Chapter 1

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Chapter One

Walking into the campus cafe, my bag hanging from my arm, my hair bouncing with every step I take and my sunglasses covering my face, I smile at the barista. She smiles back before turning around and starting to work on my drink. I watch as she puts the vanilla at the bottom of the cup, just the way I like it before placing it under the coffee machine and letting the cup be filled with coffee.

"Hey, I thought your break started five minutes ago?" I ask, leaning my hip against the counter, pushing my sunglasses to the top of my head before opening my handbag and slipping my purse out.

"There was a rush of people in, it has just calmed down again." She tells me, taking a jug of frothed milk and pouring it into my cup, making a flower design.

"Doesn't look that busy," I tell her, glancing around. Most were like me, university students in between lectures, having folders and laptops out in front of them as they sip on their coffee.

The cafe was situated in the middle of campus and was the place everyone stopped at when they needed refuelling. I stopped here at least three times a day. My best friend, Kerry, the barista, got her job here in our first year and has worked here ever since, usually having my morning coffee ready for me in a to-go cup as I arrive on campus.

I hand her a note of money, watching as she opens the till before giving me my change. She slides my coffee over to me before picking up her own drink which was sitting ready behind the counter and calls out to Jerry, her boss that she is taking her break.

She slips out from behind the counter, wearing her work uniform and looking tired. She leads me over to one of the tables by the window, allowing us to watch as students mull around, some looking tired, others stressed and then there were the rare few that were nearly skipping past.

"Well, how did it go?" Kerry asks once we are seated and I have set my bag down beside me. I sit up straight, my posture perfect, just how I was trained to sit.

"Good." I tell her, nodding before taking my cup and taking a sip, the hot liquid rushing down my throat, instantly making me relax into my seat. "I was surprised by some of the questions."

"God, I hope I feel the same after my exam." She mumbles, rubbing her hands down her face. Kerry and I had been roommates in our first year, instantly becoming friends. However, this year I decided to move home again, travelling the thirty-minute drive to campus, while Kerry moved in with her long-term boyfriend, Marcus.

"You'll do great. I have never seen someone work as hard as you for an exam. You have nearly worked yourself into the ground." I comment, taking in her tired face and the bags under eyes.

"We will see."

"What time is it at tomorrow?"

"One."

"Just go home and rest tonight, you look like you could do with a rest before the exam," I say, my tone soft.

"I finish at six and then I have another few chapters to go over before tomorrow." She tells me, taking a drink out of her own cup.

"You work too hard," I comment. "Marcus needs to put his foot down. Even he commented on how hard you are working." I tell her, having heard her boyfriend, Marcus comment on our way out of the exam hall.

"You two are naturally smart. Some of us have to work to get the grades." She replies, squinting as she looks out of the window over the campus.

"I am not naturally smart. I worked my butt off for that exam. You are working your butt and legs off for yours." I tease, getting her to smile.

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