Winter. My favorite season. Everything is magical and the world seems to be at peace.
But as I sit in my third period, lost in a snowy daydream, I am abruptly welcomed back to reality by yet another eruption of my neighbor’s snot-gurgling nose. Ew.
I try to ignore him, nervously tugging my collar up over my nose, and pray to the Tylenol gods that I won’t get sick. But the gods mustn’t be fans of Natalie Larsen, because the slimy mess was oozing over her desk-neighbor fence and into my breathing bubble. In fact, I do not think I have ever seen mucus move that fast, and looking back on it, I do not ever want to experience it again. But I was confident that I would be okay, because two days before, I had gotten a flu shot from my buddy Carl, the creepy aisle-lurking cashier at Safeway.
I was good to go, protected against germy evil and free to be coughed on by whomever I pleased. So I didn’t move away from the bubbling creature. I sat I tried to focus.
But then, the unthinkable happened. I began to cough. First quietly, and then so powerfully that I actually fell out of my chair. But, lying on the ground, I didn’t notice my laughing classmates. In that moment, nothing mattered except my itchy throat and my running nose. Tears filled my eyes, and my mouth dipped into a frown because I knew that Carl and the rest of the flu-less world had failed me.
I ran into the bathroom, shaking with fear at the thought of my immune system failing and my nose melting off, doomed to a slimy fate. But as I stood at the sink, frantically scrubbing my hands and staring at the mirror-less wall, I remembered a vital piece of the puzzle.
Then, suddenly, I was in the parking lot. It happened so fast that is questionable whether my feet ever touched the ground. Fourth period forgotten, I hopped into my car and sped all the way to my house, leaping through my front door at light speed. I flung open the cabinet doors, and seized the small bottle of Airborne.
As it turns out, the vitamin cocktail that I had chugged that morning was “not, in fact intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” Here I was, thinking that I would be fine, roaming the streets of Los Altos as I pleased, unprotected. I had even shook people’s dirty, germy hands! But no. With my Vitamin C-filled veins, I ran wild and caught a cold. I am going to die of a common cold.