Kezia trudged up the stairs towards science class and the dreaded unit test. She loved science but last night she spent a great deal of energy tossing in bed as images both frightening and realistic whipped through her mind. Her brain hurt. She had studied hard for this test and had great recall of the material before she went to bed. It seemed like the images had caused a slow leak of knowledge. Damn if she could remember the difference between the Calvin and the Krebs Cycle's.
“Just relax”, she whispered to herself. “You’ll remember when you need to.”
Kezia pulled open a swinging door to the first floor foyer. Preoccupied with thoughts of the test and last night’s dreams, the retreating door whacked her calf as she too late moved her left leg through the doorway.
“Ow! Shioot that hurts.”
“Hey Kezia! Walk much? You’re gonna be late for Coppens’ bitch of a science test.”
“Yeah Toby, I’m okay, just looking for an excuse to miss that test.”
“I think you’ll need more than that. Missing leg, maybe? Nice bruise though. It’s starting to match the color of your eyes.”
“Haha, Tob! Try that line on someone more gullible. Come on and help me up. We don’t want to be late.”
Toby grabbed Kezia’s elbow. Through her blouse she felt an icy chill pass through her body.
“Boy your hand is cold Toby.”
“Not that I’ve noticed. Let’s get to science class before we’re both given an excuse to miss that test.”
There were no questions on either the Calvin or the Kreb’s Cycle. Thank God for small miracles Kezia thought to herself. Some of the answers did come to her. When Mrs. Coppens handed her the paper, their fingers touched briefly. Information seemed to flutter into her mind through their connected digits. There was a tickling sensation through her fingers and arm and then she knew!
“Weird”, thought Kezia. “But hey, I’ll take all the help I can get.”
Kezia put the tray down holding her salad, with low-cal Italian dressing and low-fat milk on the table.
“So Tob, how’d you do on the test? I actually think my studying paid off.”
“Well Kez…” Toby looked comical as he stroked his smooth chin. “I don’t think I can say the same. I spent way too much time in other pursuits last evening.”
“Other pursuits,” purred Kezia. “Sounds mysterious and definitely a need to know.”
“Well, you don’t need to know. It’s my own business.” Toby’s last words snapped and Kezia looked hurt. His eyes softening, Toby said,“There’s just some parts of my life I’d rather not share. Sorry Kez. It’s nothing personal. Listen I gotta go. I’ve got last period and then football practice. I’ll talk to you later…okay?”
“Yah, okay Toby. You’re forgiven, this time!”
Kezia turned without another word and traveled in silence to her locker. She carefully dialed the three-number combination and again the lock didn’t open. Tears stung her eyes in frustration. She hadn’t slept well again last night and now this. She sucked in a deep breath and tried again, even more slowly. As she pulled on the lock, there was an audible click and success. Wiping the moisture from under her eyes, she sniffled and walked to last period.
“Almost home time. I can make it”, Kezia whispered to herself.