It was freezing January afternoon when I arrived home from a stressful outing others refer to as “an educational learning space,” which I understand.
I had made my way up the flight of stairs past the kitchen and felt a spot on my leg dampen when I set my backpack down on the hardwood floor. I had checked to see what the supposed leak was and had noticed that it had in fact not been water, but the apple juice I had previously bought in the cafeteria that I promised myself I’d finish at home. Too bad, I sulked. Mumbling to myself, already upset now that I had to throw my backpack into the wash. I unpacked my pencil case, chromebook, phone, and library books. I reluctantly threw my backpack into the wash, started the cycle, and left.
I heard banging on my door. Was the cycle done already? The timer I had set for fifty minutes had barely gone past the thirty minute mark. I hesitantly got out of my pink recliner throne and headed to the door only to find a soaking wet backpack hanging from my mothers grasp.
“Why did you put your backpack in the wash?” My mother was agitated, I could tell.
“Well, I didn’t want to bother you while you were working, so I put my backpack into the wash ‘cause I spilled apple juice in it.”
“Did you take all your books out?”
“Yeah, why are you asking just put it back.”
My head ached.
My mother had opened the back pocket of my backpack where my straps were located and pulled out a soaked leather folder filled to the brim with papers.
I had been so aloof that I forgot to check my other pockets.
I snatched my folder from my mothers grasp and began rummaging through my soaked items. My composition notebooks, my headphones, my food- My heart dropped. My very expensive Texas Instruments Calculator was drenched. When I squeezed it I could hear the circuits inside drowning in soap.
I began to cry with my mother yelling at me in what seemed like a distant room, meanwhile she was still yelling at me though my door frame, three steps away from where I sat. I panicked, my dad was going to be furious. He had bought that calculator for me at the beginning of the year; He told me not to lose or break the fine specimen that was my calculator or else I would not be receiving a new one for the entirety of highschool. I knew that was a lie, however I cherished my calculator and took care of it with the best care I could provide. It was a gift, and you just don’t break a gift.
However, I had done just that which I swore to myself not to do.
I continued bawling, occasionally switching locations to where I sobbed; On the floor listening to my mother ridicule me, on my bed sorting through and crying over lost work, and in the closet just feeling sorry for myself.
My sister decided to step in, I assume because she was tired of hearing me cry across the hallway. She helped me re-write some of my more damaged papers while also harshly lecturing me, almost to the point where she was insulting me.
After hours of boorish and avoidable work, we finally got my items sorted through. My sister left me with my now tear-stained face and went downstairs to see how my dad was doing with my calculator. He had found out from my mother, who then forced him to try and fix it. He tried his best to fix it, but to no avail.
In the end, I’m still reflecting on my actions, how things could have been different if I had just checked all of my pockets. If that happened, I wouldn’t be here typing this memoir. If only. But we learn from our mistakes, time and time again, if we really care.
Needless to say, I have never made the same mistake again.