Heart Over Mind

Onicka Darham, Staff Writer

Heart Over Mind

By Onicka Darham

     I woke up, filled with dread, to the sound of my alarm blasting in my ear. I had forgotten to take my headphones off, so the tones of my alarm were all I could hear even after I turned the bloody thing off. I took my headphones off and stood quickly. The blood didn’t quite keep up, and I stumbled a bit before composing myself. With a final shake of my head to settle my short hair, I dragged myself to my closet. I got dressed in my usual flannel and jeans and brushed my teeth before I got a notification on my phone. I walked over to see a text from my friend.

     “Ready to get our test scores today?” she texted with a monkey emoji. I painfully slapped my forehead and texted her back immediately.

     “Crap, that’s today?? RIP me,” I sent the message with a crying face emoji. I had forgotten that we were getting those back and had not mentally prepared myself or my mother. My chemistry grade was extremely low, so my test score would be no better. Internally sighing, I went downstairs to eat breakfast with my mom. Like the inner child I am, I slid down the railing and swung into the kitchen. The sweet smell of maple hit me straight in the face and I smiled at the familiar scent of sweet, sticky syrup.

     “Bacon pancakes, makin’ bacon pancakes!” I sang, seeing a pile of exactly that.

     “Take some bacon and I’ll put it in a pancake!” My mom continued the silly song, as out of key as I was.

     “Bacon pancakes!” We sang the last line together, laughing hysterically at our interpretation of the cartoon song. My mom finished the last pancake and literally flipped it onto the pile of pancakes. We both cheered and laughed at the lively start of the morning. We eventually calmed down enough to serve ourselves and sat at the table. I didn’t want to bring down the mood of the lovely morning with the bad news, but she beat me to it.

     “Lia, how are your grades this semester?” she asked, just as sweet as the syrup was. I knew chemistry was my only failing grade, so I didn’t bring it up.

     “They’re good,” I answered quickly. She raised an eyebrow but said nothing else. Then, out of pure instinct, I blurted out, “I’m getting a test back today.” This caught her attention; we both looked like a deer in headlights. After a bit, she smiled.

     “Hopefully you did well, Amelia,” she said, an undertone of a threat in her voice. I just nodded and continued eating. After we finished our breakfast, I washed the dishes, making sure they were spotless. I got my backpack before going back and kissing my mom goodbye. I got my key and walked out the door just as the bus pulled up. The glass doors opened in front of me. The chilled air from the bus offered a slight reprieve from the uncomfortably warm day. I stepped inside and got ready for six to seven hours of absolute agony.


     I held the test in my shaking hands; nerves and anxiety took control of my body. I stepped off of the bus, and stood in front of my house. I shakily took out my keys and, though with some difficulty, unlocked the door. I quietly headed inside and shut the door behind me. I rushed up to my room to put my stuff down, knowing I was about to need all of my strength.

     I slowly and quietly made my way downstairs and to the living room where my mom sat watching some reality TV show. I cleared my throat nervously, gaining her attention. I somehow got my voice to work and got out “H-hey, I need you to sign my test.” She raised an eyebrow and came over to me. I handed her the test, failing grade and all. She looked between me and the test incredulously. It was then I knew it; I had lit her fuse.

     “Amelia Marie Smith, what is the meaning of this?” my mother cried as she read over my test score. I slightly cringed at her tone of obvious disappointment. I prepared for a lecture, but something I didn’t expect was a warm hand on my shoulder.

     “Is this what you were so nervous about?” my mom asked, her tone much softer and warmer than before. I nodded. She sighed and held up the test again. “Chemistry, huh?” she muttered before turning back to me. “Okay, I guess you need to be tutored.” Hearing this, I immediately looked up at her. She smiled and went to grab a pen. I watched as she signed the test. I was in complete shock and disbelief.

     “Wait, you’re not mad?” I asked. She just laughed and smiled. She put the test down and gave me a big bear hug. I immediately relaxed and returned it. Stepping out of the hug, she put her hands on my shoulders.

     “You know you can come to me when you need help, Lia. I was actually pretty good at chemistry in high school,” she said comfortingly. I smiled and sighed.

     “I guess I was nervous. Honestly, I’m failing chemistry,” I admitted. My mom nodded understandingly. I decided to ask the first question I thought of. “Hey mom, do you think you could tutor me?” She smiled and nodded.

     “Of course, sweetie,” she said kindly. We shared another hug before we went upstairs to start my first tutoring session. Though I think she accidentally left her show on.