She was going to fail the exam.
There was no doubt about it, not anymore. There was absolutely no doubt left in Molly’s mind that she was going to do so poorly on her Biology exam that she would probably fail out of her course, and possibly out of university altogether. How could she not? It was the night before the exam, or quite possibly the morning of the exam at this point, and the cramped words of Molly’s notes were swimming before her eyes and making absolutely no sense whatsoever. Sentences were bleeding together, familiar terms no longer made sense, hell, by now she had probably forgotten basic facts she had learned years ago. Mitosis? What was mitosis again?
Oh no oh no oh no, there’s no way I can learn this all in time. I’m not ready, I’ll never be ready, oh God this is what failure feels like -
Her mental spiral of panic and self doubt was brought to an abrupt halt however by a ringing crash that echoed hugely through the darkened corners of the library’s 24 hour study room. Molly nearly fell out of her chair in surprised panic, scrabbling at the table to stay upright despite the hammering of her heart and casting about the room wildly to see what could have possibly made such a clamor. Up until the moment that the peaceful silence had been shattered Molly had been quite sure that she was alone in the study room, all the other students having gone safely and sensibly to their beds hours ago. But apparently not, not if the fervent swearing coming from the doorway or the shuffling of books being hastily shoved back in a bag were anything to go by. Whirling around in the hard wooden chair that had been her home for the last several hours, Molly caught a glimpse of bright red hair as a figure knelt on the ground and angrily attempted to shove far too many fat textbooks back into a bag that had ripped wide open under the strain.
“Oh bollocks this is just what I need, this is great, just absolutely bloody great, I can’t believe this is happening that was my only bag, oh damn -“
“Um, hello?” Molly called out uncertainly, not sure whether the boy in the doorway knew that there was someone sitting in the room he had just disturbed so spectacularly. “Are you alright?”
Judging by the jump from the boy when she spoke, the wide eyes he flashed in her direction, and the brilliant crimson that flooded his face, he had in fact not known that she was present. In fact, he looked absolutely horrified to see Molly sitting there, and he nearly fell flat on the ground in his attempt to shrink out of the room while still kneeling on the ground. “Oh my God I’m so sorry, I didn’t know you were here. Oh this is so…sorry. I’m just really sorry, but my bag broke and everything fell, sorry. I’ll go. I’ll just go, I’m bothering you, sorry.”
The poor boy looked about ready to choke on his own tongue he was stammering so badly, and his attempts to gather up his books and shove them back in his bag had somehow gotten even more fruitless thanks to his fumbling hands, a feat that Molly had not thought possible. Without realizing what she was doing, Molly found herself rising from the prison of her chair and crossing the room to where he was kneeling, and in moments found herself kneeling next to him and reaching for the book closest to her.
“Oh please don’t worry about it, really. I needed the break anyway, I think my eyes were about to fall out of my head. You know it’s bad when you can’t even read English words anymore, much less the sciency stuff.” Her reassuring tone seemed to calm the boy slightly, and the smile she sent him as she handed him the astoundingly fat textbook even earned a slight grin in return. “So, what’re you here for? I’ve got a bio exam tomorrow myself, and I’m 90% certain I’m going to fail.”
“Electrical engineering,” he answered bitterly. Well, that explained the enormous books, as well as the early morning study hours - not to mention the tinge of frantic desperation that was in his every movement. “I’m 100% sure I’m going to fail. I’m not even close to ready, the exam is tomorrow, and I can’t even study at home because my roommate is making so much noise. God, I hate this.”
Molly nodded in sympathy. “I know exactly what you mean. Why do we do this to ourselves anyway?”
“Buggered if I know. I don’t even want to do this stupid major, but my dad was absolutely insistent that I do something practical while I was here, so here I am.”
The poor boy looked absolutely miserable, and Molly could feel the despair at her own situation ebbing away ever so slightly. Sure, she might be bogged down in her course and worried about her grade, but at least she enjoyed what she was doing. She loved science, loved it with a ferocity that made the pain of her degree worthwhile and kept her going even in the darkest of times. But to hate what she was studying? To be forced into it by an overbearing parent? Unthinkable.
Catching the boy’s eye, Molly handed him the last textbook with another smile. “Why don’t you come over to my table and study with me? We might be miserable and awake when no human beings should be, but it might be a little less horrible with another person there to suffer with. I’m Molly, by the way.”
“Martin. I’m Martin.” He blinked in surprise, apparently caught entirely off guard by Molly’s question. But he returned her smile tentatively, some of the panic draining from his face as he stood and offered an unladen hand to help her to her feet. “I’d love to study with you. Who knows, I might even enjoy being up this late now.”
If the slight shiver that ran through Molly as she took his hand was anything to go by, she just might as well.
Quickie sketch! I can’t handle their faces.