There must have been a mistake. This paper has to be the wrong one. It could not be his. He looked up to the top of the paper and read his name again to make sure. “Frank Grimes.” There was no mistaking it. He looked at the side of the paper and studied the bright red fraction written in the corner again. Frank ran his fingers through his shaggy blond hair, finding some bits of sand that had come to class with him. Professor Wright lectured at the front of the class underwater and sounded muffled and far away to Frank, who could not take his eyes from the printed pages in front of him. The red ink written over black print glared back at him, the color of blood. He let out a sigh.
Thoughts of the hour spent studying, pouring over three hundred pages in rented hardback. The ease with which the words flowed from his brain when crafting the paper. The ease of his fingers as they filled the illuminated screen. The way that he came up with his thesis and paragraphs with barely even a glance at the instructions. It was his best work all semester. He understood all of the concepts of postmodern archetypes in classical meme structures just by reading the chapter summaries. He didn’t even have to be sober when he read them. Perfect.
Frank had had the best semester of his freshman year. He made a couple new friends, who all surfed as he did. He had reached a zen-like state of consciousness when playing Call of Duty that was unrivaled amongst his group of gamer friends. He had even reveled in the fact that his only class that semester was based purely on tests. No homework. It was perfect. WAS. Perfect.
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