The tension in the room was palpable. I almost laughed out loud, remembering the story I had written just last year which started with the same sentence as this one. I discreetly turned the almost-laugh into a cough. Everyone around me was nervous and restless in their seats. I seem to be the only one calm enough to keep my head.
I glanced at my watch, which I had decided to wear out of the blue that morning. As I watched the seconds hand tick away, marking the passage of time and bringing me closer to the truth I had been waiting for the whole year, the truth everyone was waiting for the whole year, it finally hit me. It must have hit all the other students days before this. They must have suffered from similar symptoms that might or might not have been related to a nervous breakdown or a heart attack. Did I give a care about those other students and their coronaries at that very moment? Of course not. The revelation hit me like a ton of bricks and just like when I was twelve, I could feel the tears build up behind my eyelids.
Closed my eyes for a moment as a few watches set off tiny beeps. An intake of breath from everyone around me and I felt it. Something was wrong.
I knew before I really saw it that I had failed. Well, not failed, not really, but failed my own expectations. There, standing out sharply in contrast to the other A's was a big, fat B. A big beacon of a B that just wouldn't budge off the page. It was my results I was staring at. Mine and no one else's. The results I had scored with my very own brain. The results I deserved.
I thought back to all those mind-numbing rants my Dad had given me. To all the wasted moments spent in front of my computer during the school holidays. So much could have been done. So much time left after the trials, in which I did fairly poorly, but dismissed it as something that would fix itself later. The truth was staring at me right in the face. The truth of the matter is that procrastination killed me. I had all the time in the world and I didn't do a damn thing.
I realized something just now during dinner. I had all of this just whizzing around in my head, a story waiting to be told, waiting to be read. Too much morale jammed up anyone's throat, I would agree, but something that needed to be written. I needed to write that. For motivation.
The realization was this: I tried writing the whole thing in present tense, just for the heck of it. I had recently read some really good fanfictions and books in present tense and thought they were spectacular and moved me in a different way than normal past-tense books do. But then I started to write and realized that it was all bullshit. Ridiculous. I couldn't write in present tense anymore than my cat Fluffy could write, period, and during dinner I kept mentally scolding myself, wondering why on God's green Earth couldn't I at least attempt something in present tense that was readable.
Of course, the reason I can't write in present tense is simple. I simply haven't been exposed to enough stories written in such a style.
Everybody's got their own demons, their own fears. Like Mrs. Weasley and her Boggart. Trick is not to ignore it, not to fight it, but instead to do the best that you can to make sure those fears don't come true. It's sad that Fred died but Mrs. Weasley didn't just cry after that. She made sure that none of her other kids got hurt, going so far as to engage in a duel with that crazy ass Voldemort ass-kisser, Bella. So I can't ignore it, I can't procrastinate and I can't fight it. Like it or not, it's something I'm going to have to do, something I'm going to have to face. I just have to do the best that I can to make sure my fears don't come true.