3:20 in North Dakota

by Hannah C.

3:20 couldn't come fast enough! Being only six years old, it was very difficult waiting  for something I wanted. Even though it wasn't easy, I stood patiently watching as the seconds on the clock slowly clicked by. Before the second hand could make it around the clock for the fifth time, the voice of the school receptionist played over the intercom, which meant school was going to over in a few seconds!


"Here are today's Elementary announcements! Elementary students are dismissed at this time!" Before I knew it, I had made my way out of the school doors and onto the bus! I couldn't wait to be home! Grabbing my usual left side 7th row seat, I waited for my best friend to join me. As Katie walk down the aisle, I pulled out the bag of dill pickle chips that I had so carefully had the courage to sneak into my backpack before I left home this morning. Before the bus left school grounds, my best friend and I were already engaging in deep conversation about our day at school and the activities that followed it.


Gazing out the windows upon the miles and miles of cornfields gave me the comforting feelings of home. Two more stops, and it would be my turn to get off the bus. Katie and I made our farewells to each other, and I made for the exit with my 2 brothers and sister trailing not far behind me. I was finally home! The thing I was waiting for since three twenty was finally here!  As soon as we crossed the gravel road the race was on. The first one to the door was the winner. First Shelby, then Casey, then Taylor, and Courtney, which correlated with our ages, oldest to youngest. Eventually, I made my way to the house. Walking into the house, our mother greeted us with a smile and a kiss on the forehead. Throwing our backpacks onto the floor, we began conversing about how our day was at school.


Walking closer and closer to the kitchen, the delightful smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies engulfed the air. I glanced into the living room right off the kitchen, to see six plates perfectly set and ready to feed 6 hungry mouths. After everything on our plate was eaten, and thrown into the sink to be washed, it was time to get our homework out. All I wanted was to go outside. I quickly rushed through my homework, hoping that Mary, my mother, wasn’t going to check it over before I went outside. Much to my dismay, she did exactly that. Here I was, stuck in the house, while the rest of my siblings were on their way to the park to play. After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality, was only 30 minutes, I too, was on my way to the park. Making it over the last hill that was obstructing my view, I smiled. Our other neighborhood friends were there as well.


Ever since the first day we played hide and seek in the Larson Grain grain bins together, we have been inseparable; daring to do things together that only small town friends would do together. Our evenings would consist of tons of events from trying to convince the 83-year-old gas station clerk that the plastic pennies we were trying to buy tootsie rolls with were real, to trespassing into old abandoned buildings while playing hide and seek in old abandoned buildings; 4 of us hiding, while the other four searched. Before anybody wanted, the sun began setting, and it would be time to go home.


Before departing to find our ways home, we found ourselves at the gas station counting out our fake plastic pennies in one more attempt in getting our Tootsie Rolls that we have desperately been trying to get for 3 days. Finally, all 8 of us walked out of the gas station grasping 10 rolls in each hand, wondering if the old clergyman would eventually realize we had wronged him. Reaching the end of the road that split in 2 opposite directions, we made our own separate ways, sad that we couldn't spend more time together. As I got back home, our mother had us hop in the bath tub. All clean and comfy in my pajamas, I layed in my bed secretly eating my tootsie rolls; sliding in one after another whenever mary got sidetracked by another one of my siblings and left my room. Before I knew it, I was asleep, dreaming about the trouble our small town companions and the six Cofell kids, my brother, sister, and I, were going to get into tomorrow after school.


Waking up to the smell of our mother making chocolate malt o'meal was the best feeling in the world! As soon as everybody was ready, everybody but me bundled up by the door waiting for the bus to arrive. I wasn't ready to go back to school yet. I wanted to be home playing with my friends. The thing that motivated me to get up was remembering that I was going to be with my best friend the whole day. The bus pulled up and once again, the race was on. Arriving at the school, Katie and I got off the bus and went out to the playground to play. The bell rang, and it was time to go inside to start class.  Sitting in my desk, it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. The teacher even seemed as though she was purposely delaying handing out books because she wanted to be done for the day. Looking up at the clock, to my surprise, I smiled. Everything was going to be okay. That one thing that I have been waiting till 3:20 for was almost here. In 20 minutes I would be home!