince as it tore the scar tissue.

I wandered over to the mirror and stared at my gaunt facial expression. Another night of little sleep was beginning to take its toll. The bags that were once under my optics appeared like suitcases and my eyes that were once the roaring blue of the pacific, now a dull lifeless abyss. I prodded the underneath of my eyelid and gave myself a little cheek squeeze in an attempt to gee myself up for the day, but alas, nothing worked. I opened the wardrobe and grabbed my favourite black jumper, and pulled it over my head. It pulled the plastered blonde hair from my forehead as it squeezed over my form. I looked at myself again for a moment, I made sure to pull the sleeves down to my wrists and grab them with my fingers.

I took the brush from my dresser and combed my hair from a blonde frizzy mess into one that was more manageable. I slipped on my skinny jeans and an old pair of Nike’s that my step-brother had passed on to me. They had grown too small for him, but they were still new-ish. I pulled a burgundy beanie hat over my head and grabbed the door handle to leave. I took one last look at my bed before leaving, faint sadness still plastered onto my face.

“Sometimes I need a day like an unmade bed, just so I can feel human again,” before I put my smile on for the day and left.

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