May 2013

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I slammed the door behind me so hard the whole house shook. Intense fury pumped through my veins causing a red mist to descend. I couldn't see anything properly, my brain darted everywhere. All I could feel was rage.

"Woah, what happened?" Natalie sounded a little terrified, as if I'd grown a monster head and turned green. "Is everything okay?"

"It's this godforsaken paper." I slammed it down on the table. "I sucked so hard at it, I got such a bad grade and there's nothing I can do to change it." I paced the room as the words flew out of my mouth faster than bullets. "I spoke to the professor and he's adamant that's it. There's nothing I can do. It is what it is, and that's that, despite the fact it might bring down my whole grade for the most important year." My fingers raked through my hair. "You know what this means? It means I'll have to work even harder on my dissertation as if I'm not already stressed out enough about that..."

"Okay, first off, whoa again," Natalie interrupted. "I think what you need to do is take a seat, calm down a little and we can talk this through properly."

"I can't calm down." I shook my head hard. "I can't. This is...urgh, it's terrible. I feel like I've messed everything up."

Completely out the blue, a cold tear splashed on my chest. I was a complete and utter failure, I didn't want everything to fall apart now when we were so close to the end. I came to university full of expectations and dreams, all of which included passing my degree so I could use my qualification to take me places. I'd been predicted the best grades. This changed that.

"How did you mess it up? I can't understand it, you always do so well with everything..."

"Because I haven't exactly been focused, have I? I've spent more time messing around with Scott than actually doing work, and now I'm going to pay the price for that."

Natalie didn't say anything and I couldn't tell what she thought from her expression either. She kept her face totally blank. I was overwhelmed once more by the idea things between me and Scott were fleeting, and I shouldn't throw everything away for it. Maybe if we'd been together since the first year and we actually had some plan for afterwards, I wouldn't feel that way, but we'd been playing it by ear leaving me with no reassurances.

"You know what, I can't sit around here bitching about this." I tossed my hands in the air in a defeated gesture. "I can't stop what's happened in the past, but I can make the future better."

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to leave my phone out here." I threw it on the table as if it was to blame. "And I'm going to lock myself in my bedroom to work on the rest of this project. Maybe I can make up for this one royal fuck up by making my dissertation so much better. If I ignore everyone, if I block out the world for just a little while, then maybe I can salvage things. I have to try to sort this out...

"Hi, guys!"

At that exact moment, I was interrupted by the one person I wanted to hear from least in the world. I loved Scott desperately, but it was that love which put me in this mess in the first place. If I hadn't been so concerned with him and trying to be the perfect girlfriend he deserved, so everyone else could see that I deserved him, I wouldn't have screwed up. If I hadn't focused so much energy on the damn future I probably didn't even have with him, then all would be fine.

I inexplicably hated him with everything I had.

"You," I growled as I span on my heels. "This is all because of you."

"I've got to go!" Natalie grabbed her keys and bounced to her feet, racing from the apartment at the speed of light. She could sense the storm coming, even if Scott couldn't.

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