Tracing letters along my back

Today Annie and I went to the uni library again to do research for our final essay. We thought it would be straightforward like it was for Asian PR, which we did a week prior.

It wasn’t.

We didn’t realize it when picking the topic, but the ambiguity of our research question drove us to near madness. We shuffled through the pages of our books hoping that something would jump out at us, or the jumble of quotes that we were slowly compiling would fall into some sort of essay structure.

Thank my stars Mela came just in time. She sat with me and calmed me down when I had my – and I never have these – attack of pure hopelessness. And it was a good thing she was there to do so, because otherwise I think I would have taken it out on Annie to the point where we would have had a massive fight.

While I was buried in my book and trying to make sense of the confusing language, Mela was watching a movie – tactfully turned away from me – and tracing abstract shapes and letters on my back. I don’t know if in her past this had worked, but I sure never told her that this was something my grandma used to do to lull me to sleep when I was very young. It calmed me down a lot and made me feel a bit better about my situation.

Sure, if I think about how much time I have left compared to the workload, I get scared again. But I’ve seen my ability to write even the most confusing and unresearched essay in a short period of time before. I’ve done the maths – I know that I just need to pass these essays to pass those classes, and even though that’s not the kind of mark that would make my parents happy, these are difficult and dry classes, and I doubt anyone would be having a good time in them.

I took a long hot shower when I got home. My skin reacted slightly to Mela’s sunscreen, so I let it soak a bit in the warm water. It feels better now, but it’s still a bit flaky.

I am going to go take some more notes before going to bed for a good solid sleep before doing as much as I can tomorrow.

And I love Mela, so very much. Not just because she came into the city today just to sit with Annie and me while we freaked out. Not just because she let me squeeze her hand whenever I felt overwhelmed. Not just because, even though she felt a bit ill, she still agreed to stay out a bit late. Mostly because she did these things willingly even when I didn’t realize the inconvenience it placed onto her, and never voiced my guilt when I did realize. Mostly because she looked into my eyes when I was going to just give up on the essay, and told me that I’ll be fine.

Alex.

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