chapter five

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The first night of the spring semester is not spent in its typical fashion. 

Nia, who would usually be dragging me out to a bar to get drunk off of tequila shots and cranberry vodkas to celebrate our last semester, is currently lounging right next to me on the couch. We're three episodes deep into the serial killer documentary series she's been binging, all the while, stealing more than her fair share of the knit blanket that we've been sharing.

She has a water bottle the size of my forearm cradled in her arms and her short black hair is pulled back into a haphazard bun on top of her head with a red headband attempting to keep the mane of flyaways at bay. 

Somehow she still looks more attractive than anyone recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning should ever be allowed to look.

Sliding down further into the couch cushion, she opts to use my shoulder as a pillow rather than the fifteen different decorative pillows we have piled around us. 

Nia is a touchy person in general. She's always pulling us in for hugs or playing with our hair or smacking our asses when we walk by. It's something I've grown used to in the three-and-a-half years of living together--but sick Nia is a whole new level of cuddly. I don't mind though, aside from the fact that Nia is one of my favorite people on the planet, she's also like a little heater who generates more body heat than anyone else I've ever met, which is something that comes in handy in the early months here in Washington.

"Find anything new?" her voice is still a little hoarse and she takes a long sip of her water bottle to soothe her throat. She's watching me scroll through the scholarship website and I groan in response, clicking from one link to another, rereading the same posts that I've already looked at a hundred times. 

As much as I'd like to toss my laptop aside and just relax into the couch while watching the wicked minds of the psychopaths dissected on the television, the voice in the back of my mind telling me that I'm running out of time to find a scholarship just keeps getting louder and louder. 

"It's all the same," I sigh. 

The site hasn't been updated for a few days and I'm starting to worry that this is all I'm going to have to choose from.

Finding a scholarship is Plan A.  

Taking a few years off to work and save up enough money to pay for classes is Plan B.

Throwing my morals to the wind and becoming a stripper is Plan C. 

And taking out even more student loans is Plan D. 

At this point, Plan C is looking mighty fine. 

I'm not against student loans and if I wasn't already nearly 40k deep in them I wouldn't have a problem taking out more, but at this point, I'm already going to struggle to pay them back and I honestly don't even want to know how much more it's going to cost to finish my entire graduate degree.

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