Julie kicked the door shut behind her, tossed her keys on the desk and headed for the refrigerator. She grabbed a Coke and a piece of left-over chicken and then stood at the sink eating the cold chicken with her fingers. She gazed out the window at the incredibly warm and sunny winter day. She longed to spend the afternoon with her boyfriend but her last assignment waited and it was due tonight. She felt the time slipping away quickly, as if a bomb were about to go off. She sighed, threw the chicken bone in the trash, popped the lid on the Coke, took a sip and resigned herself to spend the rest of the afternoon in frustrated seclusion. Julie set the Coke down on a coaster and plopped herself in front of her laptop hitting the power button on the computer at the same time. The young woman threw her head back and stared up at the ceiling, twirling in her chair as the computer booted up. When the familiar whir of the startup process stopped, she straightened up and opened her Word program. For ten minutes she sat her mind a blank. She looked over her syllabus and her notes, trying to decide what her paper should entail. For days, she had scrutinized over this assignment because it was a major part of her grade for the class. She still had no idea; she did not even have an outline. Julie put her head down on the desk. “Just breathe,” she told herself. The ringing phone jarred her back to reality. It was her mother. She glanced at the clock, and decided to let the voicemail get it. After a minute, she noticed the blinking light from the answering machine. “What if it’s something important? Or what if something is wrong?” Slowly, she got up from her chair, walked over to the answering machine, and hit the play button. “Hi, honey. It’s Mom. I just wanted to see how your day was, and to see if you wanted to come over for dinner tonight. Call me when you get a chance. Love you.”
Julie groaned inwardly. She should have known that it was not anything serious. She sent...
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