Exam – A 100 Word Story

She collects the fee from the nightstand. He rubs his ring finger, counting ribs as her shirt slides over them.

“I gotta run,” she says. “I have a exam in biology to study for.”

“I had an exam at the hospital yesterday,” he blurts.

She giggles. “What grade did you get?”

He remembers the scan full of unexpected metastatic dots.

“They don’t give grades.” He hopes his smile seems natural.

After she leaves, he rolls upright, lights a cigarette – why stop now? – and stares at the door.

He opens the nightstand drawer, removes the book, and desperately begins to cram.

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