Of anecdotes and late-night study sessions


A screeching laugh pierced the quite silent cafe.

She stared straight ahead with an expression of exasperation in her face. She gripped her pencil so hard she imagined that shards of wood might fly all over the place.

It was two days before her Math finals. That dreaded exam that would either keep or kick her out of the program. And instead of being inside the comfort of her dorm room hunched over her books at her recently re-organized study table and with her unlimited instant coffee packets, she was stuck with studying at Cram!, the 24/7 coffee shop, near the campus. No thanks to her roommate who was having her boyfriend over for some ‘pre-finals de-stressing’.

She took another sip of her second cup of coffee and tried to focus. Advanced Calculus won’t learn itself.

She hasn’t even written anything yet when a different shrill laugh broke the silence yet again.

She craned her neck and tried to look for the annoying culprits. It came from a group of three women sitting three tables away from her. They were awfully overdressed for a midnight coffee in the middle of the week. Although, I must admit, they were all pretty. All three looked and dressed like a prettier Natalie Figueroa from Orange Is The New Black: stiff-looking colorful blazers with matching skirts, pumps with at least five-inch heels, and faces caked with a bit over the top make-up.

The scandalous laughing didn’t die down like it did before. Instead, a continuous wave of high-pitched squeals and screechy voices thundered and dominated the coffee shop. A few other people wearing university hoodies looked up from their books (no doubt cramming for their finals as well) with faces that looked like they could murder.

“Oh my god, remember that time when Alice pronounced Hugh Grant’s name as HUH GRANT?”

“That is fucking hilarious!”

“And the one time Janine asked which one was Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap?”

“And don’t forget that Christine answered her with “the one on the left’.”

A million anecdotes about their friends were heard by everyone. When Sam said ‘trill’ instead of ‘krill’ during Biology, when Ginny asked the entire class who wanted two extra bags of chips she had as if she were giving out a million dollars in a game show, when Greta submitted a poem written by Nancy for English class and passed it off as her own and then ended up getting a higher grade than Nancy.

Some of their stories were quite funny, actually. Some of the other customers actually let out sniggers that they tried to hide behind their books but she–they–just couldn’t afford to laugh at Nancy, Greta, Ginny and who the fuck else during finals week.

One of the baristas approached the table of the three women. His face was gorgeous as hell; it was probably not a random decision to send him to tell off the noisy ladies. No (straight) woman could say no to that face.

She couldn’t hear anything what the barista was saying except for the “keep it down” and “terribly sorry”.

The next thing she knew, the three ladies stood up and started gathering their things. They cast apologetic smiles to the other customers and silently tiptoed out of the shop.

Crunch time.

Writing 101, Day Eight: Death to Adverbs Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.

Coming up with a story for this challenge was immensely easy for me since I feel like I know a lot about the characters I wanted to write about. I tried to be wordy and I did try to avoid using adverbs.

Fun fact: The three ladies are actually exaggerated (and more annoying) versions of my friends and I. Also, all of the anecdotes mentioned in this story happened in real life. Well, the names are made up though.


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