My desk was a wasteland of used nicotine patches and mugs harboring varying depths of cold coffee. Somewhere between Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas of the brain Helena blathered at me. It was pointless to hope that if I stared at the mind-map of language processing areas I could circumvent her rant or bring down some kind of cone of silence to ignore her long enough so she’d just piss off. In reality hope was as pointless as study at this late stage. Some of it made sense at 3am but now it was just colours and nonsense words and too many arrows connecting theories I was meant to understand and didn’t.
“Helena, I know you think your existential crisis is more important than mine, but, I have an exam in 97 minutes.”
“Why hasn’t he called me, Will?”
“He who?” I sighed.
“The older guy who is in love with that pommy chick?”
“He is NOT in love with her.” She sat on the side of my desk. For such a germ freak, she wasn’t backward in planting her arse on surfaces arses should never kiss. “He’s just not over her yet. They’re two very different things you know.”
I shoved her off my desk. For a fleeting moment the mindmap made more sense than Helena’s logic. “Here’s a crazy idea,” I said. “You could just go out with someone who is available, rather than chase guys who don’t give a shit about you. You know, for something different to do.”
“He’s not in love with her. He can’t. She has bad hair.”
“For fucksake, hair is hardly a measure of worth, much less personality or how loveable they are, or aren’t.”
“You’re talking mumbo jumbo again.”
I gritted my teeth and thought about how much I used to enjoy tying her up and gagging her when we were kids playing cowboys and Indians.
“He should have left her at the fucking airport! What’s he been doing for the last fourteen hours? It would’ve taken him like half an hour to break up proper.”
Instead of battering my head against the brick wall that is Helena, I snatched up my lecture notes, sketchpad, and textbooks and stuffed them all into my satchel with my phone.
“There’s a public transport strike. Been watching it play out on Twitter. I’d better go if I’m gonna make uni.”
“I thought you were study—” The bedroom door closed before I heard the rest.
I thought I was free until a bunch of people stared at me when I got on the bus. It was only after I sat down did I realise the fuck up and texted Mae-Lyn.
— I am on a bus in my sleep pants
— on ur way home from where
— On my way to any place that’s not home.
— Fucking Helena
— u know i’ve wanted to 4 yrs but u wont let me
— I need jeans. I have an exam.
— u could pretend 2b international man of mistery
— Or you could pretend to give a shit and lend me some jeans.
— why would I lend u mine
— I’m not groveling. I’ll go dressed like this instead of doing that.
— ur funeral
The next part of 24 will be available here at 12pm.