My alarm goes off for the second time. The haunting sound ringing in my ears, ruining the peaceful haven of my dreams – silent, serene and still. 


I get up and ready to go to school, zoning out as I brush my teeth and stare at my two dots and a line of a blank reflection. “Should I put on my new shoes? Nah, maybe another time.” 


I rush out the door, ignoring the breakfast my mom made before she left.

“I’ll eat it when I get back.” 


I’m a junior in high school in my astir city. Looking around me all I see are opportunities for change and growth – new clubs, new assignments, new people. But something is holding me back. Like I’m restrained to an invisible chain. I don’t like the feeling of discomfort, too risky. But it’s fine, I still have time after all. One more year of high school. 


I ride the subway back, observing the hustle and bustle of  tired corporate men and women in formal attire after finishing their work day. The musty air of the passing subways ruffles my hair as I take in the smell of the busy station. 


Arriving back I shrivel into my blankets after a day of exhaustion. 

I grab out my phone from my stained and beat up bag. As the ghoulish blue light bathes my face, I click on an app and scroll through the endless rabbit hole of social media. 

Scroll some more. Then a little bit more.

“10 more minutes, just until it’s 5:40pm”

Just one more video. 


When I finally look up from my hypnotic daze of scrolling, it’s 11:53pm. It’s been more than 6 hours. Damn it. 


“I’m wasting my life aren’t I. Ugh it’s fine I have tomorrow.” 


I jump out of the warm bed, feeling like rotten expired milk. Groggily reading the text message from my mom telling me to grab a couple groceries. 


The almost too bright neon open signs of the stores across the street illuminate the gloomy darkness as I step out of the comfort of my home. 


I’m too busy reading a text on my phone as I rush over to cross the street to hear the sound of a car’s brake. 




Then an excruciating white hot surge of pain.



Before I realise it I’m on the ground, face flat down on the rough concrete. I feel a numbness in my legs, ribs and back. A rush of blood throughout my body as needles poke and contort my insides. 


“What? I’m not dying am I? I can’t be! 

I still have so much stuff to do in my life. 

I still have to join all those clubs. 

I still have to start building my dream life. 

I still have to do the stuff I’ve been saving for later. 

I still have to say bye to mom. 

I still have to experience. 

I still have to-” 


The problem is you think you have time. 

Take those opportunities, take those risks.


Writer – Bianca Hu
Editor – Robbie Ge
Artist – Amelia Hu

–May 2024–

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