10. That's all he gave me. Ten minutes to sort my thoughts and make life altering choices. Only ten minutes. How can I do this? How do I organize my thoughts--my life!--in 600 seconds?
9. One minute down and nine to go. How did I waste that trip around the clock freaking out and doing something as trivial as breathing? Focus. I've been gifted these last minutes. I need to try and clear my mind. Focus. I got this.
8. Ah! Already one-fifth of my time is gone--how is it that now I can do math? Work with me, brain! Oh, geez. He's staring at me, counting down the seconds I bet. I can't work like this!
7. No. Stop. I need to stop focusing on the sweat on my temples and how slippery my palms have become. Oh, be quiet heartbeat! I know you're there, no need to get louder! This stuff won't matter in the end, so focus. Focus! What's important to remember? Out of my entire existence, what mattered?
6. I wish I could stop the tears from forming. These precious moments are slipping away! Why can't I make my brain work--make these last minutes count? Is this what goes through the head of those that came before me? The pressure!
5. Half of the time I've been allotted is gone?! Where did those precious seconds go? His eyes are staring at me again. He can't wait until the countdown finishes so he can do away with me and call it a day. STOP IT. FOCUS.
4. I swear I can hear every clock ticking faster and faster, as if the world is against me. Why can't I do this? Why is it so hard to focus under this pressure? Why can't I find a way out? Why has my brain shut down?
3. Oh, geez! The panic! Stop it. Stop panicking!. Breathe in. Breathe out. Count to ten slowly to steady breathing. One... Two... Three... Four... Five... Six... Seven... Eight... Nine... Ten...
2. WHAT? CALMING BREATHS TOOK TOO LONG! How is this possible? My life is over! It's going to end! How could there be a chance at life after this? What am I going to do? Why can't I focus?!
1. Sixty seconds. Oh god! He's staring me down, getting closer. His eyes are dark and disappointed. Just ignore him. Focus! Breathe. Focus! Breathe. Focus! Focus! Focus!
"Time is up," he says with a sinister grin. His voice slicing through the silence.
I am alone in the room, the only one left.
"Pencils down. Turn in your final exam." He points to his desk, impatiently.
Gulping with a dry mouth and shaky hands I stand.
To meet my fate.
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