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Drat, drat, drat! I hastily turn my eyes from the bit of curling smoke, desperately scanning the room to see where the fire alarm is. Then I see it: it’s right above my head.

This could be problematic.

I need to open the window… Where’s the window? Of course I know where the window is, I’m such a knucklehead. I pick of the hot pot that is the source of my panic, and in about four long strides I am to the window. Thank goodness for window sills. I set the hot pot down and fumble with the locks on the window.

Two of the locks behave themselves, and I push on the heavy window. Nothing happens. My roommate must have been the last one to lock the window, she always does all three locks, I usually just do two.

The third lock is undone. I can smell the smoke, my gaze flickers over to the fire alarm for a brief moment. I wonder if you have to pay a fee if the firemen have to come? I think. Shortly followed by: I wonder if I have to admit to it if all the fire alarms in Eden’s Hall go off? That fire drill last quarter was NOT fun.

Why is the blasted window not opening? My gaze flickers back to the window. Oh, I only pushed the lock about halfway open. My fingers fumble again with the latch, but at last it’s done and I heave open the window.

There’s more smoke now. I guess I should’ve scrubbed a little harder at that oatmeal glaze on the burner, I think. Wait, what?!- The smoke is moving toward me, into the room, nearer to the fire alarm.

This isn’t working at all.

Isn’t there some sort of scientific law about that? My dad is a science teacher, I should know this. Come on smoke, go out! I fan at the smoke frantically, any moment expecting the fire alarm to go off. That piercing shriek… I can just hear it in my imagination.

Sometimes I wonder if God answers our frantic thoughts that aren’t quite prayers.

The smoke begins to waft outside now, it’s freezing in the room, and it smells of acrid smoke. Nice combination. Then I laugh; I can’t help wondering if anyone saw me from below, wondering why that girl was flailing her arms at an open window.

Afterward, nearly all things are funny. At the time… Not so much.