Ba Bum, ba bum,
The rumbling of my heart, pumping furiously, coincides with my hyperventilation to a fight that I just can’t win. A paper is due tomorrow. I didn’t sign up for this! My brain is spinning. My mind can’t even attempt to stabilize it. The letter that I planned to write to my family this week will never be finished. This paper has taken all my time and my focus. My vision blurs, my hands tremble, and there is something caught in my throat. My eyelids weigh down as heavy as textbooks, weary from days and nights, nights and days, from all the strenuous labor. Tonight, like yesterday night and the night before, homework has taken my time away. This is time that I could be spending with my family.
Alone in a stone-cold room, I lie within the confines of this military base, the site for my work and for my military briefing, intelligence, and training, all of which assists my combat ability and stratagem; it is a place to shelter my personnel and my equipment. Yet in contrast, I am alone.
Yet even though this room is empty, through my eyes, it becomes something more. Regiments and companies of pencils march in rows beside me. Notebooks are my shock troops and erasers are my medics. Textbooks sprawl out in formation, surrounding me with their company. Yet, even with all my men here around me, I am alone. This is my army, ready and willing at a moment’s notice, trained to shoot lead at the enemy, homework, a stubborn foe to overcome. My hands travel across my textbooks, masters of military knowledge and seasoned veterans of the field, organized at my behalf at any moment’s notice for guidance and emergency procedures. Yet, even with so much support from all sides, I am alone.
On the battlefield, finely sliced sheets of wood, known to the layman as “paper,” appear to blend in with my bleached oak desk, having similar texture and hue to the snowy wood below it. They camp out in their ghillie suits at the edge of the base, perfected for concealing the wearer and for reconnaissance that effectively camouflage me from both my enemy and from my family. A small metallic rap catches the attention of my eardrums, as if a small mine went off in the distance.
My eyes quiver franticly; I catch a clock ticking.
Tick tock, tick tock tick… Like a textbook turning a page, my memories come to me as vividly as if they were embedded in the book…