Tyler Rioff

Week's End

Students crowd the door, anticipating the final bell. This is the beginning of the end of the week, a time meant to be joyous, celebratory, and free of any sort of burden or stress. Most act as though they are happy, the students feel free. These lofty emotions do not last for some students, however. One boy seems skeptical of this time to unwind and forget academic responsibilities. This boy can not get past the fact that, although he does not have to physically appear in school, his multitude of honors, A.P., advanced classes require him to work almost entirely through his “weekend.” As he sees the carefree, happy students rush past him in the bustling hallway, he becomes envious, wondering why he can not feel the same way. He sees the weekend in a completely different light.

On his long walk home, alone, his thoughts overcome him, consume him, and self pity is even visible in his cumbersome stride. His thoughts spill out as he thinks to himself. The week: meant for work, school, difficult tasks, and any responsibilities. By process of elimination, the weekend should be meant for the opposite: play, freedom, fun. This is a simple, indisputable fact. He seems to be slightly angry, disgusted even. Yet, at the end of every week, he finds himself in isolation, walking home, thinking the same thoughts. He foresees long hours of work during his supposed time of rest. Maybe this weekend, he will spend time with his friends, procrastinate, whatever it takes to enjoy himself. That must be what most other students do, he thought, or why else would their faces be so content, while his so melancholy, on a Friday after school?

He is frustrated by his endless cycle of compliance with this system. His simple contemplation forces self-doubt in his perfect routine. Will he change his ways, follow a more leisurely, enjoyable path? It is doubtful, because this is not the way society wanted it. The boy is governed by this formula for success, and can not escape its tight grip, for the sole fear of ruining his own life completely. He figures, it must be easier to follow the rules and struggle hoping for eventual success, than to break rules, get in trouble, and have no hope or chance of a carefree life. His walk is coming to an end, he is close to his doorstep. The thoughts he has on this walk seem valuable to him, but they will in fact be discarded carelessly the moment he walks in his door and sits down to begin his work for the weekend. Nothing can even make him hesitate at that inevitable point.


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