“That Day” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Ashmitha Maria, Our Own Girls English High School, Sharjah, UAE.
They often say that 'Time and tide waits for none', but have you ever wondered, what if one day, time plays a game with your life? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Madison Gray of South dale High. She was a pretty typical 16 year-old who hated school as much as you did. She was pretty tall, blonde and super lazy. So let’s begin our story.
It all began on a bright and sunny Monday morning. “Maddie, wake up, it’s time for school”, yelled her mom. As she never hears her alarmring. ”Coming”, she yelled back. She sat on her bed for a while. Then coming back to her senses, she checked the time to see she was late, it was 8. She quickly brushed her teeth, changed into her clothes, took her bag and raced down the stairs to the kitchen. Her mom made her some toast and orange juice. She quickly had it. “Bye mom, love you”, Madison said. “Love you too, honey”, said her mom. As usual, her friend Mark was waiting for her to walk together to school.
“Morning, Maddie”, Mark said. “Morning, Mark”, Madison said. They dashed to school. She rushed to her locker and took out her biology books and ran all the way to her biology class hoping not to be caught running in the hallways. Mr. Sanders, the biology teacher’s expression was dead serious. He slightly moved his head indicating her to take her seat. She took her place and peeped onto Hannah Parker’s textbook to see which page was being taught.
Madison flipped her book to page 60. Mr. Sanders resumed his lesson. Henry Wood passed her a note from Alison Martinez. 'Party at my place, 8 pm? – Alison Martinez', it said. Madison too was excited that she planned her outfit already. She glanced at Alison who’s lovely red bangs covered her freckled face. Alison’s eyes were as blue as the ocean. Alison gave her a wide grin and Madison smiled back too. Biology class got over quickly. Madison went to Alison's locker to thank her but unexpectedly didn’t find her there. So, she went back to her locker and took out her English textbooks. She got to class and checked her phone for any texts. She had one from Hailee that said 'sorry, went early to school today.’ I texted her back saying, 'hey it’s alright.’
The rest of the day surprisingly went really quick and now she was walking her way back to her house with Taylor and Hailee. “I’ll pick you guys up at 7 for Alison’s party, alright?”, said Taylor. “Perfect”, said Madison and Hailee at the same time and then broke into laughter. “Hey mom”, said Madison to her mom and sister as she reached her house. “How was school?”, her mom asked. “School was great”, Madison said. “Mom, so I’ve got this party at 8, it’s at Alison’s”, she said. “Ok but take care and don’t be too late.” She sat on the couch with her sister Ava who was watching TV. As the time was getting closer she began to get ready. She put on some light makeup and slipped into her two inch stilettos and her green sequined dress. Taylor honked his car and yelled “c’mon we’re getting late.” “Coming alright”, she yelled back. “Bye mom”, Madison said to her mom. “Have fun, darling”, her mom replied. They rode away and picked up Hailee on the way. They played the music loud and sang along to 'Party in the U.S.A”.
Alison’s house was rather big and had a very royal look. The trio entered ducking through the people dancing and had some lemonade as their ears got adjusted to the really loud music blaring out of the huge speakers. They met Alison upstairs who was dancing along and telling people where the washrooms were. “Hey Ally, I see the party’s going great”, said Madison. “Yeah, except that there are more people than we expected”, said Alison. The party was awesome. They bid goodbye to Alison and all the new friends they met at the party. It was 11 on. There was really thick fog outside and it was not safe to drive. Madison insisted on staying over at Alison’s for the night but Taylor said it was alright. Madison was praying all the way back to her house and thankfully they reached safely. “Good Night, guys”, said Madison. She opened the door of her house and found her mom and sister sleeping on the couch. She headed for her bedroom and then it was a flash. “Maddie, wake up it’s time for school”, yelled her mom. She woke up all dazed. She thought she might be sick. “Coming, mom”, Madison said failing to yell. She checked the time. 8 am, late again. She thought.
She changed into her clothes, carried her bag and took off. Except this time she noticed that her sister Ava left a note which picturized 'Madison, Ava and their mom'. She felt bad for screaming at her sister last week and not apologizing. Madison raced down the stairs to the kitchen and kissed Ava on the forehead. “Mom, can you drop me to school today?”, Madison asked her mom. “Sure thing, honey”, replied her mom. Her mom dropped her off to school. She went to her locker took out her Biology books and went to Biology class. She went to her seat ignoring Mr. Sanders and his expression. She peeked at Hannah Parker’s textbook. She couldn’t believe it. How could this be possible? Just how? It was the same page, page 60. That’s when she noticed that everyone was wearing the same outfits as yesterday. Her sister was watching the same TV show as yesterday. Her mom was listening to the same song in the morning. It was Monday all over. No, no, just no. This was like her worst nightmare.
She felt really sick now. She thought, she was going to puke now. “Uhmm, Mr. Sanders, may I use the washroom”, Madison asked. “Yes, you may”, he replied. She stood in front of the mirror. Wondering what to do. What now? What now? What now? She wondered. “Mallie, wake up”, Ava said. “Huh? what?”, Madison said. She woke up to the sight of the bright sun shining in her face and chirping of birds filled her ears. She checked the time sharp 7 am. Her mom said, “honey, I heard you screaming and talking in your sleep, everything alright?” She started laughing hysterically. Did you get it?