Just in Time

Wake up! Nicole, wake up!“ Mrs. Johnson called her daughter anxiously. “Finish your breakfast now. We have got chores to do.”

“UUhhmmm…,” Nicole replied to her mom as she dragged herself to the table.

“Now finish your breakfast,” Mother told her. “You have been slobbing around the house the whole week. Wake up now and get something done.”

Nicole did not move. Displaying almost no sign of life her eyes stayed shut, and her lips were not moving.

Then her mother said, “Did not I tell you last night not to watch TV until midnight? As, I want you to assist me dry the washed clothes outside before it rains again.”

Incapable to put her mind into gear, Nicole could not force herself to obey her mother's instructions. Nicole’s idea of a nice day was to be in bed until 10 A.M. then have a short sleep after lunch and watch television until midnight. Also, early breakfast was not really her concept of fun.

“Nicole! Wake up!” Her mother shouted while emphasizing each word. “I think sometimes you are just lazy. Lying and slugging around does not do you any positive things.”

Mrs. Johnson squeezed a spoon into Nicole's fingers. She balanced her wrist up over her cereal bowl and put milk on it. Nicole's weak body still declined to cooperate.

“That is it, lazy girl. You better wake up before your cereal gets groggy while I go take out the laundry from the washing machine.” Getting no response, Mrs. Johnson left frustrated.

As soon as Mrs. Johnson returned, her eyes opened widely as she saw her 11-yearold Nicole still sleeping. But this moment, Nicole's hand, sleeves and wrist have sunk into the bowl of cereal and milk.

Gradually the bowl leaned to one side. Nicole’s eyes still closed, she hardly felt the cereal and milk leaking all over her face and shirt.

“Oh, my God!” Mrs. Johnson shouted. “Wake up! Nicole, Come on!”

Alarmed by her mother's loud scream, Nicole opened her eyes immediately.

Nicole’s eyes were drowsy and red.

“Ooohh?” she wheezed. “I…I…I am sorry,

“Mom,” she murmured as she looked at her disarrayed self. Embarrassed and confused and, she stood up and ran to the bathroom to clean herself.

While in the bathroom, she remembered her nightmare a couple of seconds ago. It scared her. Nicole had dreamed about the film she had seen last night. In the dream she was the villain drowning with an arm spread in the deep mud. It made her tremble with fright. As she strived to get herself out of peril, she was eventually awakened by her mother's shout, to her consolation.

“Thank you, Mom. It is just in time,” she said. Thinking what her daughter's words conveyed, Mrs. Johnson resumed to help her daughter clean up the mess and changed her bowl of cereal and milk on the table. Just the right time I was rescued, she thought. Nicole was happy it was only a dream.

Arts | Fiction | Short Stories

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