chapter six

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I take a long sip of my coffee as I adjust myself on the ice cold stool in the chemistry classroom. 

I was one of the last students to file into the lab this morning and not having the full fifteen minutes that I always give myself before class to get settled and go over the lecture notes from the previous class is really starting to stress me out. That, and the fact that thanks to the mortifying conversation with my roommates, I could barely sleep last night. 

The stool beside me is still empty and I glance up to the classroom entrance between sips of coffee and reading my notes, praying that Beck isn't planning on skipping class today because the small stack of papers sitting on each table labeled LAB 001 will be almost impossible to complete on my own. I've already flipped through the lab packet and spotted most of the keywords and concepts from the reading listed throughout, but the execution is the part I'm worried about. 

I push the lab papers back to the center of the table and grab my planner out of my bag. I scan the monthly layout for today's date and read over the to-do list that I made for myself yesterday. 

My day is planned out by the hour today since I have more than usual on my list. I'll be in classes from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, then I need to go to the newspaper room to get everything organized for our first staff meeting of the semester, then find time to call my mom back before she has a heart attack since I've missed the last two times she's tried to call, all before 5:00 PM when my first shift back at the diner starts. 

I pencil in my mom's phone call for 4:30 PM. It's enough time to catch her up while also giving me the perfect excuse to get off the phone when my shift starts to keep her from chatting off my ear for too long. If gone unchecked my mother could lecture me on pretty much anything for hours. I stare down at the bolded letters highlighted at the bottom of the page reminding me that I'm running out of time to start my scholarship article. 

The one good thing that came from my inability to sleep last night was the embarrassing amount of time I spent scrolling through Beck's Instagram. 

Admittedly, at first, it was simply for the shirtless pictures, though after stopping to look at some of his basketball action shots the realization of how good of a basketball player he actually is had started to dawn on me. It didn't take long before I was typing away on my computer, drafting up different article ideas, keeping in mind the ESPN audience and which kind of article would be the most interesting to read.

Growing up with a stay-at-home dad and two brothers, most of my evenings were spent sitting with my dad in the bleachers at basketball practices. He even tried to get me to sign up for my own team but after throwing a big enough tantrum he agreed to let me skip that humiliation. 

My hand-eye coordination is less than stellar, a fact that has been proven time and time again when my brothers coerced me into playing with them on the makeshift court we have in the backyard. After getting nailed in the face one too many times because I wasn't fast enough to catch the ball it became very apparent that I didn't inherit the same athletic gene that they did.

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