Fiction On Odyssey: Bad Day
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Health Wellness

Fiction On Odyssey: Bad Day

Bad days can tear us down, while a kind action can pick us right back up.

Fiction On Odyssey: Bad Day
Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Everyone has bad days. It's an inevitable fact of life. We'll have those days when it rains and you're fresh out an umbrella, or a job turning you down or getting a poor test grade. Life hits all of us, often and randomly, and it can be hard to see how things can get better, but even the smallest kindest can be enough to turn the day around.

Bad Day

I blew it! I thought angrily as I climbed into my father's waiting car. Too ashamed to even meet his eye, I went to the back seat and immediately turned my face to the window. I should have known how to finish that essay—stupid, stupid, stupid! My heart was as heavy as it had ever been. The feeling of failure tasted sour in my mouth, and the disappointment inside me was almost too much to bear.

My nostrils burned and—annoyingly—I felt the sting of tears in my eyes. I vaguely remember my dad asking about the events of my day; I could not recall my half-hearted answer. My throat started to clench up like it did when I needed to cry, and the one thing I hated worse than disappointment was crying—especially in front of my dad.

It was an almost unspoken rule that we did not cry in front of each other. Both of us hated shedding tears. However cliché it may sound, crying in front of people does feel like some form of weakness. But that day, the urge to cry was stronger than it had been in a long time. The sensation was like a building storm. I could feel it growing inside, encompassing everything until I heard and saw nothing but the film of my tears—those blasted tears! I tried to distract myself with sweeping orchestral soundtracks from my phone through earbuds, but it was to no avail. My thoughts kept rushing back to that unfinished essay, the long blank page of nothing. I had watched the clock for the test period run down, and I had written next to nothing beyond my threadbare thesis.

My dad knew something was wrong; he was always good at sensing such things, given that him and I were so much alike. He did not ask me anything in particular to address my despairing mood, because he knew I would never answer such a question truthfully. Instead he asked me how school went today…and I cried. It wasn't like there were a couple of tears sliding down my cheeks; it was a sob, there were no tears. I curled up into myself and cried till my head ached. The shame inside me burned deep. I had broken the unspoken rule, right in front of him!

When the sobs faded, I saw he was watching me, and something in his gaze melted away my shame. There was neither pity nor discomfort. He understood me, and I loved him for that.

"Let's hook your phone up to my car," he said brightly. "I want to hear some of your music." At his words, the shame all but disappeared. The tide of emotion had passed. Besides the new headache and sticky feel of tears on my cheek, it was as though nothing had even happened. My initial embarrassment released its choking grip on my heart.

"Okay," I croaked, feebly connecting my phone to the car's audio jack. I didn't ask him what he wanted to hear; he always preferred to be surprised. As the music swelled once more, drowning out the sounds of traffic and laughing voices from beyond the windows, I finally allowed the mistakes of the day to flow through me. I let the storm rumble for one final time deep in my chest, and then let it fade; I would dwell on it no longer.

My father and I hummed to the familiar beats of my songs on the long drive home.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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