I’m instantly engulfed by bright lights and hot air. I breathe out a sigh of contentment, incredibly grateful for the warm, toasty atmosphere as I feel the heat quickly neutralize the unbearable cold I felt just seconds ago.

I dust the snow off my jacket without halting my footsteps and adjust the strap of my carry-on as I feel it digging into my shoulder, bearing most of its unnecessary weight.

I make a mental note to remove whatever items in it that I don’t use daily. I have a bad habit of always carrying around a lot of stuff in my bag, but there’s absolutely no reason to keep carrying a butt load of crap everywhere in this shitty weather if I don’t have to.

The building is dead quiet from this end, and I make my way through the hallway equally silent. Even though I’m tempted to take the elevator to head to my department, I ditch it in favor of the stairwell as usual.

I make my way up the lengthy flight of stairs, taking two at a time like I always do. I consider this part of my daily workout routine, and between my hectic schedule and lack of a gym membership, it’s pretty much the ideal daily exercise option for me. Plus, it helps to fully wake and warm me up for practice on early mornings like this.

Just right before I reach the very top of the stairwell, I wince as I feel an abrupt and discomforting sensation right below my chest that makes me stop in my tracks.

Ugh. There it is again.

This is like the fourth or fifth time it’s happened since it started a little over a month ago. I don’t know why I keep getting this random discomfort in my stomach. I have to hold on to the railing for support as I wait for the uneasy feeling to subside.

The first two times it happened, I just figured maybe it was my body’s stress response to the hectic life of juggling two majors, a full-time job, and being constantly worried about money. Now, I’m not so sure it’s as simple as that.

I close my eyes momentarily and take in deep breaths, trying hard not to mentally freak out. I find relief when the sensation fades away in a few moments. A few seconds later, I hear the door of the main entrance open again from below me, and a pair of familiar, obnoxious voices follow right after.

Even without looking to see who it is, I know all too well the distinctive, high-pitched and snarky voices of Wendy Gilmore and Julianne Hendricks.

Wendy and Julianne are, for all intents and purposes, first-class ‘bee-otches’.

And that’s by anyone’s standard, including theirs, if they’re honest with themselves.

They’re your typical rich and snotty mean girls who have it out for pretty much anyone who isn’t richer and/or more overbearing than they are—which, in my class, is pretty much everyone.

Although, I sometimes wonder how long their rich-girl partnership will last. From my own experiences, girls as mean and ruthless as they are always seem to have a hard time getting along with anyone for extended periods of time, even people who are exactly like themselves.

I always do my best to avoid the ‘Dastardly Duo’ as my best friends, Trixie and Bill, have dubbed them.

I actually think the alias is quite fitting.

The chicks are incredibly mean for no reason at all. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of mean girls in middle and high school, and even during my first go around in college, so I’m no stranger to the general behavior and attitude of girls like them, but I’m way too old to entertain or tolerate that type of juvenile bullshit anymore.

I avoid them not because I’m scared of or feel intimidated by them, but because I’m just not a very confrontational person by nature, and at the age of twenty-four, I find dealing with the B.S. and bitchy antics of their kind incredibly exhausting and draining. I have quite enough going on in my life that drains me as it is, and in the extremely rare chance that I’ll actually want more crap in my life, I’ll just tune in to Duck Dynasty. 

I hear the echoes of their laughter and gossip becoming louder, signaling that they’re getting closer.

The last thing I want right now is for the Dastardly Duo to begin their daily routine of people-spiting with me, so I push my concerns for my stomach to the side for the moment and quickly make my way to the vocal department.

***

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THIS MAKES ME FEEL...
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

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