Friday, February 12, 2021

Microstory 1560: Cheater

I’ve never been a cheater, but this test is going to be simultaneously the hardest I’ve taken, and the one that matters the least to my future productivity as a member of society...

Botner least this weekend, anyway. I hope I pass it. Last year, on this day, I got dumped by an asshole. I had just finished my final exam in the morning, and the final exam grading period had just ended, and I was ready to go home. It was finals week, so the academic atmosphere was just setting in, and some of the older graduate students had already started complaining about “how can we be starting the school year already?” and it was such a jaded, stressful, and tragic time to exist in (besides only being nine months into the school year, before adding the first week of summer vacation in). I was sitting in the lounge, and I received a text from an ex-girlfriend. Like I mentioned, I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t suspect that she would take this “joke” to a new level, and I didn’t even tell her to never contact me again. I left it on the front seat of my car, in plain view. I just don’t do well when someone hurts my pride. I know that I don’t deal with rejection well, because my ego is the biggest part of my sense of identity, and when someone uses it against me, I don’t handle it well. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before. When I used to wake up at 4:30 AM, every day, to...

Conclusion at a package sorting facility, there was this guy I was interested in, but I couldn’t tell if he liked men, and we worked on opposite sides of the room, so we never talked. But my girlfriend didn’t like me even looking at him, so we eventually broke up, even though I never actually cheated. After a few minutes, I decide to text my ex back. The message she sent was innocuous enough, just asking me about that Italian restaurant I like, but if she wants to get back together, I need to know that. I’m not saying I’ll go for it, but it’s always better to know, and dating her would be good for my career. As I’m waiting for her reply, the email I’ve really been waiting for comes in. It’s the weird PhD student, who calls himself Answerman. He still lives in the dorms, and has a filing cabinet full of test answers and homework examples. First one’s free, he told me. I guess he thinks he’ll keep me as a client, but I won’t do it. This is a one time thing, and then I’m goin’ legit. I just need to pass this one class, and everything will be fine. He asks to meet on the bottom level of a parking garage, which is a red flag, but I’m desperate. I walk over to the rendezvous, and climb down the stairs. Answerman, is there, along with the dean, who tells me I have two choices. I can either fail this class, and tell everyone I know that Answerman still has the answers, man...or I can be expelled. I realize it’s like a disease. Everyone else was given this same choice, and it’s always a trap. Just then, my ex-girlfriend finally texts back. She does want to get back together. That’s perfect. Her father works for a tech company that doesn’t require degrees, and I already have all the skills I’ll ever need. I tell the dean to go screw himself, then leave the parking garage, so I can announce to the whole world that Answerman is a frickin’ narc.

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