12- paranoia

953 39 54

Explain how the novel does or does not demonstrate the death of the American Dream. Is the main theme of Gatsby indeed "the withering American Dream"? What does the novel offer about American identity?

As I stared at the essay question in front of me, I tapped a pen against my head in thought. I hadn't read The Great Gatsby and had only managed to watch a half hour of the movie before getting bored. Yet here I was, attempting to write a five page paper on it that was already two days late.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of 'American Dream' is: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity. In The Great Gatsby, the

I trailed off and racked my brain for some inkling of an idea of what should come next. Heaving a frustrated sigh, I hit backspace and cleared the page yet again.

"You caught up with your classes yet?" Carly asked me as she eyed the notebooks scattered around the kitchen table.

"Nope." For some reason, I was having trouble concentrating. No clue why.

"You regretting that trip yet?"

"Never." I replied with a smile.

"Just hope you don't fail because of it." She said with a shake of her head. She noticed how distracted I was lately. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't affecting my grades by more than just a couple points.

As I watched Carly walk to her room and close the door, I leaned back in my chair and stared at the ceiling. It was only Thursday, just a couple of days since I got away, and I was having a hard time getting back in the swing of things. 

Or maybe I was just bored. 

I had replayed the video of the robbery several times the past couple of days, imagining I was those two men watching it. Would they have been able to tell it was me? Did seeing my face in Tyler's apartment put me at risk? Not to mention the car Tyler said to have stolen from me was now back in my possession. Every time I drove it somewhere, I anxiously scanned the faces of everyone else on the road just in case it happened to be them. 

Then I thought of Chris. He was the only one that knew the truth and hadn't done anything about it so far. The day after I told him, he sent me a text telling me not to worry about word getting out. I asked if we could hang out again but that message had been left on 'read'. 

I spent the rest of the day catching up on homework while trying to fight off rogue thoughts. Jess and Carly joined me for dinner and then we decided to go out. 

I stood in front of the mirror for a long time trying to figure out what to wear. I had even less desire to stand out than usual and opted for black jeans and a grey top. My makeup was minimal and my hair was up in a bun, as it had been for a couple of days.

Finally ready to go, I joined my roommates on the trek to Dave's. 

"So how's Ryan? I'm surprised you haven't seen him lately." Carly commented. 

"We're not seeing each other anymore." I replied. 

"Why not? Tired of him already?" 

"Pretty much." I laughed. 

"You haven't seen Chris lately either, have you?" Jess asked. 

"Nope. Just been trying to focus on school." I said. "For once." 

"Yeah, I can see that. Every-time I see you studying, I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming." Jess teased. 

I rolled my eyes but smiled. With everything going on with my dad, and Chris, and Tyler, I let the stress keep me mostly indoors. It felt good to go out with them again and do something fun. 

Chasing Danger (editing)Where stories live. Discover now