The cold stung my skin as I made my way towards the passenger seat of our grey Toyota. As my mum drove me to the bus terminal, she asked me,“What time are your exams?”
“I have one at two and the other at five.”
She wished me good luck as I stepped out of the car. I closed the door and she drove off.
I got on the Brampton Zum 502 to Square One and found a seat at the back of the bus. As we began to drive, I stared out the window and glanced at people walking by. An older man sat next to me – he wore a gold ring on his wedding finger and twisted it from time to time. A woman, not much older than me, sat across from the older man – she was applying her makeup. At the far corner of the bus sat a high school girl – she had her hair done up in a bun and she had blue eyes and she listened to music and texted with a smile.
I zipped open my bag and pulled out old exam questions. I put my head down, read, and tried to cram definitions into my brain.
When the bus arrived at Square One, the high school girl exited first; another girl with similar features was waiting for her at the bus stop. They hugged and strutted towards the bus terminal as they talked and laughed. The woman packed up her belongings and dumped them into her Michael Kors bag. She talked on the phone as she stepped off and ran for her next bus. The older man looked down at his lunch bag and adjusted his gold ring. He rose quickly and strolled off to wait for his next bus.
I got off the bus and walked to the stop to catch the 110 North to UTM.
I arrived on campus 15 minutes before my first exam. I put away all my books and walked down to the front of Gym C, where Mellissa, Josh, Marcus, and Esther were waiting. We all kept quiet as we waited for the TA to open the doors to gym and let us in. The TA wore a white hoodie, blue jeans, and white Reebok running shoes. The lights in the gym shone bright and I felt warm.
One of the examiners read out the usual rules and regulations. Melissa sat in front of me, Josh to my right, Marcus behind me, and Esther to my left. I wrote my name down on the paper and scanned through the questions. I had an idea how to answer each, but only had two hours to write three essays. I finished answering the last question with only five minutes to spare. I handed in my paper when time ran out, picked up my bag and rushed over to IB120 across campus where my next exam started in less than an hour.
I didn’t know anybody in this class since I had only been to three classes all semester. I had studied the slides and the textbook so I would be familiar with the material. We shuffled into the dimly-lit IB120; the room had a cold chill and I sat in the middle of the class. I put my TCard on the desk, put my head down, and prayed for an easy exam.
I got my exam paper and flipped it open.
I had prepared for an essay and this exam was multiple choice. I read each question as slowly as I could, but there seemed to be at least two correct answers to every one. I thought to myself, just fill in whatever and hand in this paper. I shaded in what I thought were the right answers and handed in my exam paper. I cursed the professor as I strolled out.
As I got out of the exam hall I reached into my bag and took out my phone. I turned it on and received a text message from Melissa. “How did you do on the exam? Hope it went well.”
“It went fine, how about yours?” I texted back.
I walked to the bus stop to wait for my bus when I felt my phone vibrate. She had texted me back. “Mine was horrible. Come see me. I need someone to talk to.”
Melissa lived at McGrath Valley. I walked over to her residence and the cold breeze of the winter night made my fingers freeze inside my pockets. I knocked on the door. She opened it dressed in a purple robe, and with her hair wet. We started off toward her room. Inside her clothes were on the floor and a white Macbook was propped on the table and a poster of Idris Elba hung beside her bed. I dropped my bag and took off my jacket, sweat pants, shirt, and boxers and I slid under the black sheets. She took off her purple robe and turned out the lights.
I awoke. Breathing deeply, she slept next to me. The sounds of the heater and the cars passing on the street were all I could hear. I sat up in the bed, looking at the bedside clock. 1:30am. I inhaled deeply and rose. I put on my boxers, shirt, sweat pants, and jacket.
I reached into my bag for the Ziploc bag and my iPhone. I had three missed calls from my mum. I should call her back, I thought. I slid the balcony door open and sat on the couch outside. I reached into the Ziploc bag, taking out a lighter and my blunt. I lit it, took a long drag, blew smoke into the air, and stared into the night sky.