Family comfort eases finals stress

If anyone has ever wondered how many tears one could cry out until they hit the limit, I could tell you, it can be bottomless.

It was the week before final exams. And I had a solo to compete at a dance competition on Saturday. It was supposed to be dead week, but the teachers seemed to think “dead” meant assign so much work until the students are dead. It was that heavy feeling that dragged down your heart all the way down to your stomach, times a thousand. I was stressed.

I was running, or should I say crawling, on caffeine. Every small stress and every big stress seemed to stack on top of me like dense bricks. Everyone seemed to be doing okay, everyone except for me. Gravity seemed to be working especially well that day, for as the day went on, it not only pulled down my body but the tears out of my eyes, with great force.

It was a long day. I trudged through the periods with the last drops of energy I had left in my shrunken up body. Wednesday was the day of the week when the energy recharged during the weekend started dying out, but also the day of the week when it was too early to feel the assurance of the upcoming weekend. All I could think of was the winter break that was slowly becoming visible in the end of this dark tunnel. Every class seemed to have something waiting to jump at me and tell me “just kidding!” right when I would comfort myself that nothing could possibly get worse. My mascara that I had applied in the morning, after the five hour sleep, had been completely washed away by my tears. The only trace of it was the dark areas under my eyes.

By the time I got home I was ready to call it quits. I pulled myself onto my bed and I wrapped myself in my favorite winter blanket that I had pulled out of the closet a few days prior. I laid there, wrapped, tired, stressed and drained of all sanity.

On the other side of the room was my blue backpack that I had thrown off of my shoulders as I stormed into my room. In it was more work for me to do. I squinted it at it, as small drops of tears filled up my eyes, blurring my vision into one. I knew it was calling me.

My mom gave a loud knock, presumably after hearing the wails coming from the other side of the door, and walked in. She asked me what was wrong.

“Everything,” I replied, feeling like a drama queen.

She nodded understandingly, and climbed onto the bed with me. We both lay there silently. But the silence was more comforting than any words.

After a while, I got up and braced myself for another tiresome night.

“Just one more week until break,” I told myself as the night deepened.

The blue backpack called for me. I refused to give up on my homework even as the morning approached. Like a lion chasing after prey at dawn, I was worn and tired, but also bold and hopeful, as the rising sun began to paint the edges of the sky.