Waking up is Spencer Hale’s least favourite part of the day. She isn’t the type of person who sleeps in, she just knows what waking up actually means. It means, as soon as Spencer opens her eyes to see that blinding crack of daylight through her impossibly dark curtains, the day begins. The day of undesirable, invisible pain and all-consuming suffering. A day full of unknown events and endless uncertainties. Despite her ongoing state of mind Spencer pushed herself to get out of bed. Holding on to her only constant, Her morning routine.
Spencer is one of the few people on this earth to have an unbroken morning routine. Her routine was fairly basic, but had components that only applied to her. It was the same story everyday.
Get up and walk past her impossibly large white wicker full length mirror, that sat in the far corner of her room collecting dust. Spencer keeps a long white sheet draped over it. Her reflection was something that would only cause her pain. She didn’t want to have to put herself through that trauma every morning. She hid her own reflection from herself, in an effort to dull the permanent affliction that infected her mind.
She walked quickly across the narrow, dark hallway and into the spacious bathroom. She grabbed her lavender coloured toothbrush and her spearmint toothpaste off the white shelf beside the door, and walked over to the white porcelain sink. She quietly brushed her teeth making sure she was completely facing away from the wall sized mirror that was placed above the counter. She could barely escape herself. She closed her eyes with concentrated force and spit into the sink. In one swift motion she placed her toothbrush besided the sink and turned to face the shower. She walked across the black tiled floor and stopped at the other side of the room. She removed her dark blue pyjamas and let them fall to the floor. She climbed into the shower and started up the water. She was blasted with a downpour of freezing water. Spencer let the cold water rain over her for a few seconds. It charged her sleeping nerves, and a current of serenity spread across her body. Sadly, she couldn’t keep this going for too long, the sensation only lasted for a few seconds. Once the icy feeling of life had passed, she adjusted the taps to a moderately hot temperature. Spencer genuinely enjoyed showering. The water was like a cleansing safety blanket that covered every inch of her body, protecting her from the grungy, contaminated world. She reached for the same generic shampoo and conditioner that she used everyday, and spread it across her scalp. She ran her soapy fingers through her hair to make sure every strand had been completely cleaned. She tilted her head backwards and let the water wash away the past. She let the water rush over her face in an effort to clear her mind.
Spencer never uses any skin care products. The way she see’s it, there is no way she could improve how she looks. Trying is pointless. It’s hopeless. She turned off the water and opened her eyes. Spencer reached her hand past the curtain and out of the shower, the air felt crisp on her damp hands. She ran her hand over the cool tile wall, searching for the metal towel bar where her royal blue towel was hanging. Her fingers met the fabric and she pulled it into the shower. She wrapped it securely around herself and slid the curtains open. She stepped onto the fuzzy white bath mat. There was a draft coming from under the bathroom door that gave spencer goosebumps.
She grabbed her hairbrush from the marble countertop and starting pulling it through her thick long hair. Ripping at every knot and tangle that had intertwined themselves in the shower. Spencer’s hair is technically dirty blonde, but in the right lighting it could pass for brunette easily. Spencer never bothers to blow dry her hair. It’s so dense and curly, it would take almost a full half hour. She wouldn’t have time to do anything else before her bus arrives.
Spencer grasped the bronze doorknob and turned it slowly. Her old house has a tendency to make loud screeching noises, this particular doorknob made the highest pitched squeak imaginable. She walked through the doorway and into the brisk air of the hallway. While walking lightly across the floor boards Spencer made sure to avoid a certain floorboard that never failed to creak when stepped on.
It was time to decide her outfit. Nothing too complicated. She decided on a pair of dark blue jeans that were frayed around the ankles, a black V-neck shirt that has a retro logo on the front, and a deep red hoodie that acts as a divider between her and the rest of the world. Spencer used the next few minutes of her time to find and collect her books and homework that she had unknowingly let fall off her bed from the night before.
Once she had everything in order, Spencer headed downstairs to make her usual breakfast. Toast with strawberry jam, half of a banana on the side, and exactly two cups of coffee. She makes this exact meal every week day for breakfast. The weekend was a different story. Spencer sat at the kitchen counter and began eating her breakfast. The crunch of the toast as she bit down brought a sense of comfort to Spencer. Like thinking of a beautiful memory. It was just relaxing to her. Sadly she had to rush, her bus would be there any minute.
Something was different about today. Something felt…off. Did she forget something in her routine? No. She never messes with her routine. Its too deeply engraved in her mind, she could do it while sleeping. Yet somehow everything suddenly felt out of place. She didn’t understand why she felt different. Why? What happened? Spencer started to quietly have an inner anxiety attack. Her body froze, it felt like someone had their arms around her chest and were squeezing all the air from her lungs. Spencer’s jaw clenched in an effort to choke back her inaudible screams. And then, the voices started. Oh god, those voices. Voices that were yelling, crying, demanding for answers, blaming, and torturing Spencer internally. Every part of Spencer’s mind was clouded by those toxic words. “What did you do? Why is everything different? How did you manage to screw up already? Why do you even try? You can’t do anything right! You’ve ruined the day! I hope you’re happy.” The voices were collectively dragging spencer deeper and deeper into a trance of unmoving panic. Then, the thought arrived. That pesky, self-deprecating thought that offered a permanent silence. Silence that could be quickly achieved if Spencer decided to end it all.
Something distracted spencer for a split second. That was enough time for spencer to pull herself out of her inner storm. A storm that was getting deadly. She didn’t know what had distracted her until she heard it again.
A car was honking outside of her house. No, it wasn’t a car, it was her bus. Crap. She’s behind schedule. Knowing that little fact wont help ease her mind today. Great, the daily challenges have begun. They always start with something. Dropping books, spilt coffee, or waking up late, etc. Its life, and all of its glorious complications.They had to start somewhere. It’s completely unavoidable. Complications. Unrelenting, brutal, gut wrenching complications. Spencer knew this was how the world works, and knew it would only get worse as the day progressed.
As she was thinking this her shoelace got caught on the busses metal stairs, and she face planted right into the bus driver. Of course. Exactly what she needed. Nothing like public embarrassment coupled with minor injuries to boost ones self esteem. After spencer steadied herself and apologized to the driver, she quickly rushed to her seat. Unsuccessfully avoiding the laughter and judgement raining down from her peers. She quietly sat down on the old pleather seat and put her headphones on in an effort to tune out the mockery. It didn’t work. All spencer could think was,
“this day is going to suck.”