The Day After

The Day After

The alarm clock gently nudged me awake, as the dreams fled from my head like a rabbit running for cover. I yawned slightly, stretched and turned off the alarm. I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling, my smile getting wider as I thought about the day to come. It was here at last! The day I had been anticipating for over twenty years. Today truly was the first day of the rest of my life. Yesterday I was a working stiff, today: I’m retired!
I made my way to the bathroom where I took a long, hot, steaming shower. The hot water didn’t run out this time. While drying off, I noticed how much softer and fluffier the towel was this morning. It even smelled sweeter. I cleared the mirror to shave and then thought, “why bother”, and got dressed instead.
My car started on the first try, and I was off to breakfast. Oh breakfast! How long had it been since I had taken time to eat the most important meal of the day? It didn’t really matter now. I could eat breakfast everyday if I wanted, that is, if I decided to get up that early. I ran through the drive-through, more out of habit than anything else. The voice coming through the little metal speaker seemed sharp and clear. I understood every word. They even got my order right for a change. I wished the lady at the window a “good day” and really meant it this time.
I pulled out of the parking lot and turned left, just because. The sky seemed unusually blue today. What few clouds there were all looked like cotton-candy smiles. I continued on down the road going no place in particular. I made every light, and it almost seemed as thought the other drivers knew this was my day. They moved out of my way, or politely waved me by. I was making excellent time getting wherever I was going to wind up. I drove for a few more hours then stopped for lunch.
The food was the best I had ever had. The roast beef was warm and juicy, the bread soft and sweet. I savored every bite, not having to be anywhere at anytime. The coffee was perfect, black as midnight, as strong as the kick of a mule. Today I even had a slice of pie. Lemon meringue, to be exact. The meringue was piled thick and sticky on top of the most brilliant yellow filling I have ever seen. It was almost like looking into a perfect summer sun when you were a kid.
After lunch I drove back home and crawled under the softest blankets in the world. Warmth quickly washed over me in a flood and I could feel myself drifting off to sleep. My eyes began to flutter, as sleep overtook me. Dreams of the days that lie ahead began to fight over who would be shown in the theater of my mind.

The alarm yanked me awake with a squeal that made my heart jump out of my throat. It bounced off the ceiling, ricocheted off the wall, then the dresser, and flew back down my throat. I jumped out of bed, stubbed my toe on a box I should have put away last week, and slapped at the alarm until it gave in and was quiet. The water went cold, I cut myself shaving, and was ten minutes late for work because of a traffic jam. When I saw my reflection in the uncaring glow of my terminal screen, I was surprised to see a smile on my face. The dream of the night before was still with me. Today might not have been my perfect day, but it won’t be long till every day is.

This was an essay assignment we had to write in one of my English classes. I still kind of like it. Though I’m not sure “that” day will ever get here now, I still dream about it.


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