Here’s a little scenelette I wrote for Zabby, from A Book Without Dragons. A huge part of her emotional baggage is that she tried going to college and then dropped out because it was too overwhelming. So, this is me peeking into her past to see what a typical late-night looked like for her…
The vending machine ate her dollar again. Zabby stared at the little blinking lights for a few moments longer before finally surrendering and allowing the large box to enjoy her money. Yawning, she trudged back to her dorm, candy-less. If she was the type to believe in omens, she would have called it quits hours before the lack of candy bar. This was not the night to be studying.
But at the same time, she had to study. There was no excuse for not studying. If she studied and failed, she’d be disappointed in herself. If she didn’t study and failed, she’d be furious.
It was her English Lit class, one of the required core classes. She rubbed her eyes as she tried to make The Time Machine stop melding together in a blob of classical arrogance. Yes, she was sure it was brilliant like everyone said, but honestly it was just so boring. She couldn’t get two sentences through it before her mind was distracted by something more interesting. Like cleaning lint from her keyboard.
She looked down at her outline, choking with little doodles in the margins. It wasn’t the factual part of the test she dreaded: it was the essay portion. Essays made her cringe when she had weeks to line up her words. The thought of just spitting one out made her sick.
Just get past this class, she kept telling herself. Once you’re past this one, it’ll be easier. But the words meant less and less the more often she summoned them. So many of these classes were downright impossible. It was more probable than not that she would be struggling for a C average by the end of the semester. It made her wonder why she bothered. Even if she somehow graduated, no one would hire someone with a GPA like hers.
And it wasn’t going to get easier, no matter how adamantly she chose to lie to herself.
As a side note – I actually like The Time Machine, but do not judge Zabby for hating it. Really, I think we need to see an end to the idea that disliking a classic novel makes you a ‘bad reader.’ It’s fine. Read what brings you joy ^_^